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I think it can go without saying that it’s been a while since my last post. I promise that it has been a very busy time in the life of every M4. Since the last time I wrote, I completed several rotations, submitted my application for residency, and started interviewing!

Surprise Motley Crew reunion at the med school. I’m so grateful for these ladies!

The last time I wrote, I was on my ICU sub-internship. After that rotation, I spent most of July as a staff counselor of Camp Bold Eagle, the summer camp of the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan. Camp Bold Eagle was amazing! I was a counselor and was able to spend the summer helping kiddos with bleeding disorders have a really fun summer camp experience. Even though interventions for hemophilia and von Willebrand’s disease have made huge leaps, it can be incredibly scary to live life knowing that you can have bleeds that can be life-threatening or damaging to joints. The goals of Camp Bold Eagle include giving kids with bleeding disorders a chance to just be kids at summer camp and also teaching campers how to transfuse their clotting factor, which is a huge step toward independence.

On the last night of each camp session, the campers who learn to successfully transfuse their factor are given the Butterfly Award, and it is a huge deal. Every year, Michigan medical students go to the camp to act as cabin counselors and also to learn a bit about providing first aid in a non-traditional setting. For the first time in my life (and probably only time), I provided boat-side first aid (while treading water in the middle of a lake, no less). There were two week-long sessions, and I spent one week with 6-7 year old boys and the second week with 11 year old girls. The weeks were very different experiences, and I loved them both.

Part of camp involves learning how to self-infuse factor. Counselors have the chance to learn how to self-infuse saline. It may have taken a couple tries…

In August, I was back in Ann Arbor for my General Medicine sub-internship. I had a really amazing experience. I loved the team of residents, and I saw a really good spread of medicine during the month. I also had a unique experience in that many of the “difficult” patients on our team happened to be a part of my census. Through my interactions with these patients, I learned how mental health can significantly affect health delivery and perception of patients, as well as how to have difficult end-of-life discussions. Overall, I had a really fantastic experience.

September brought my pediatric rheumatology rotation. I learned how to do a really good musculoskeletal exam, and I found rheum pathology really interesting. Peds rheum was really enjoyable and satisfying because many of the rheum diseases that affect kids can be medically managed with few lasting effects as compared to years ago when treatments were much less adequate. My next rotation was infectious disease, and I had a great time. I saw some really interesting cases, and I learned a lot about antibiotics and antibiotic stewardship. There is a lot of public health intertwined in infectious disease, so I had a fun time reaching back into my public health roots.

Definitely not the worst view to wake up to. One of the fun camp events was Polar Bear, where we ran into the cold lake every morning and dunked our heads under the water. Campers and counselors who participated every day were members of the Polar Bear Club (ahem, proud member).

September also brought the submission of ERAS, our residency application. Sometime over the summer, I decided on my specialty, and it turns out that my gut feeling was right all along. As soon as I stopped fighting myself, I knew that I had found the specialty that was perfect for me. When I met the residents on various rotations, I knew that I had found my people.

I had my first few interviews this week, and I’m so excited to see what this interview season holds for me. I’ll be checking in periodically from the trail, and I’m sure that I’ll be sharing my adventures. I know that there will be a lot of driving and flying involved, and I’m guessing that also means somehow learning how to pack light over the next couple months (still a work in progress).

Until next time, thanks for reading! I know I’m enjoying the fall weather and football season, and I hope that you are too!

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.