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On Monday, we began what is notoriously the most rigorous sequence of the M1 year: Infectious Diseases & Microbiology.  With laboratory exercises and case discussions every morning for a five-week period, each preceded by ~2.5 hours of relevant lectures beginning at 8am, my class has noticeably shifted back to attending live lectures, on par with our overall enthusiasm for class-going back in August. The emphasis on clinical applications of the course has made this our first “real taste of M2 year.”

During one of our first labs, we prepared a throat culture by sampling another one of our classmates — look what I discovered on the plate containing my own flora:

That’s right, Gram-positive (purple) cocci (round) bacteria in clusters, basically a microscope slide full of grapes to the untrained eye. Relatedly, I learned how to successfully take pictures with an iPhone through the eyepiece of a microscope. Anyways, we get to learn how to perform many cool lab techniques during this sequence, which I wasn’t expecting at all.  The labs are run by a Microbiology faculty member and an Infectious Disease physician, and I have only fantastic things to say so far, except of course the mysophobia I’ve developed from learning about the microbial world surrounding me.

Outside of ID/Micro, I’ve continued involvement with AMA in a few ways: this past weekend, I visited the Michigan State Medical Society headquarters in East Lansing over spring break for a leadership conference, which was a great way to prepare for the upcoming 2014 MSMS House of Delegates Annual Meeting in Dearborn.  I mentioned in a previous UMDoR post that I’ll be presenting a resolution I wrote regarding STEM Education, and I’ve also completed a resolution for June’s AMA-MSS House of Delegates Annual Meeting in Chicago, specifically related to proposed changes for the USMLE Step 1 exam in the context of medical curriculum reform.

MSMS-MSS Leadership Conference

Lastly, I wanted to comment on an exciting event that took place earlier this week.  UMMS hosted the AMA Medical Education Consortium, consisting of representatives from the 11 institutions that received $1M grants from the AMA in 2013 to “transform the way physicians are trained.” I was able to attend a few lectures and seminars on “MedEd Day,” the open-to-the-general-public part of the conference, and, as a member of one of the working groups for the development of our own new curriculum, I really enjoyed meeting faculty and administrators from the other AMA ACE institutions.  For more information and photos, check out the press release from UMHS.

Until next time,