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Happy fall and hello kidney (we’re in our renal sequence)! The school year was about to start when I last wrote, and I feel like it has been non-stop ever since. After finishing my summer research (temporarily), I took a quick vacation, and then headed back to Ann Arbor for school. The day before school started, my friends and I gathered for brunch to celebrate a birthday and to catch up before school started again. Many of my friends spent the summer abroad, so it was really great to hear their travel stories.

Sunday Brunch at the Gandy Dancer

The next day, we definitely hit the ground running with our cardiovascular sequence. I quickly noticed two things about the difference between M1 and M2 year. First, there is a lot more lecture M2 year. Second, the material is very different than M1 year in a good way. Last year, we learned normal systems, but this year, we’re learning what happens when things go wrong, and it’s a lot more interesting, in my opinion. We’re learning about how diseases affect the body and the drugs we use to treat them. We even got a quick intro to reading EKGs. I’m starting to feel a lot more like a medical student, but I’m also quickly realizing that there is so much that I still don’t know. It’s a process, though, and the knowledge acquisition will continue for the rest of my career.

It was a little hard to focus on cardio when I had spent the previous week in the sun

We clipped through cardio and moved onto respiratory and then to renal. I can’t believe that we’ve been here for almost seven weeks already. I’ve noticed that I’m a lot busier this year than last, but I still try to keep up with some of the things I care about. We have selected the new leadership team for the Student-Run Free Clinic, and we’re beginning to train them. I can’t believe that this time last year, I was just beginning my time at the clinic. Some of my most meaningful moments during medical school have occurred at clinic, so it’s difficult to see my time there coming to an end. Alas, that will be another post.

I’ve also been participating in the Clinical Reasoning Elective (CRE), an M2 elective that allows us to work in teams to do histories and physicals on patients in the Emergency Room or on the Internal Med service. Since my preceptor works in both settings, I’ve had an especially varied experience, and I have really enjoyed seeing how patients are treated acutely and more long-term. I also love having a small taste of what next year will be like, and I always leave the wards incredibly excited for what is to come.

In addition, two weekends ago, we had Fall Ball, and since some of my friends couldn’t make it last year, we decided to go again. It was fun to get dressed up and dance the night away at what we jokingly call Med School Prom.

Given that we don’t have a quiz this weekend (the occasional quiz-free weekend is one of the many perks of M2 year), I’ll be outside enjoying the suddenly slightly nippy fall weather. I’m thinking there may be hot apple cider in my future.

One more vacation picture because mountains and sunsets are my favorites

As always, thanks for reading! Until next time, here’s to fall!

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.