A funny thing happened on the way to the wards…

It’s finally starting to sink in that I’m going back to medical school next year.  As much as I’ve been writing and thinking about it recently, it’s only just now occurred to me that I will be rejoining the current M2 class, a class of medical students who have been together since the first day of the their first year of medical school.  I will be the “new” girl who doesn’t know anyone, and who certainly didn’t take Step 1 two weeks ago, or even two years ago.

This really hit home when I was talking with a former student of mine who subsequently started medical school at Michigan.  She is a second year, and going through the normal joy of M2 coursework, wondering what scheduling clinical rotations will be like in a few months, and generally panicking about the process of learning clinical medicine.  I think that most M2s share a mixed bag of emotions that includes excitement at the prospect of finishing up with classroom-based learning, terror at the prospect of even a small amount of clinical responsibility, and nervousness about performing adequately as a third year student on the wards.  I’ve always sympathized with this predicament, even as I laughed to myself at my privileged position as onlooker who wouldn’t have to deal with this for quite some time.  Suddenly, however, it hit me that I was no longer to be an onlooker.

This realization was made all the more real when I ran into a friend from BGLAM, the student group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students at UMMS.  He is an M2 and was preparing to see a standardized patient on the morning that I ran into him.  At this point in my academic career, I feel a bit more like an advisor to my favorite student groups than a participant, even though I’m obviously still a student.  I drop in when I can, provide an…  historical (?) perspective.  However, as we rode toward school and discussed BGLAM and when we might next see each other, I realized that soon we would be classmates and I would be a “normal” BGLAM member again: a medical student educating and supporting other medical students.  So bizarre…

2 Responses to “A funny thing happened on the way to the wards…”

  1. kevin jamal kevin jamal says:

    Hi Andrea,
    Thnx for you very insightful writing. You are a perfect example that time should nnt limit ones pursiut of education. I’m a medical student in Kenya in M2 and i can vividly recall reading your very 1st blog when i was in 10th grade. It therefore strikes me as funny that you shall be joining M3 the same year i do. Anyway im sure there’s so much more you’ve learnt having spent 10 years + in university.

  2. aknittel aknittel says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Thanks so much for your comment! It makes me feel a little old that you were a high school student when I started med school and have caught up to me now, but I’ll have to start putting that behind me rather soon. :) Good luck as an M3!

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