We just finished our 5th week of school, and according to some classmates’ running tally, this means that we’ve completed approximately 2.5% of medical school. Those five weeks have included a lot of studying but also a lot of fun.
Last week, we finished our first block, Patients and Populations, and had our first set of exams. We had the option of taking the exams any time between Thursday afternoon and Monday evening. I chose to finish my exams by Friday evening so I could go away for the holiday weekend, as did many of my classmates. Finishing the first block felt so great, but having an entire weekend with no studying was even better.
After I finished exams, I went to the first football game of the season with several of my classmates. It was great to return to the Big House, but it was even better to see the look on the first-timers’ faces. Game Day at Michigan is kind of a big deal and what better way to watch football than with over 100,000 of your closest friends, as the joke goes. However, the atmosphere is always amazing, and seeing so many people excited and dressed in maize is pretty spectacular. Michigan football is all about The Team, The Team, The Team (Bo Schembechler reference, sorry), and in case you’ve never seen this clip, here’s Michigan football in a nutshell.
On Monday, I came back to Ann Arbor early to go on a shopping trip with some of my classmates. Many of my classmates are from much warmer places and had no idea how to dress for winter, so several of us Michigan natives helped them out a bit (and got some shopping in ourselves). We got stuck in a torrential downpour, but beyond that, we had a really great time.
Our new block, Cells and Tissues, started this week. This block involves quite a bit of biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biology, as well as our first experience with anatomy and histology labs. We had our introduction to anatomy, as well as the first dissection. I was a little nervous about anatomy because it was something that I had never experienced before, but our professors did a really great job of introducing us to our donors. They told us that it was okay to feel uncomfortable initially because this is something that we were unfamiliar with and something that is considered taboo in our society, but they also encouraged us to learn as much as we possibly could from our donors, and that would be our greatest way to thank them. I realized the wonderful gift that our donors have given us: the ability to see the muscles, bones, tendons, nerves, vasculature, and organs that we learn about in class in a very real and tangible way, and with that, the nerves went away and the learning began.
Also, this week, I was able to meet my Family Centered Experience (FCE) family. For more info about the program, check out this link. The basic premise is that to be efficient doctors, we have to learn about medicine from the patient’s perspective as well as the medical perspective, and one of the ways that we do that is through the FCE. We are paired up with a classmate, and we will make several visits to the family over the next two years. I loved meeting my family and hearing their stories, and I really look forward to our next meeting.
With that, I’m off to prepare for the next week of classes and to try to forget about that game last night… Thanks for reading!
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Angelica is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School. When she’s not on the wards, you can find her on a run around Ann Arbor or passionately discussing medicine and public health over tea.