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Wow. It’s already week 3 and I can’t believe it. Lately, the days seem to be blurs of specific moments and I am still so incredibly thankful to be here. Granted, UMMS is not the Millennium Falcon and I am not a master Jedi like I had always imagined. However, I think everything turned out much better than I could have ever imagined.

I’ll follow my fellow M1 Daily Dose bloggers and write a “quick” introduction. I grew up in Bozeman, Montana and went to school at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Here, I stumbled into an Economics concentration with a focus on household and education economics (…after changing my concentration about 5 times…). I graduated in 2010 and joined Teach for America. For two years, I had the opportunity to teach some of the cutest, weirdest and most lovable 2nd grade students in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. During this time, I observed the great need for child psychiatrists in Bed-Stuy and the impact that such a shortage had on many of my students and their abilities to succeed in the classroom. And, at the end of my two years, I made the tough decision to leave teaching and found myself applying to pre-medical post-baccalaureate programs for “career changers.” Fast forward two years: I am at the University of Michigan Medical School and blogging on Dose of Reality!

As I’ve already written, these past few weeks have truly been a blur.

The White Coat Ceremony was surreal. It was hard to believe that the journey to becoming a doctor was truly beginning for our class. As I received my coat, I could only think: WE DID IT. The White Coat Ceremony was a testament to the amazing community who helped me get to medical school and UMMS. There were so many people involved in my journey here: my parents who let me live with them for post-bacc; my professors and mentors who wrote letters and gave me enriching experiences; my former students, who reminded me to “show grit” in their letters and phone calls; my barista friend who gave me free coffee on all those late night MCAT study sessions. The list goes on. It is clear: I did not get here on my own. And, looking forward, I know I will not successfully get to the end of medical school on my own.

This feeling has only been further confirmed by our first and second patient presentations. The presentations have been heart-breaking, eye-opening, and inspiring. I am so grateful for the willingness and generosity of the presenters to be vulnerable and open for the sake of helping us to become better doctors in the future.

From these patient presentations to our upcoming Family Centered Experience to our dedicated faculty/staff at UMMS and to my awesome classmates, I am constantly surprised by how committed the community is to supporting our journey and goals. I am so happy that I chose to attend the University of Michigan Medical School and I cannot wait for the next four years!

This is truly a place where “when you want something, the world conspires to give it to you.”