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“We’re gonna believe in each other, we’re not gonna criticize each other, we’re not gonna talk about each other, we’re gonna encourage each other. And when we play as a team, when the old season is over, you and I know, it’s going to be Michigan again, Michigan.”

Even though this quote was said in the context of Michigan football, I believe that it applies to the medical school as well. However, before I dive into discussing the similarities between the football team and our med school class, I should probably start by introducing myself. Sorry that I’m a little late to join the Dose of Reality blogging team – but better late than never, right?! Anyway, my name is Alia Ahmed and I am a current M1 at UMMS (University of Michigan Medical School). I attended Wayne State University in Detroit for undergrad where I just graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages and a concentration in Spanish. Ever since I decided to become a physician, I have dreamed of attending UMMS…and even though I still have a hard time believing it, my dream has finally become a reality.

Backtracking to Bo Schembechler’s, the Michigan football coach of 1983, famous words about “The Team”…

From what I’ve gathered in my first two and a half months here at Michigan, they’re all about the “team” – even at the med school. Cooperation and teamwork are carefully embroidered into our curriculum and emphasized during our small group sessions. My classmates are some of the most inclusive and helpful people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. It is this sense of camaraderie and the idea that “We’re all in this together” (cheesy High School Musical reference) that helps each of us continue to succeed in med school – and of course – it is also one of the big reasons why I decided to #GoBlueMed.

While my classmates are helpful in the classroom, that’s not to say that they are not just as helpful on the playing field. At Michigan, the motto “Work Hard, Play Hard” is ever prevalent among our “team” (that being us medical students). This weekend, I attended my first football game as a Michigan student. And what better game to attend than the night game against Penn State? It was especially sweet because our rivals expected us to lose but we surprised everyone with a nerve-wracking fourth quarter and an unexpected win! Along with 113,085 other people, I belted the fight song to my heart’s content from the seats of the Big House. I watched in awe as the football team worked together and made an epic comeback for one of the most enjoyable football games that I have ever attended.

And not only was Saturday amazing because of the game, but also because of the Galen’s/Student Council tailgate, which, as a member of Student Council, I was lucky enough to help coordinate. We raised over $1,000 at the tailgate and had over 150 attendees…it was definitely a day to remember. Shoutout to Julia Stella, M2 and Nithin Ravi, M1 – the head coordinators of the tailgate – for planning an awesome event!

Med School Tailgate on the Golf Course

In addition to helping out with the tailgate, as a Student Council Class Advocate, I have also been planning this year’s Medical School Fall Ball! Basically, Fall Ball is Prom for med students, so as you can imagine, it has taken a lot of work to organize. We finalized the menu, head count, centerpieces, DJ, and ticket sales this past weekend and I am getting more and more excited to see how the event turns out on Friday – I hope that it’s going to be another night to remember for everyone that attends!

My parents and sisters drove up from Bloomfield Hills this weekend to enjoy some of the sunshine with me in Ann Arbor. We went to Zingerman’s deli, which is something that you MUST try if you are ever looking for somewhere to eat in Ann Arbor. Zingerman’s is world famous and has even been featured on the Food Network J.

Ok, now I feel like I’m making this post way too long…but there’s just a lot to say because so much has been going on! Moral of the story – if you’re looking for a medical school where the students, the faculty, and everyone else at Michigan believes in you, encourages you, supports you, and treats you as part of the team, the team, the team, then you are without a doubt looking at the right place.

Until next time…Go Blue!