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The M2 Perspective

 Hey everyone!

I hate to admit it, but it must be said… M2  year is far busier than M1 year. As M1s, we all watched the older (and, of course, wiser) class ahead of us as they went through some quintessential M2 experiences — 8 hours of lecture in a day, fewer quizzes and more heavily weighted exams, the dreaded male GU physical exam. 😉

It’s hard to believe that we are actually the ones filling those shoes now. Our first sequence, Cardiology, came and went with a flourish. The material was difficult, but incredibly interesting, and the beauty of second year is that everything is so clinically relevant. Despite our busy schedules and intense amounts of school work, many of us have been carving out time to shadow in specialties that have caught our attention or to get some hands-on work with patients through the M2 Clinical Reasoning Elective.

It was quite an adjustment for me to go from a summer in the ED back into the classroom, but I appreciate the fact that we are just being taught so much. Within the three short weeks of Cardiology, I feel like the way I think about patients in the ED with chief complaints of chest pain or shortness of breath is completely different. Actually knowing the cause of certain pathologies is incredibly exciting.  I’m missing my free time a little bit, but it’s really nice to just be back with my amazing classmates again, working through the challenging material together. As always, we still find time to have fun… we had a great back-to-school get together, have enjoyed football games (or at least one of them, so far…) and some last minute time on the river and at the pool, before fall weather kicks in.

Alright, time to go get caught up on Respiratory – our second sequence of M2 year, which is somehow already halfway over. Thanks for reading!


SBRP and Summer Highlights

The “last summer” is winding down for us rising M2s, but I think it is safe to say that many of us have really made the most of the past two months. Our classes start up again on August 18, which will be upon us before we know it. My classmates are slowly returning to Ann Arbor from adventures all over the globe (literally) and our first sequence schedule has already popped up on our Google Calendars. I can’t say that I mind seeing it, though — a big part of me is excited to get second year underway! And a bigger part of me is just grateful that we aren’t starting on August 4th, like the M1s. 🙂

I have spent my summer quite happily in the Emergency Department, working on a research project for SBRP. The Student Biomedical Research Program is a very popular choice for those students who want to stay in Ann Arbor, do research, and make a little money during the summer between M1 and M2 year. Students in the program had to identify departments of interest and mentors pretty early during our M1 year, design (or hop onto) a research project, and then write up a proposal for approval to participate in the program. My classmates are doing a huge variety of projects in departments all across the hospital. I’m not much of a bench researcher myself, never have been, so I used this opportunity to spend some time with patients in the Emergency Department. My project looks at physician communication styles in the ED, which means that I have the privilege of observing a lot of amazing doctors and PAs at work every day, and then following up with their patients. As a pretty social person, this has been the perfect project to keep me busy this summer. I love the ED and enjoy being surrounded by the activity, the many different personalities of the care providers and patients, and the huge variety of medical phenomena that come through the ED doors. Plus, I can’t complain about getting to wear scrubs every day… They are seriously the most comfortable work attire for any job, ever. My project has several phases, but my team and I are already starting to write up our initial findings for publication, which is quite a daunting task.

Although I have spent most of my daylight (and quite a few twilight) hours in the ED this summer, I have certainly found the time to have fun with my classmates, to see my family, and to relax. I traveled out to the East Coast to spend July 4th weekend on the beaches of New England and I just returned from a trip to northern Michigan this past week, enjoying the less salty water and even better beaches of our fine state. In Ann Arbor I have kept busy with those quintessential Ace Deuce summer activities, such as tubing down the Huron River, wandering around the Ann Arbor Art Fair, enjoying the Ann Arbor Summer Festival , and eating outside at as many Main Street restaurants as possible. Excited to have a few final weeks to enjoy this sunshine before we all hit the books again.

I’ll leave you with a few shots from “up north” from my trip to Lake Michigan. And to the incoming M1s, congratulations on your upcoming White Coat Ceremony!!

M1 and Done!

M1 year is over! I can’t believe how quickly this year flew by, especially considering that it was actually quite a long school year. August 4 to May 30… and then suddenly we are M2s! The last sequence of M1 year was Human Growth and Development (HGD), which in many ways was a nice break from the challenges presented by Infectious Diseases (like memorizing 900 pages of detailed information about bugs and drugs) and Embryology (like trying to spatially manipulate parts of the developing human body that don’t even exist by birth). HGD was only 4 short days, but did a nice job of ending the year on a more holistic note.  And clicking “Submit” on that exam was definitely one of the most satisfying moments of the year!

The all-powerful weather gods in Ann Arbor must have known that we were done, because the weather was absolutely beautiful all weekend and everyone got to relax and celebrate in all the outdoorsy, sunshine-filled ways possible.  A big group of us spent Sunday morning at the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run, which is a huge annual event that raises money for Mott Children’s Hospital, Hope Clinic, the Wounded Warrior Project, and more. The medical school had really excellent representation, with a good chunk of my classmates, “upper”classmen, and physicians representing in the 5k, 10k, and half-marathon. I ran the 5k, which was my first race ever and I  immediately felt bitten by the race-bug… Hoping to do the 10k next year!

