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Listen to Your Heart

Heart Sound Challenge winners! Who knew we would get an award with Dr. Lash and Dean Mangrulkar on it!

It’s been a while! We have just finished our cardiovascular and respiratory sequence, which had some great lecturers and activities.  My favorite part of learning about the cardiovascular system was our Clinical Foundations of Medicine sessions.  We got to finally get some use out of our stethoscopes and learned how to do cardiac exams.  We also learned how to distinguish murmurs and other heart sounds.  Our instructor, Dr. Lash, even gave us a special award if we could correctly identify a certain number of sounds in a row.  It was great to begin to develop skills that I will be using later on!

Outside of school, I have had some great opportunities to explore different career options.  I was able to shadow a pediatric neurologist, which seems to be a really rewarding career due to the variety of cases and longitudinal nature of the field.  I also had the chance to spend an afternoon with a reproductive endocrinologist, which is a side of obstetrics and gynecology that I had not known much about.  I am exploring Ob/Gyn more through an experience offered by the Family Medicine Interest Group where you accompany a patient to her prenatal visits and attend the delivery.  I am really looking forward to this opportunity.  Beyond clinical experiences, I have been to the Ob/Gyn Interest Group and OutMD student-faculty dinners, which is a great way to connect with faculty and learn about their careers.  It has been a busy month, but one filled with increasing clinical and career knowledge!

The Gift of Knowledge

To be completely honest, I was not the medical student waiting anxiously for the beginning of anatomy lab.  I knew it was a rite of passage that all medical students needed to pass through, but I really didn’t know what to expect.  After a month of anatomy lab, I am beginning to realize how incredibly helpful and essential this traditional part of all medical school curricula is.  Every time I go into lab though, I cannot help but wonder who my donor was, what they did for a living, what their family life was like, and countless other questions.

These thoughts were somewhat calmed last week at the Memorial Service for our donors.  Families and faculty, as well as medical, dental, and nursing students, came together to remember the men and women who chose to graciously donate themselves to science.  Students gave speeches and performed during the ceremony, and it was a really beautiful experience.  While listening to the speeches, something resonated with me: my donor is my first patient, and my first experience of receiving the trust of others as a medical professional.  The family of my donor has trusted me with their loved one, and has given me the chance to learn to help others.  The questions that have gone through my head through the past month are questions that a doctor may ask their patient, and I treat my donor with professionalism and respect.  My donor truly is my first patient.  I am not sure that I can ever return the gift of knowledge and trust that my donor and their family have given to me.  As I continue with class, I know I will learn more and more about anatomy, and I will do my best to return this gift through using this knowledge for a lifetime.  I speak for all students when I say thank you to all of the donors and their families.

The Joys of Flextime

Hi everyone! My name is Megan and I am an M1 from the Chicago-land Area.  I just graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014 with a double major in Biology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.  It’s unbelievable to think that I moved to Ann Arbor a month ago! Coming to a new school and town, I had a lot to learn!  This first month was a great time to get to know the in’s and out’s of  medical school, but more importantly about Ann Arbor and the incredible experiences my classmates are bringing with them to our class.

My Scavenger Hunt Team's Block M on the Law Quad During Orientation

With Orientation well over, we have all enjoyed our first block of medical school: Patients and Populations.  Combining medical decision-making, pathology, and genetics, our classes have been very interesting.  At Michigan, no two days are alike, which I really enjoy.  We learned about the signs of cell damage and repair one day and the ethics of genetic testing the next.  Beyond lecture, we have small group sessions, which have helped my class get to know each other while working through the material.  We have also had the opportunity to hear from patients with diseases that relate to our area of study.  Being able to see the concepts from molecular basis to the patient experience all in one month has definitely helped me learn.

The best part of class so far is flextime quizzing and testing.  I have definitely taken advantage of sitting for my exams early and enjoying relaxing weekends.  A few weeks ago, I was able to try some of Ann Arbor’s multiple restaurants and take a trip to Detroit.  I went so Sava’s, Frita Batido’s, and Zingerman’s (among many other food destinations), and got the chance to really walk around Ann Arbor’s many independent bookstores, shops, and venues.  There really is always something to do in Ann Arbor! We also took a short drive to Detroit to check out the metropolitan area, which has its own fair share of art galleries, museums, and other larger events.  Last weekend, I decided to take my quiz on Saturday morning and then walked to the Ann Arbor Farmer’s market.  The annual Saturday event has wonderful produce, treats, and goods that make it just fun to walk around.  This week, I took my test and headed to St. Louis for the weekend to visit my boyfriend and friends from college.  Flextime is a great way to test when you feel prepared and plan out your weeks!

Ann Arbor Farmer's Market! Photo from:

Beyond the classroom, we just had our activities fair, which allowed us to begin getting involved in the wide variety of student groups available at Michigan.  The wide variety of student groups and opportunities was a large reason I chose to come to Michigan.  I am looking forward to getting involved in a few groups including OutMD, Medical Students for Choice, and some of the medical specialty interest groups.  Beyond student groups, I am hoping to get involved in research that will merge my two majors in college.  I actually ran into an Infectious Disease physician (an area of medicine that I am currently interested in) by chance near the medical school, and we are meeting in a few weeks to discuss my research interests and faculty that may match them!  Michigan Medical School faculty are very approachable and interested in helping students beyond lecture.   I am excited to see where the activities I signed up for and the meeting with the faculty member takes me- I will keep you all posted!