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Volume 1, Issue 1: Hello World!


Hi, everybody! I’m Sean, one of the M4s on a dual degree track here at UMMS, and I’m excited to be joining the Dose of Reality blog this year.  I hope to use this space to share some of my journey with you and to answer any questions you have about applying to medical school, life as a medical student, and the amazing opportunities here at the University of Michigan.  I would really like this to be an interactive experience with all you readers out there, so please comment below!!!  I’ll either get back to you directly in the comments section or address your question in a subsequent post.

History Lesson

First, I’ll tell you a little bit about myself.  I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and attended Harvard for undergrad, where I studied chemistry and computer science.  From there, I came straight through to Ann Arbor for medical school.  During my first few years here, I fell in love with Dermatology (plenty more on that in the future) and will be applying for a residency position next year.  But wait, Sean, you’re already an M4. Shouldn’t you be applying now? Well, in planning my future career during my early years of medical school, I had decided that I wanted to be in a situation where I could practice clinical medicine as well as have a career in clinical research.  However, as it turns out, medical school is a rather busy time, and it’s very difficult to simultaneously build up a new skill set in clinical research while learning clinical medicine.  Fortunately, we had a lot of exposure to the many options for pursuing other interests here at Michigan including applying for a dual degree program, and I found the perfect program for me: the Master of Science in Clinical Research (MSCR) Program run by the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research and hosted by the Department of Epidemiology at the U-M School of Public Health.

Memorable Moment in Michigan (MMM)

MSCR Class of 2015

That brings me to this post’s Memorable Moment in Michigan! A couple of weeks ago I had my orientation for the MSCR program.  It was a pretty drastic but welcome change of pace coming off the first few months of my M4 year, which included a sub-internship in cardiology, a role that is designed to prepare you for the responsibilities of a first year resident.  The School of Public Health is definitely a new place for me, but at the same time Ann Arbor has become my home over the past three and a half years, so there’s not too many butterflies but rather just excitement to be starting this new phase of my time here at U-M.  For now, my schedule this fall includes taking classes in biostatistics, epidemiology, SAS statistical programming, and SQL research databases, as well as spending time working on a few clinical research projects in Dermatology.

Be a Doctor! (BAD) Question

It’s time for you to Be a Doctor! Prior to coming to medical school, I didn’t really have a great idea of how I was going to get to the end point of becoming a doctor.  I knew there was going to be a lot of studying, but I didn’t know what types of questions were going to be asked.  So, I’m here to give you a little taste of what it’s like to be a doctor. (Well, I guess this is more like what it’s like to be a doctor in training but that didn’t have as cool of an acronym.) Anyway, since we were talking about my sub-I in the MMM, this post’s question will be a cardiology question.  Please leave your answer in the comments below, and I’ll reveal the correct answer in the next post! (Winners may get a prize!…like a shout out in the next post… What? You thought I had funding for this post? Hmm…maybe I’ll get a sponsor if this gets popular enough. Comment away!! )

Question: A 65-year-old obese man with a past medical history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol presents to the emergency department with chest pain for four hours.  He says the pain started while he was moving boxes at his new house. He says the pain is actually more of a pressure than a pain.  It’s located in the center of chest, and he says, “It feels like an elephant is sitting on my chest!” It radiates out towards his left arm.  It has been constantly present since it started. You notice that he is sweating profusely.  What is this patient’s most likely diagnosis?  (Bonus: Can you name a test or study that would help you confirm his diagnosis?)

That’s all for now!

‘til next time,