March 2014 has probably been one of the most eventful and memorable months of my life. I’m not sure I can recall every amazing thing that happened, but I can definitely try.
The first weekend of March was actually kind of calm. I was just finishing off my ER shifts at Hurley Hospital, located in Flint, MI (yes, the murder capital of America). It was a great experience.
The second weekend of March was the Smoker and the Galens Centennial (check out Galens, its one of the oldes honor societies at UMMS). It was an absolutely incredible show. The talent in the University of Michigan Medical School never ceases to amaze me. Plus the Stud Dance was amazing (unfortunately I’ve gained back much of the weight since it happened). Even more amazing was the after party. The Smoker After Party is always incredible, but I think this was the best one ever (it might have something to do with the fact that I helped to plan it). We stayed up until 7am, we had ice luges, photo booths, DJs, corn hole, N64, etc. etc.
The following week on Monday, March 17th, at 12pm, every senior medical student applying to residencies got an email with the subject line “Did I Match?” It turns out, every single M4 at Michigan matched. It was an absolute relief. I got the email as I was teaching some undergrads anatomy as part of my job as a TA. The rest of the week is just a blur. Waiting for Friday, March 21st seemed impossible. But, with the information that I would in fact have the chance to train to be an Orthopedic Surgeon someday, it was more of an excited feeling rather than a nervous or frightened one. That envelope would tell me where I’d be for the next five years (anywhere from New Haven to Los Angeles) and I had absolutely no idea.
Turns out, I’m taking my talents (or lack thereof) to Baltimore to train at University of Maryland (Go Terps!)! Its really exciting news and in terms of trauma training, there really is no better option. Seeing all my classmates finally realizing the fruits of their labor was an incredible experience in and of itself. I’m very glad to have had the chance to share this moment with my blood-bound family and my medical school family. Following the excitement of Match Day, we had an incredible Match Day party. And the day after, a lot of the guys from the class went to a Matchelor Party at the MGM Grand in Detroit and had ourselves a grand ol’ time.
This week, the real March Madness took an insane turn. It’s always such a blast watching Michigan play. That last second 3-pointer by Kentucky was an absolute heart breaker, but always Go Blue!
Forever Go Blue
Oh and I leave for India for month to do a “rotation” in Surgery and see some family. So I’ll have to let you guys know all about the trip when I get back! M4 year has been one big party, makes me wish it would go on forever.
It really is hard to grasp, I cannot believe that in two months, my time at UMMS will come to end. It’s incredibly exciting, but with moments of anxiety and sadness too of course. It really has been an incredible adventure and I can hardly wait to see how these next two months shape up.
Some things I’ve been up to/things that are coming up:
- Finished interviewing, definitely a relief.
- Started my ER rotation in Flint (murder capital USA). It has been an awesome experience. It’s my first real rotation in almost 4mo, so re-establishing differentials and physical exam skills was challenging at first, but definitely came back quickly.
- The M4 class won its FOURTH STRAIGHT Intramural Water Polo Championship. The victory was made even sweeter by the fact that we beat the M2 class.
- All the M4s submitted a rank list. Took a lot of thinking and analyzing for everyone, but once it’s in, it’s in and the it’s all up to the Match Gods.
- The SMOKER is next weekend. Its our huge musical parody roast of the faculty/staff. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend coming to see it! Buy tickets at www.galenssmoker.org. Its going to be amazing.
- Match Day just under a month away. Every single M4 will find out where they spend the next 3-7 years training. (The urologists, ophthalmologists, and Armed Forces folks already know and its been a great start for this M4 class!)
- I’m going to India for a month to do a rotation in New Delhi in April.
- Medical School graduation is on 5/16. I’m going to be sad to see many of these awesome people leave.
- My roommate and prior blog contributor (Tyler Ladue) gets married at the end of May.
- Residency begins in the end of June.
SO much coming up. I’ll be sure to keep you posted. Check out the Smoker!
