Phew! The interview season has been quite a whirlwind! I’m just finally catching my breath. 19 interviews in 3 months has made for a VERY busy few interview season, but it wouldn’t have been possible without all my wonderful friends throughout the country who offered me their couches, rides to the airport, dinner, and even ironed my suit when it was deigned too wrinkly to be worn. Now we begin the process of ranking programs and then we sit tight till Match Day.
In the world outside of medical school, a lot of other things have been happening. We experienced a polar vortex here in Michigan… and when temperatures dropped below freezing, many people (including my parents) woke up to burst pipes and a waterfall gushing into our living room. Fortunately we were home so we were able to limit the damage, but it was a reminder that sometimes, despite our best efforts, nature trumps us all!
This month, in addition to traveling for interviews, I’m student teaching a course on Global Health at Harvard Medical School for first and second year students. I got a chance to take the course last year while I was doing my MPH at Harvard and it was such a wonderful experience I decided to go back. The course was a really pivotal moment in my training because it focused on applying clinical knowledge to under-resourced settings. It was really cool to think about how to take the intense clinical guidelines and algorithms I had learned during 3rd and 4th year and think about how I would change them and still care for my patients if I didn’t have all the resources of a large university hospital. I realized during that course that I wanted my career to focus on practicing in an underserved setting. I’m really excited to be able to go back and offer guidance as a student teacher.
Another thing I’m really excited about is that I have the opportunity to give a student lecture. I decided to talk about my experience this summer in Haiti and focus on the pathways of aid after the earthquake. As we were making the guest lecturer schedule, I realized one of the guest speakers in the course is Dr. Kobel, who I learned about during my rotation in Haiti and is famous for leading humanitarian efforts after the earthquake. I’m thrilled to have him be part of our course and to finally meet him!
For the next month I’ll be based in Boston, working on things for the course and finally making headway on a bunch of research projects that I’ve been slowly working on for the past year and of course, looking forward to the match! Will keep you updated in the meantime! If anybody has any questions about pursuing dual degrees, getting an MPH, global health, living in Boston, or how to manage burst pipes, send them my way ☺
My apologies for the long delay after my last post: I’ve been sitting on lots of ideas to blog about and just haven’t had the time to write because interview season has been such a whirlwind! I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of really cool people. One of the best things about interview season is the opportunity to see how different hospitals do things within your specialty. One thing this has impressed upon me is how incredibly privileged we are as students at Michigan to be such a huge regional referral center; even as students, we literally get to see EVERYTHING. It’s been really interesting traveling to different cities and understanding how different hospital systems co-exist within the same city and have to learn to share resources and communicate to help patients navigate all the different systems.
In other exciting news, 4th year is an excellent time to do all the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time to actually follow up on. I’ve been lucky enough to schedule my interviews so that I can meet and visit with a lot of old friends from college (who are kind enough to put me up for a few nights and save me from really expensive hotels). It’s been wonderful to really spend time and catch up with people I haven’t seen in a long time. I’m about to spend the next few weeks on the east coast in some of my favorite cities, visiting my old haunts and stomping grounds which is also really nice.
Finally, I had an interesting revelation as I worked on a research project this week. I spent nearly a week trying to wrap my head around a difficult statistical problem. As I dug up my old stats notes from last year and still didn’t make any headway, I slowly realized that perhaps our original question didn’t quite make sense. An important statistical lesson for anybody planning a career in research/academic medicine; when trying to plan statistical analysis, ask yourself; what exactly am I trying to calculate, why do I need to calculate it, and what variables need to be known in order to make that calculation. Simple, but very important!
I’ll have an upcoming guest post regarding my summer rotation in Haiti, as promised, soon!
More in the next few weeks!
I’m writing this post from a train on the way from Portland to Seattle. I just had dinner with a bunch of total strangers in the dining car and after we gazed at the bridges, waterfront and gorgeous rainbows, I returned to my sleeper car to curl up with a good book and watch the sunset from my window. Wait a minute… Isn’t this supposed to be a blog about medical school? At Michigan?
Actually my friends, it’s not that surreal. I’m a 4th year, just starting out my ‘M4-cation’ as they call it. It’s still busy with submitting ERAS and scheduling interviews, but compared to the past few years, it feels like I’ve got a LOT of free time. Before I start telling you how I’ve been filling my time, let me tell you a little about myself.
I’m an M4. Grew up in Michigan, left to go to college in the beautiful state of New Hampshire, hopped around NYC a bit and found my way back to Michigan for med school. After my first three years of med school, I decided I wanted to do an MPH so I headed off to Boston to spend a year at the Harvard School of Public Health. I would say that I’m a “non-traditional” student, but more and more students are taking time off during med school, and Michigan is INCREDIBLY supportive of this. In fact, there were 10 people in my class that headed off to Boston with me to pursue dual degrees in Business, Public Health and Public Policy. It was great to have a crew of Michigan folks to stay connected with while out east – but more about my awesome classmates later. Right now, I just submitted my ERAS applications for pediatrics AND finished my last major clinical rotation for months (Emergency Medicine at Beaumont). The rotation was a great way to see another hospital system and learn how things are done differently outside the University of Michigan – And now, because I did quite a few rotations before I left for Boston, I’m on vacation until January!
I started off by attending the wedding of two of my closest friends in Seattle. Then I zipped down to Portland to visit some more friends and go on long, wonderful hikes. On my way back, I took the Coast Starlight from Portland to Seattle. The views from the windows of this train are absolutely breathtaking. One day I’d love to take it all the way down the coast. If you’re traveling that way, the train is definitely the way to go. Next, I spent a night at the Green Tortoise Hostel in Seattle. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it; cheap, clean, and situated in the heart of Pike’s Marketplace and just steps from the world’s very first Starbucks! I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest before but I think I was most impressed by the natural beauty all around me. I hope I get to go back.
Now I’m back in Michigan, getting ready for interview season and starting work on an internship with an organization I started working with a few months ago as part of a rotation in Haiti. I’ll be editing and organizing curriculum content in French and English; and I’m pretty excited that I get to keep working with an organization that I loved. One of the great things about M4 year at Michigan is the incredible flexibility in the curriculum. I’ve already gotten to do so many incredible things; travel to Haiti, a child abuse elective, Emergency medicine; and it’s only October! More about my adventures from the past few months soon!