Saturday, August 18, 2012

MSU CHM Orientation Day 1: "Med School is like a Marathon"

"Medical School is like a marathon."

Time after time today, this theme was driven home. Not in a defeatist sort of way, but in a realistic, this-is-how-it-will-be-for-you-but-you-can-definitely-do-it kind of attitude. Today was an incredibly positive experience, full of lots of team-building exercises and fun activities.

I'm a little too tired to go into tons of detail with the activities, but here is a rundown of my day today:

6:00am - Wake up, eat breakfast.

6:45am - Meet up with a couple other med students and run for 6.3 miles.

7:45am - Shower, eat some more stuff, change, and head to the med school.

9:00am - Orientation begins. Watch video, split into teams, each named for some type of medical term. Examples include neuron, urine, zygote, blastula, paresthesia (my team), feces, osteoblast, etc.

11:00am - Break into groups to do some ice-breaking activities with the group, learn names, backgrounds (undergrad institutions, etc.), then head for lunch.

1:00pm - Start the skeleton scavenger hunt. Basically, there are six accessible floors to the med school. In different stations on each floor, there were tasks for us to do. When we completed the task, we got a different inflatable bone for a skeleton. The bones were really parts, so we'd get a forearm, a torso, a femur, etc. After completing all tasks, we had to assemble the skeleton, then dress it in school apparel. The first team to do so won bragging rights. It was a ton of fun, and the teams got really into it, running from floor to floor, taunting each other, etc.

3:45pm - We finished the scavenger hunt pretty fast, and they weren't sure exactly what to do with us, so they made an impromptu spelling bee, which no one actually won. 

4:30pm - We got our white coats, then relinquished them for personal embroidery after trying them on for size. We'll get them back a week from tomorrow at the official White Coat Ceremony. I can't wait! When I tried my white coat on for the first time (even though it's a short student coat instead of the traditional long doctor's coat) it was really cool. I looked at a girl nearby who had hers on, and thought, "She looks like a real med student, almost like a doctor!" Then I realized that this was probably how I looked too, and got a huge smile on my face. Luckily, she didn't see the grin on my face before I looked away and managed to stifle it a bit, but that was a really cool moment.

Made a lot of friends, started forming what I believe will be a solid group of study partners and go-to people for when we're in the thick of it. I know it's going to be overwhelming, and I know it's going to absolutely suck a lot of the time - but I know that everyone will be feeling that way. It'll be hard, but I know I'll be able to handle it.

Do you know why?

Because all it takes is competence and hard work. Apparently I'm competent enough, or the school wouldn't have accepted me, and guess what?

I can work hard.



C said...

Good luck! Enjoy orientation and getting to know people while you have free time :) the white coat thing is funny bc as a fourth year I no longer know where my embroidered one is and I haven't worn it in several months (on peds rotations you don't have to )- but when I first started I loved wearing it

Susan said...

Awesome, Justin! I'm so glad you had such a great day! Sure sounds like fun. And you will do wonderfully well in med school. You've already proven that by the sheer fact of where you are right now!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a great day! I just officially changed your blog name on my page :)

Jill said...

Work hard and sleep when you can. You will be an excellent doctor with the motivation and social skills you have. Bon voyage!

NoLongerSilent said...

I love you enthusiasm. I'm at COM and we started mid-June. It will definitely take hard work, dedication, and a support team to see you through. But the good thing is that you can handle it!

Also, it took a good 3 weeks for my new status as a medical student to sink in. It's such a blessing to be in this position. Having my white coat put on me was one of the best feelings.

Well, I can't wait to read more about your experience as I will be having similar feelings as a fellow M1!


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