Select Page

Since mid-September, I’ve been trekking to the medical school on Mondays and Wednesdays for my Medicine in Spanish elective (since I stream lectures from home, I don’t tend to go to the med school buildings unless required). Although the weather has made the trek itself a bit less enjoyable, the classes themselves were always fun and I learned a lot.

We finished the elective recently, and, while I’m happy to not have to leave the warmth of my apartment as often, I already miss seeing my friends and speaking Spanish as often.

It’s amazing to realize how far my Spanish has come since September. Then, my Spanish was fairly rudimentary and peppered with French words when I couldn’t remember the Spanish one. Lately, I’ve started having more difficulties speaking true French, because my brain keeps wanting to substitute the Spanish ones I’d been using more recently. Oops.

During the same week we took our CCA (Comprehensive Clinical Assessment), I had another Standardized Patient Interaction (SPI) encounter. But this time, it was all in Spanish as I took a patient’s history. This capstone of the Medicine in Spanish history really shows us how far we’ve come.

Now that we’ve finished the elective, there are a few other options for us to continue practicing. One is the Advanced/Native discussion group, which meets periodically to discuss cases (including diagnosis and treatment plans) in Spanish with other faculty members. Another is the M4 elective in Medical Spanish, where students can round on Spanish-speaking patients in the hospital. I’m looking forward to participating in both activities in the future.

Although I’m sad that the elective is over, I’m also grateful for the extra time I now have to study. We just finished the GI sequence – a lot of material for 2.5 weeks. We only have another two sequences before our dedicated study period for Step 1, so anxiety is starting to ramp up.

In the meantime, I’m enjoying the beauty of the season (despite the frigid temperatures).

My window froze in this beautiful pattern

In Brighton, one family built a giant teddy bear snowman

I’ve been studying too much GI – my first thought was that the ice looked like a gastric ulcer!

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.