Hey loyal fans,
Finally, the time you’ve all been waiting for has arrived. This is an incredible surprise for all of you, call it a pre-Thanksgiving desert. Something that’ll keep you going until mom and dad get you that PS4 or brand new Michael Kors purse you’ve been wanting.
Two of the coolest dudes I’ve had the pleasure to know, Tyler Lawrence Ladue and William David Scheidler, have written their pieces for this blog. I’ve lived with them for the last three years and we’ve pretty much done everything from surviving third year of med school to listening to Taylor Swift in an empty parking lot. Anyways, I’ll be back in a few week, but until then, enjoy reading about what these two have been up to!
Greetings, Arun fans!
I apologize that it’s been so long since Arun blogged last. He asked me to write a guest blog post about a month ago (okay, maybe two months ago) and I have been really slow to get that done. Now that I have had about 24 hours to recover from Michigan’s third loss in four weeks, I am ready to entertain you fine people… Arun’s readers.
A little bit about me: I’m Tyler. I’m originally from Tempe, AZ and I did my undergrad at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Go ‘Lopes! I came to Michigan for medical school in 2010 and I’m going into family medicine.
Arun has been writing quite a bit about his fourth year, so I guess I’ll do the same.
First off, when I finished M3 year (woot!) I went on a road trip with my brother and two of my classmates. One of the really nice things about our clinical calendar is that we get a whole week off between M3 and M4 year. We used this week to drive from Ann Arbor to Toronto, then on to Montreal, down to Burlington, VT, and finally back to Ann Arbor. We had a blast watching a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre, trying (unsuccessfully) to speak French in Montreal, and my brother and I even had a chance to see some family in Vermont.
After the road trip was over, I returned home to Ann Arbor for my ICU month, which I spent in the MICU at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. It was a bit of a rude awakening being on an intense ICU service after a weeklong vacation, but it was also a great learning experience. Since it was my first ICU experience, the learning curve was pretty steep and I had to read a few landmark critical care studies to get up to speed. Thankfully, I had a fantastic team from my attending physicians and fellows all the way down to my co-subintern. I even had time to catch a Tigers game on one of my days off!
Next, I did a dermatology rotation! Lots of skin exams, lots of biopsies, and much more laid back than an ICU rotation. Even so, I learned quite a bit about something I’ll see all the time in family medicine. I think this picture sums up my month of dermatology:
After dermatology, I used my vacation month. I took Step 2 CK early on in my month and then went to California to see two good friends from college get married. The day after the wedding, my girlfriend and I got engaged! Then we came back to Michigan and enjoyed the rest of my vacation month. We even had time for a trip to Traverse City. If you have never been to Traverse City before, go! It really is beautiful and there is so much to do.
Sadly, my vacation had to come to an end. Luckily, I came back to my second subinternship – this one with the department of family medicine at Chelsea Community Hospital. It was a fantastic experience and one that gave me the opportunity to see what medicine is like at a small community hospital as opposed to a big academic center like Michigan. That’s one of the great things about M4 year: you have the freedom to experience things that you may not have seen during M3 year. Pictured below: deer about 30 feet from the main entrance to Chelsea Community Hospital.
As an example of something really cool you can do at Michigan as an M4, my next month was spent on a nonclinical elective with Dr. Howard Markel called “History in Medicine”. The coolest thing about this class… you can study whatever you want! Dr. Markel is a pediatrician by training but he also has a PhD in history. His background is in epidemiology and immigrant health, but as long as you and Dr. Markel develop a good reading list, you can study pretty much anything. I studied the Cholera and Typhus epidemics in New York in 1892 as well as the Bubonic Plague epidemic in Los Angeles in 1924 for comparison. We met once weekly to discuss history and I wrote a paper at the end of the month.
Ever since, I’ve been doing some traveling (for interviews and otherwise) and enjoying M4 year. I’ve been able to stay pretty busy by working as a TA for the undergraduate anatomy course, writing for the Smoker, and tailgating for Michigan football games.
My schedule is a bit backloaded as I still have emergency medicine and two other clinical electives to complete. One of those is a rotation in April with Indian Health Service on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Whiteriver, AZ.
