Although not particularly harsh, winter was long this year; it was still snowing during the first week of May! In April, when we had our first real warm spell, I eagerly (read: foolishly) switched out all my storm windows and doors for their screen counterparts. Perhaps subconsciously I was determined that acting as though it were spring would make it so. More snow came after that, despite my plans, but now I think we have skipped right past spring and moved on to summer…it’s sunny, hot, and beautiful. The birds outside my window tend to wake me up around 5am, but I can’t even muster any annoyance because I’m so happy that my flowers are blooming and summer is near (or maybe here). I haven’t yet planted the tomatoes and basil, but our backyard flowers are in full bloom.
The change in weather corresponded with the end of an intense and fascinating med school sequence: infectious disease (ID). The pace of classes and labs changed with this sequence, partly because every morning we had required small groups. Many people who had previously been “streamers” (myself included) started going to class again. Since the lecture material from each morning was relevant to the small groups that were immediately following, it would have been difficult to keep up if you weren’t in class most days. After the first week of adjustment, I fell into a good rhythm of getting up early, running in the Arb, changing and breakfasting, and being in class by 8am. In many ways, the ID sequence was the most clinically relevant we’ve had thus far. Almost everything we learned was directly related to an illness or treatment, so I was delighted when specific details we’d recently studied came up when I was shadowing and practicing standardized patient interviews. In the hospital, I heard doctors discussing which two-drug regimen to use to treat enterococcal endocarditis, a particularly difficult bacterial infection of the heart valves. The next week, while I was taking a complete health history from a standardized patient, I was asked about the contraindications for vaccines I had studied the day before! It feels good when it all starts to come together.
After the fifth and final week of ID, I think we all felt ready to spend time outdoors, catch up on sleep, and catch up with friends. We also did our spring performing arts show, Biorhythms. It’s a smaller production than the fall version, since it’s almost exclusively M1s, but we still had a fantastic time. I was in a dance choreographed by a friend in honor of her previous mentor, and my favorite pieces to watch were the flag dance and the Auscultations a cappella performance. (The photos below are courtesy of my classmate Mike Kemp, who co-founded the Shutterbug Photography Club this year.) Biorhythms reminds me of one of the greatest things about med school: you get to see your friends in class, in lab, in the hospital, in the park, on the stage, and backstage. In less than a year, it’s amazing how close we’ve become.