University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, B.S. Neuroscience
From West Bloomfield, MI
What does your typical day of medical school look like?
8AM-Noon: Class and/or lab. Most classes M1/2 are optional attendance here. I generally tend to go, as it is nice to be able to interact with your classmates before and after class and to get to know your professors.
Afternoons: These vary a lot. Once a week we meet with our Learning Communities (12-13 students and a physician) to discuss cases we did as well as medical ethics. Once a week we have Clinical Skills. Sometimes we are assigned to shadow in other fields like Speech Therapy. Once every other week, each student goes to a doctor’s office to see patients-yes, we get to do this in our first and second years. This was my favorite part of the week! During the other afternoons I’d often be in the anatomy lab studying with friends, or working on something for my student organizations, or studying lecture material/working on assignments.
How do your classes and lectures compare to those at your undergraduate institution?
They are much more intense in that they cover more material, but the structure is the same (lecture-based). One of our blocks involved many more labs than the vast majority of my undergraduate classes.
How has your approach to learning and/or studying changed since you were an undergrad?
I use outside resources to reinforce lecture material. Seeing it in different ways helps solidify my grasp on it.
How would you describe the unique culture at your school? Are there special events or activities that you consider very representative of the culture at your institution? What influence has this culture had on your experience in medical school thus far?
We only have around 170 students in each class, which lets us get to know our classmates really well. I’ve liked that because being able to remain on friendly terms with many people helps a lot, especially given that you are all going through the same thing.
Can you give us a brief description of the area surrounding your school and the things you do for fun? What are some things you like and dislike about the city/town you are located in as a student?
The campus itself has a nice college town vibe. The downtown is very fancy, with nice restaurants, coffee shops, stores, etc. You can always find something to do downtown. After exams, we typically hang out at each others’ homes and do cookouts, or head downtown.
What resources have been most useful to you in self-learning medical school material or in expanding on material taught in class?
First Aid, Pathoma, and Sketchy-they really reinforce what was already covered in lecture
What seemed to be important topics or points of interest during your interviews? Were there particular aspects of your application that your interviewers focused or recurring themes between interviews?
This varies a lot by school, and for those interviews that are open-file, really depends on your application. I would say, regardless of where you are going, know your application really well, be ready to talk about it, especially causes you dedicated a lot of time or effort to.
What is one thing you would do differently if you could go back to your undergraduate years or the time between undergrad and medical school?
I would have studied abroad. I love traveling, and learning about new cultures-living in one for several months would have let me do that even more.
Given the number of obstacles we face en route to a career in medicine, everyone at some point feels doubtful of themselves. How has this affected you and what has helped you persevere through these sorts of feelings?
I’ve learned the importance of connecting with other people. This journey is a marathon, and although hard work and a good work ethic are both musts, it is important to have people you can turn to if you are feeling down, or even just need someone to talk to. I’ve also learned the importance of empathy-and of being there for others when they need me.
How do you maintain your mental health while balancing school, work, family, and other social obligations?
I make sure I see my friends-even if just for a few minutes before/after lecture or in lab or studying together. Having that human connection and talking to someone else in the same boat as myself really helps me maintain perspective. I also keep in touch with family. My friends and I hang out after exams, having cookouts, taking time to enjoy ourselves. I think doing this is what lets me remain healthy and happy.