Well, there you have it. That’s my M4 year so far. I hope you enjoyed reading about it.
Along with Tyler, I have to echo my apologies for Arun’s blogging tardiness. He asked us to appear as “special guests” a while back, and in the craziness of residency interviews, we didn’t deliver all too quickly. Sorry guys and gals. Seeing as though you’ve made it this far; however, I might as well introduce myself. My name is Bill. I’m a fellow 4th year medical student who happens to live with Arun and Tyler in a big, beautifully home in the middle of residential Ann Arbor.
We moved here in August of this year. Given the fact that we have the whole house to ourselves, it’s a steal…gotta love Ann Arbor real estate! Plus, we have a lawn that specializes in tailgates and evening bonfires! Check it out!
As for me, I’m originally from Carmel, IN and went to Wash. U. for undergrad. I eventually made my way to Michigan for medical school and will be going into Psychiatry. Seeing as though the theme of this blog has been our 4th years, I’ll do my best to tell my story.
First off, 4th year is the best. It seems like every year we get more responsibility and more work thrown on our shoulder, but I’ve always felt prepared to handle the load, and find myself enjoying coming closer and closer to becoming a physician.
As Tyler mentioned, I love the fact that here at Michigan we get a week off between M3 and M4 year. I spent mine with my brother going on a brewery tour of Michigan. We hit New Holland, Bell’s, and Arcadia Ale. If you’re a craft beer fan (which I am), Michigan is the place for you. With awesome breweries around the state and even around town, you can’t go wrong!
Here is a picture of my brother and I at New Holland admiring Dragon’s Milk, a stout aged in bourbon barrels!
After the break, I had some work to do. Unsure whether I wanted to pursue Family Medicine or Psychiatry, I decided to try a month of each to figure things out. I really loved this unique part of Michigan schedule. We start M3 year earlier than anywhere else, but as a result, we also start M4 year earlier and get plenty of time to try specialties out for size.
While I loved both my month working with adolescents on the inpatient psych unit and through family medicine at a local underserved clinic for teens, I ultimately chose Psychiatry. I can’t speak highly enough for the faculty in both specialties (and across the board, really) for being so supportive of my education and ultimately my decision. In the end, it was a difficult choice, but I couldn’t be happier.
After those investigatory rotations, it was time for a month off for rest, relaxation, and Step 2 CK. I took mine later in the month than Tyler, but book-ended my month with July 4th at my grandparent’s lake house in Kalamazoo, and then more lake time at my dad’s cottage in southern Indiana with friends from college. It was great having the flexibility to plan my schedule just the way I wanted and not feel rushed to study for Step 2. All in all, it was a fantastic month I wouldn’t have spent any other way.
Here is a picture of my buddies and I down by the lake!
But soon enough I was back to the grind, fulfilling my ICU and sub-internship (basically acting as a first year resident or intern) requirements in the Coronary Care Unit and the VA general medicine floor. These two months were the most difficult of my medical school career, but also some of the most fulfilling, especially at the VA. There, I was able to act as an intern: working up patients, coming up with a treatment plan, ordering their tests and medications, and following their progress. I felt ready from my M3 training to take on that responsibility and was trusted enough by my superiors to act pretty much independently. As a result, I feel just about as ready as I can be to tackle intern year in a few short months.
Here is a picture of my team from the VA. What a lovely bunch!
While it was a admittedly a busy few months, I did manage to have some fun. I was able to fit in a couple rounds of golf, a canoe trip or two, a beer festival in Detroit, and even make the Michigan vs. Notre Dame night game with my brother, a poor ND grad. It turned out to be a great evening for everybody but him!
That brings me to the present. I’m now on the interview trail and have been all over the country this past month or so. It’s been great so far and I can’t help but smile every time I hear affectionately, “so you’re the applicant from Michigan, huh?” I used to be pretty skeptical about just how well the Michigan name travels, but after my experiences so far, I’m a believer.
In the end, I wish you folks the best with your journey into medicine and hope choose Michigan if it’s the right fit. Looking back over these four years, I can’t imagine myself training anywhere else.
Good luck, take care, and always Go Blue!