Is pretty sweet. Seriously, its amazing how good you can get at spending time doing things outside of studying/clinical duties. I’ve been on vacation since November (well technically November was an online course, but with only 4-6hrs of weekly committment). This extended vacation time is another reason Michigan rocks.
Some things I’ve been doing: sleeping, rock climbing, football games (lets not even talk about Michigan Football), yoga (its actually really hard), working out, cooking, vacationing, and oh yeah…interviewing. The main reason we get this “vacation” is for interviews. It has been a blast to travel across the country and to learn about the various programs I could be spending the next five years of life at. But, its also extremely expensive and tiring. Good thing for all that time off huh?!? I’m in my final stretch of interviews and also on my final month of vacation and before we know it, Match Day will be here. A lot of my classmates are already gearing up for match day because they are going into either Urology or Ophthalmology, they have T-2.5wks left!
Over the last couple of weeks, I spent a ton of quality time at home. Even though Troy is just an hour away from he, I haven’t had the chance to be at home for a long period over the last couple of years. Christmas was great. I went on a cruise to the Bahamas with my family after. Then I spent NYE in Dallas with my best buds.
Now I’m back in the midst of the Snowmageddon. Grocery aisles have literally been wiped out. Personally, I don’t get it, we’ve gotten much more snow in Michigan before. I’ve also been shoveling a ton of snow and praying on every drive that my little Honda Civic can power its way through snow banks. Otherwise, as always, I’m excited to be in Ann Arbor. Most of my classmates and pals are going to be coming back from their vacations/interviews. And we have a lot of thrilling stuff to look forward to!
Thanks for reading and stay warm out there!
My two “views” over the last week:
Winterfell (aka Ann Arbor seen through my Window)
Hey loyal fans,
Finally, the time you’ve all been waiting for has arrived. This is an incredible surprise for all of you, call it a pre-Thanksgiving desert. Something that’ll keep you going until mom and dad get you that PS4 or brand new Michael Kors purse you’ve been wanting.
Two of the coolest dudes I’ve had the pleasure to know, Tyler Lawrence Ladue and William David Scheidler, have written their pieces for this blog. I’ve lived with them for the last three years and we’ve pretty much done everything from surviving third year of med school to listening to Taylor Swift in an empty parking lot. Anyways, I’ll be back in a few week, but until then, enjoy reading about what these two have been up to!
Greetings, Arun fans!
I apologize that it’s been so long since Arun blogged last. He asked me to write a guest blog post about a month ago (okay, maybe two months ago) and I have been really slow to get that done. Now that I have had about 24 hours to recover from Michigan’s third loss in four weeks, I am ready to entertain you fine people… Arun’s readers.
A little bit about me: I’m Tyler. I’m originally from Tempe, AZ and I did my undergrad at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Go ‘Lopes! I came to Michigan for medical school in 2010 and I’m going into family medicine.
Arun has been writing quite a bit about his fourth year, so I guess I’ll do the same.
First off, when I finished M3 year (woot!) I went on a road trip with my brother and two of my classmates. One of the really nice things about our clinical calendar is that we get a whole week off between M3 and M4 year. We used this week to drive from Ann Arbor to Toronto, then on to Montreal, down to Burlington, VT, and finally back to Ann Arbor. We had a blast watching a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre, trying (unsuccessfully) to speak French in Montreal, and my brother and I even had a chance to see some family in Vermont.
Tyler's Brother (Graphic Designer), Zach Koloff (M4), Tyler, Joe Nakhleh (M4)
After the road trip was over, I returned home to Ann Arbor for my ICU month, which I spent in the MICU at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. It was a bit of a rude awakening being on an intense ICU service after a weeklong vacation, but it was also a great learning experience. Since it was my first ICU experience, the learning curve was pretty steep and I had to read a few landmark critical care studies to get up to speed. Thankfully, I had a fantastic team from my attending physicians and fellows all the way down to my co-subintern. I even had time to catch a Tigers game on one of my days off!
