Happy New Year! It’s 2017, and the M2s are quickly wrapping up with our preclinical curriculum. In six weeks, we will bid goodbye to the lecture halls and anatomy labs for good, don our short white coats, and step into the hospital. I can’t wait! Between now and then, we have a two-week Hematology/Oncology unit (our last unit of new material!), a two-week review period, and a two-week vacation. The vacation is a particularly nice and unexpected gift; it will be wonderful to take a break to relax and fill our sleep reserves before hitting the wards.
Our clinical rotations (these are traditionally done during the M3 year, but we’re getting a head start due to Michigan’s updated curriculum) include blocks spent working with Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Neurology, and Psychiatry. We’ll be working in clinic six days a week, though the specific hours will vary depending on which service we are with. I’ve been told I’ll be very busy, but that I’ll also feel more engaged and enjoy clinic more than lectures. Hopefully it works out that way! I start on Pediatrics, and I’m excited to simply dive in and see what working in the hospital and clinics is all about. That, after all, is what I came to medical school to do! Most of my classmates feel the same way: somewhat nervous since there are so many unknowns about working on the wards, but also excited to get started. As much as we’ve learned thus far, I know we’ll learn even more during our clinical time, adding real life experience to what we’ve memorized from our text books and lectures.
Last week we had a short Rheumatology unit, in which we learned about autoimmune conditions affecting the joints. Now that we are reaching the end of our preclinical material, a lot of this unit was review of concepts we’ve seen before. It was nice to see things a second time; while I definitely needed the review, things were a bit easier to remember this time around.
I managed to take the test on Friday (we have from Friday afternoon until Sunday night to take our weekly quizzes or exams), which meant I had an entire weekend to enjoy! My free days allowed me to take full advantage of some of Ann Arbor’s many great things to do. On Saturday I went to a movie at the beautiful historic Michigan Theater and had coffee downtown with my parents. Sunday was very cold but beautifully sunny, so I bundled up and went for a run by the Huron River – one of my favorite things to do here whether winter or summer! I spent the afternoon at the UM Matthaei Botanical Gardens, enjoying the warm steamy air and many-colored plants, and finished up the weekend with a game night featuring Settlers of Catan. School keeps me busy, so I always appreciate free time and try to make the most of it.
Stay warm out there!
Kate is a third-year medical student at University of Michigan Medical School. She is passionate about women’s health, reproductive justice, and finding the humanities in medicine. When not in the hospital, you’ll probably find her running along the Huron River or puzzling over the NYTimes Sunday crossword.