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It’s strange to think that only three weeks ago, we were beginning our first organ sequence. Now we’re in the last week. It has been amazing to learn how the heart, lungs, and circulatory systems work (it is fascinating to see how everything is so interconnected and how each lecture built upon the previous one). Not to mention that in the past few weeks in the anatomy lab, I’ve held a heart and lungs in my hands. We even had the chance to participate in the Cardiac Classics, in which patients with different heart conditions came in and allowed us to listen to their hearts so we would understand what murmurs, bruits, and other cardiac abnormalities sounded like. I think it suffices to say that cardiovascular/respiratory has been a wonderful experience thus far.

Several of my classmates and I were able to put our newfound knowledge of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to good use recently… through dancing and running.

A few weekends ago, we had Fall Ball, which is basically med school prom. We had a chance to get dressed up (many of the men even wore bow ties– super classy) and dance the night away. It was fantastic to see everyone looking so fancy and to watch people let loose on the dance floor (one of our Deans may or may not have stolen the show, but I won’t spoil that for future classes).

The first dance of Fall Ball. Yes, it's the Wobble. Photo credit to Grace.

During the same weekend, several M1s really had the chance to challenge our cardio/respiratory systems by running the Detroit Marathon or Half Marathon. I ran the international half marathon. The marathoners and half marathoners ran together for the first 13 miles, so six of us made the decision to run at a pace that allowed us all to stay together, and it was so much fun to run as a group. We experienced the sun rising over the Ambassador Bridge, Canadian humor (my favorite signs on the Canadian side said “You are NOT almost there!” and “My grandpa runs faster than you!”), and running an underwater mile (through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel). We also had our own built-in support system for when the run was rough and our legs (and heart and lungs) were tired. Even though we had to wake up at 3am, it was totally worth the experience, and I think we’ll all be running together again soon.

Race conquered! Time to show off the shiny hardware. Photo credit to Christine.

But in the meantime, we’ll be wrapping up cardio/respiratory this week and moving onto renal after that. Until then, thanks for reading and as always, Go Blue!

Angelica is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School. When she’s not on the wards, you can find her on a run around Ann Arbor or passionately discussing medicine and public health over tea.