Next, I did a dermatology rotation! Lots of skin exams, lots of biopsies, and much more laid back than an ICU rotation. Even so, I learned quite a bit about something I’ll see all the time in family medicine. I think this picture sums up my month of dermatology:
After dermatology, I used my vacation month. I took Step 2 CK early on in my month and then went to California to see two good friends from college get married. The day after the wedding, my girlfriend and I got engaged! Then we came back to Michigan and enjoyed the rest of my vacation month. We even had time for a trip to Traverse City. If you have never been to Traverse City before, go! It really is beautiful and there is so much to do.
Sadly, my vacation had to come to an end. Luckily, I came back to my second subinternship – this one with the department of family medicine at Chelsea Community Hospital. It was a fantastic experience and one that gave me the opportunity to see what medicine is like at a small community hospital as opposed to a big academic center like Michigan. That’s one of the great things about M4 year: you have the freedom to experience things that you may not have seen during M3 year. Pictured below: deer about 30 feet from the main entrance to Chelsea Community Hospital.
As an example of something really cool you can do at Michigan as an M4, my next month was spent on a nonclinical elective with Dr. Howard Markel called “History in Medicine”. The coolest thing about this class… you can study whatever you want! Dr. Markel is a pediatrician by training but he also has a PhD in history. His background is in epidemiology and immigrant health, but as long as you and Dr. Markel develop a good reading list, you can study pretty much anything. I studied the Cholera and Typhus epidemics in New York in 1892 as well as the Bubonic Plague epidemic in Los Angeles in 1924 for comparison. We met once weekly to discuss history and I wrote a paper at the end of the month.
Ever since, I’ve been doing some traveling (for interviews and otherwise) and enjoying M4 year. I’ve been able to stay pretty busy by working as a TA for the undergraduate anatomy course, writing for the Smoker, and tailgating for Michigan football games.
Tyler, Cali Harbaugh (M4), Dave Seo (M4)
My schedule is a bit backloaded as I still have emergency medicine and two other clinical electives to complete. One of those is a rotation in April with Indian Health Service on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Whiteriver, AZ.
Well, there you have it. That’s my M4 year so far. I hope you enjoyed reading about it.
Along with Tyler, I have to echo my apologies for Arun’s blogging tardiness. He asked us to appear as “special guests” a while back, and in the craziness of residency interviews, we didn’t deliver all too quickly. Sorry guys and gals. Seeing as though you’ve made it this far; however, I might as well introduce myself. My name is Bill. I’m a fellow 4th year medical student who happens to live with Arun and Tyler in a big, beautifully home in the middle of residential Ann Arbor.
We moved here in August of this year. Given the fact that we have the whole house to ourselves, it’s a steal…gotta love Ann Arbor real estate! Plus, we have a lawn that specializes in tailgates and evening bonfires! Check it out!
As for me, I’m originally from Carmel, IN and went to Wash. U. for undergrad. I eventually made my way to Michigan for medical school and will be going into Psychiatry. Seeing as though the theme of this blog has been our 4th years, I’ll do my best to tell my story.
First off, 4th year is the best. It seems like every year we get more responsibility and more work thrown on our shoulder, but I’ve always felt prepared to handle the load, and find myself enjoying coming closer and closer to becoming a physician.
As Tyler mentioned, I love the fact that here at Michigan we get a week off between M3 and M4 year. I spent mine with my brother going on a brewery tour of Michigan. We hit New Holland, Bell’s, and Arcadia Ale. If you’re a craft beer fan (which I am), Michigan is the place for you. With awesome breweries around the state and even around town, you can’t go wrong!
Here is a picture of my brother and I at New Holland admiring Dragon’s Milk, a stout aged in bourbon barrels!
Bill and Bill's Brother (Consultant in Chicago)
After the break, I had some work to do. Unsure whether I wanted to pursue Family Medicine or Psychiatry, I decided to try a month of each to figure things out. I really loved this unique part of Michigan schedule. We start M3 year earlier than anywhere else, but as a result, we also start M4 year earlier and get plenty of time to try specialties out for size.