After the race finished, all of Main Street shut down for another annual event – the Taste of Ann Arbor. My classmates and I rewarded ourselves for our morning cardio and spent hours in the sun, milling around between booths set up by all of the fantastic Main Street restaurants. You can buy tickets for $0.50 each and then sample some of the best menu offerings from each vendor. My advice for all Main Street connoisseurs is to try the fish tacos from Black Pearl, the red lentils and injera from Blue Nile, and the chicken sliders from Blue Tractor. You really can’t go wrong with any of those restaurants though — Ann Arbor is a great town to just eat your way through!

Many of my classmates and I started our summer research projects today! Already right back to work. 🙂 More on that later, though… time to go enjoy the fact that I don’t have to study at all tonight.

‘Til next time!


There have been a lot of exciting events and transitions happening at UMMS these past few weeks. Most importantly, the M4s graduated this weekend and can now sport a proud “MD” at the end of their names. Congratulations to all of you! There currently aren’t any M2s at UMMS, as they all returned from their STEP-cations and are already out on the wards as M3s! So, right now, I’d like to think that the M1s are essentially ruling the school. 🙂 Okay, that might not be completely accurate, but we did have an absolute blast putting on Biorhythms last night, a big medical school dance production, showcasing the many hidden talents of our class.

There are two Biorhythms productions each year, one in January and one in May. Though the May show is historically smaller and run/cast only by M1s, it was a serious blast and we had a great turn out. I participated in three dances: Tahitian, Indian Fusion, and Hip Hop. I certainly never thought that medical school would be the point in my life where I would spend hours each week learning dance moves from a variety of cultures, but it has been so much fun! There was a huge range of dances at the show. It started strong with a hilarious performance by Phlomax, our awesome med school “rap group”, complete with a cameo from one of our brave anatomy professors. (Nice work, Dr. Fox!) Then we had ballroom dancing, Step, Tahitian, two different Hip Hop groups, a tap dance, Indian Fusion, a contemporary piece, and two impressive vocal performances by Vince Pallazola and Logan White. The grand finale was Mance — the hilariously inappropriate, expertly-choreographed opportunity for all of the men in our class to dance around on stage in a variety of silly costumes, which seem to have less and less fabric as the dance progresses. All of the performances were wonderful — congrats to everyone who participated! Lots of pictures below. 🙂

C’mon Spring!

Hi all!

I can’t believe that M1 year is winding down… it seems like just yesterday we were all sitting in Cells and Tissues lectures, turning to our new classmates and trying to learn everyone’s names and where they are from. By now, we’ve all sunk into our rhythms, have found our niches, and in only a few weeks we will be rising M2s. I think we will all be feeling that quite saliently this week — Thursday is the start of Second Look Weekend! I will never forget when I came to take my second look at Michigan and immediately knew that I had found my people and my home. It has been so much fun to be on the other side of the table now, preparing for a record number of M0s to step through our doors to see everything we have to offer here.  I remember how helpful all of the current M2s were in answering my questions and making me feel right at home last year when I visited, so I’m really excited to have the opportunity to pass that favor on to the next round of Second Lookers… For anyone who is reading this and getting ready to head our way this weekend for SLW, just know that we WILL convince you within minutes that this is the best medical school out there. 🙂 That’s the Michigan Difference!

Our current sequence, Infectious Diseases, has been a wonderful way to send this year out with a bang. Yes, we do have two short sequences left after we finish up ID, but it kind of feels like this is the home stretch, in some ways. ID is traditionally quite a challenging sequence, which feels much more like a M2 sequence than M1 because of the intense amount of information presented to us and the abundant clinical relevance of everything we are learning. I am loving it, so far. The professors are excellent, the schedule of daily required small groups is intense, but gets me going to lecture regularly again and forces you to keep on top of the material. I even pulled off a Friday quiz for the first time in two months this weekend! And, although there is a bit of whining about required classes every day, I know that most of my classmates are also thrilled to have the opportunity to see each other so much again! It can be really easy to lose track of the streamers in some of the lecture-heavy sequences, especially with this past winter being so rough. I love getting to spend time with big groups of M1s again on a daily basis — they’re not half bad. 🙂

I would be remiss if I didn’t leave you with at least a taste of the amazing trip that 20 of us took over Spring Break, a couple weeks ago. We rented a wonderful house on the west coast of Florida and enjoyed five days of fun and relaxation on the beach. Exactly what I needed to regenerate before ID! Picture proof:

This weekend I am enjoying some time in Boston, visiting my family and gearing up to watch the 2014 Boston Marathon tomorrow. So happy that spring is finally here!