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Greetings from M3 year (almost)! I write this during a break of our M3 orientation, which has consisted of three days filled with various activities geared toward preparing us for our entry into the clinical phase of our education, including life support training, seminars on how to place an IV and NG tube, and even a session entitled, “M3 Survival Workshop.” Our rotations officially start Monday morning, so we have one final, free weekend before it all begins…

The nearly two months since I last wrote certainly were an experience. I finished up my second year of medical school on a Friday in mid-March, enjoyed one blissful day off, and then began studying for Boards bright and early that Sunday morning.  I look back on the five week study period with mixed emotions. The ten to twelve hour study days were certainly grueling and at times very frustrating, and it was hard to be so isolated from friends, family…and human beings in general. However, looking back, the sheer volume of material that I relearned and synthesized over this period—an amount that seemed simply impossible at first—feels like an accomplishment on par with actually taking the eight-hour exam.

The beautiful beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

During this study time, I also took a wonderful long weekend off to fly down to New Orleans, where I presented a poster on my summer research at the American College of Cardiology conference. Not only was this trip a perfect halfway break in my studying, but it was also my first time attending a large conference, which was an exciting experience in itself. And, New Orleans is an amazingly fun city!

After finishing Step One last Monday, twenty of my classmates and I headed to the Dominican Republic, for a much needed week-long vacation in Punta Cana. We stayed at a beautiful resort located right on the beach and soaked in as much sun (well, under my near-constant coat of SPF 50, that is!) and relaxation as we could.

It wasn’t easy leaving beautiful Punta Cana (see picture above) for the less-than-tropical weather of Ann Arbor, but I think we all shared a sense of excitement—and yes, some anxiety too—at the year we are about to begin. After two long years in the lecture halls, we are at last going to be working with patients and physicians, and in some senses, it feels as though medical school is just truly beginning. I will be spending my first six weeks of third year on obstetrics and gynecology, so by the next time I write, I hopefully will have been part of my first labor and delivery!