While I loved both my month working with adolescents on the inpatient psych unit and through family medicine at a local underserved clinic for teens, I ultimately chose Psychiatry. I can’t speak highly enough for the faculty in both specialties (and across the board, really) for being so supportive of my education and ultimately my decision. In the end, it was a difficult choice, but I couldn’t be happier.
After those investigatory rotations, it was time for a month off for rest, relaxation, and Step 2 CK. I took mine later in the month than Tyler, but book-ended my month with July 4th at my grandparent’s lake house in Kalamazoo, and then more lake time at my dad’s cottage in southern Indiana with friends from college. It was great having the flexibility to plan my schedule just the way I wanted and not feel rushed to study for Step 2. All in all, it was a fantastic month I wouldn’t have spent any other way.
Here is a picture of my buddies and I down by the lake!
An Indiana Summer
But soon enough I was back to the grind, fulfilling my ICU and sub-internship (basically acting as a first year resident or intern) requirements in the Coronary Care Unit and the VA general medicine floor. These two months were the most difficult of my medical school career, but also some of the most fulfilling, especially at the VA. There, I was able to act as an intern: working up patients, coming up with a treatment plan, ordering their tests and medications, and following their progress. I felt ready from my M3 training to take on that responsibility and was trusted enough by my superiors to act pretty much independently. As a result, I feel just about as ready as I can be to tackle intern year in a few short months.
Here is a picture of my team from the VA. What a lovely bunch!
M3s and Bill
While it was a admittedly a busy few months, I did manage to have some fun. I was able to fit in a couple rounds of golf, a canoe trip or two, a beer festival in Detroit, and even make the Michigan vs. Notre Dame night game with my brother, a poor ND grad. It turned out to be a great evening for everybody but him!
Under the Lights (What a good sport!)
That brings me to the present. I’m now on the interview trail and have been all over the country this past month or so. It’s been great so far and I can’t help but smile every time I hear affectionately, “so you’re the applicant from Michigan, huh?” I used to be pretty skeptical about just how well the Michigan name travels, but after my experiences so far, I’m a believer.
In the end, I wish you folks the best with your journey into medicine and hope choose Michigan if it’s the right fit. Looking back over these four years, I can’t imagine myself training anywhere else.
Good luck, take care, and always Go Blue!
Tyler, Arun, Bill
Hey there everyone I know you’ve all waited in baited breath for this moment. First off all, I owe you guys an apology for skipping last month. I was doing a Sub-I at the University of Wisconsin on the Ortho-Trauma service. I’ve never worked more in my life (at least 85hrs a week with a 40hr shift each week). BUT, Madison was awesome. It’s a lot like Ann Arbor in terms of the culture and layout of the city. It’s the most bike friendly city I’ve ever been to, I biked 4mi to and from work everyday. I had some of the best cheese and beer I’ve ever had during this month (the rumors really are true). And top all of this off with plenty of healthy banter about Michigan (I’m still not sure why people in Wisconsin hate Michigan). I did have a chance to go to a UW football game there and as nice as Camp Randall was, it’s certainly no Big House.
I’ve been back for 1 week now and as always, there’s really no place like home. I’m on the cardiac surgery service which is my Sub-I/ICU month. Seeing some of the world’s best surgeons work their magic has been an incredible opportunity. Plus, given that the service is totally PA run, I’ve the chance to open and close most of the cases I’ve scrubbed into. This includes everything from the skin incision to the sternotomy (the only Ortho part of these cases) to wiring the sternum shut at the end.
Otherwise, Michigan football remains undefeated (a miracle of its own accord), all the M4s have submitter their residency applications and many are on their ways to interviews already.
The excitement never ends here at the good ‘ol University of Michigan Medical School.
Also, as a special treat, stay tuned for an incredible blog next week from two special guests.