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Now that we’ve reached our two weeks of vacation for the holidays, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in the last 4.5 months! In some ways, it seems like just yesterday our class sat down for the “Intro to M2 Year” lecture at 8am. And yet, the prodigious amount of information that has since been shoved into my brain (and which is hopefully still rattling around in there) is awe-inspiring.

The material is fascinating, as we begin to see how things fit together, both to cause a disease and then to treat it. While the thought of Step 1 looming in the background is still enough to make me want to hide my head under a pillow, the breadth of knowledge we are expected to know is becoming more of an obtainable goal.

We are also starting to look forward more to the M3 year, especially after an introductory session in the week following Thanksgiving. A few of my MSTP classmates and I have decided to “split” the M3 year, where we will complete 2-3 months of clinical rotations before returning to the lab. For example, I will be doing two months of Surgery followed by one month of Family Medicine. The oddest thing about the introductory seminar was seeing the MSTPs who are returning to the wards after finishing their PhDs. Talk about a time warp as they met their new classmates.

To kick off the vacation, I attended the Department of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics holiday party this past Friday. The DCM&B will be my new (and old) home next year when I start the PhD phase of the MSTP program. The chair of the department decorates his office in a Grinch theme each year, complete with footprints trailing down the hall.

Hope everyone has a great holiday!

Sara is a fourth-year medical student at UMMS. When not in the hospital, she can usually be found on the golf course or at a Michigan sporting event cheering on the Wolverines.