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It’s hard to believe that we now have less than two weeks before we finish our last M3 required rotation. On one hand, it seemed like that the clerkships have been flying by, but it’s also hard to imagine a time without the clinical knowledge I have amassed. Nevertheless, I’m very happy to be coming to the end of my M3 year. I have learned and grown so much, but I am looking forward to greater flexibility in my schedule and electives during M4 year.

March and April are still technically part of M3 year, where we partake in career electives before officially being considered M4s. We assembled our schedule for that back in November/December; now we’re working on scheduling the rest of our M4 year. Our current system allows us to select one class at a time for your top two choices in a similar system to the NFL draft. Then, after everyone has selected each of those individually, there will be an open enrollment period for choosing the remainder of our schedule. Picking our new classes definitely makes us excited (and a little apprehensive) about the year ahead. That means it’s time to start getting ready to apply for residency (*shudders*).

Right now, we’re still in the transition between curricula, so our system for core clerkships/M4 electives will not apply to future classes. The core clerkships will transition to M2 year, freeing up more time for career electives and M4 experiences as part of the Branches. I’m excited for the chance to have more elective time, especially since I plan to apply in Family Medicine. With my upcoming schedule, I will hopefully have time to explore complimentary fields that will prove valuable in my future practice. Like Dermatology, where I can learn to recognize the scary rashes vs the not-so-scary rashes and how to best manage them.

After our last shelf of M3 year at the end of next week, we’ll have two weeks of Intersession, including taking the M4 CCA (Comprehensive Clinical Assessment), UMMS’s version of USMLE Step 2 CS.

Around this time, the current M2s will also be entering the wards for the first time, beginning their “M3” core rotations. It’s definitely quite a ride, but an incredibly enjoyable one. Good luck to them!

Earlier this season, the Michigan Marching Band performed on the court during halftime at a Michigan Men’s Basketball game. Including the drum major performing a back bend!

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.