It snowed this week. I couldn’t believe it. I was at the Student-Run Free Clinic, and from the window, I saw snow falling to the ground. I’m still not entirely sure why this was surprising, as this is Michigan, and I have lived here my whole life. However, the day before, it was approximately 70 degrees and sunny, so I guess I’ll just chalk it up to that. Regardless, winter is coming, and it’s actually starting to feel like it.
Since the last time I wrote, I finished Ob/Gyn and Psychiatry. Both were really great experiences. For psychiatry, I was on the child and adolescent inpatient service and adult consult-liaison service. Both were really good experiences in different ways. On child and adolescent (CAP), I got to know the patients really well. Med students were allowed to join the patients for some activities like art therapy (coloring is amazingly calming) and conditioning (gym class!). My favorite of all was beach ball volleyball during conditioning—patients, staff, and the med students were all very competitive, and it made for a lot of fun (and some good-natured jabs at the med students). We also were able to dress up for Halloween (which the patients loved), which is yet another reason why working with the kiddos is always a fun experience. On the adult side, it was really interesting to act not only as a consult team but also as advocates for patients and intermediates between the patient and the medical teams (the liaison side).
It’s now the week of Thanksgiving, and we have the whole week off. Without clinical duties, I have no idea what to do (just kidding, I’m thoroughly enjoying my time off). Naturally, that means this week is a time to catch up on life and catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve been doing just that. My apartment is now sparkling, and I’ve met up with so many friends who I haven’t seen in quite some time. Right now, in fact, I’m at a local coffee shop enjoying a lavender latte and coworking with a friend (and taking sufficient breaks to talk about life, etc.).
On Monday, I start internal medicine, my last core rotation of M3 year. It is the longest of the rotations and will go all the way through the middle of February. However, in the middle of the rotation, we will have a 3-week winter break that I am very much looking forward to. After internal med, we will have the M4 Comprehensive Clinical Assessment (CCA), and then we have 2 months of electives in March and April before we start M4 year in May. It seems like time has gone by too quickly. I don’t feel ready to be an M4, but at the same time, I am very ready for all of the electives in my areas of interest. We’re starting to work on our schedules for next year, and I love my March and April electives. It feels good to have narrowed career choices down, and I am really excited for what is to come.
A lot has happened in the past month or so in my med school life and in the world as a whole. Good and bad things have happened, and there have been things that have made me happy as well as sad. In this season of thanksgiving, I can say that I am thankful for the family and friends who get me through it all. I couldn’t make it through the bad days without them, and they’re the first ones that I go to when I have something to celebrate. I am thankful for their ever-present love and compassion in a world that needs a lot more of both of those things.
That said, I’ll be enjoying the crispness in the air (which is a nice way of saying, “it’s actually really cold outside right now, but I’m trying to be optimistic”). If nothing else, it’s the best motivation to stay inside and study (or to make tea and coffee). As always, thanks for reading. Until next time, spend time with those you care about, be sure to find something that you’re thankful for, and try to spread a bit of love to the world and those around you.
Don’t miss the next Dose of Reality.
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.