Wednesday, March 26, 2014

M3 Grand Rapids 1st Clinical Campus Meeting

MSU CHM Dean - Dr. Marsha Rappley
Med school is a very different experience from most experiences, but in its own way it's just like every other part of life. It feels like it's simultaneously flying past and d-r-a-g-g-i-n-g its slow feet across the gymnasium of time. It feels like both yesterday AND forever ago that I started M1 and had my White Coat Ceremony. I've had many PBL preceptors mention how much they'd love to be back in med school and "only have to learn." We always stare at them like they're insane, but I can understand how it will probably feel that way again. They always follow it up with some variation of, "I don't miss the tests, but I do miss the learning and lack of responsibility." I can see how, a few decades down the road, I might somehow eventually come to feel something similar. I like many aspects of med school, but I think I'm really going to enjoy being a practicing physician.

Anyway, yesterday things started "feeling real" in a new way. We had the first meeting for our clinical campus. At MSU CHM, you spend your first two years in either East Lansing or Grand Rapids. Half of the students are in each city. Then, we split up into one of six cities for 3rd and 4th years: Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Flint, Midland, Traverse City, or Marquette.

I'm staying in the Grand Rapids campus for 3rd-4th years, and like I said, yesterday we had our first meeting. We were oriented to how the next two years will work, focusing on 3rd year. Starting in July, we will be moving through different clinical rotations, called Clerkships. There are six core Clerkships, and an optional slot for an elective* (not in this order):

1. Family Medicine (8 weeks)
2. Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
3. Pediatrics (8 weeks)
4. Obstetrics/Gynecology (8 weeks)
5. Junior Surgery (8 weeks)
6. Psychiatry (4 weeks)
7. Elective Clerkship / Break (4 weeks)

*Starting last year (.: my class will be the second ever) they also allow us to take an elective clerkship. We have to take 4 elective Clerkships between 3rd and 4th years, so if you take one in 3rd year, it essentially opens up a month of free time in your fourth year. I plan on taking one during 3rd year, making 4th year that much more awesome. I have some specific interests that I plan to use this as an opportunity to pursue, so I'm pretty excited about the idea.

Everyone is split into smaller groups, and we rotate through the clerkships in a specific order, everyone in their groups. Because Michigan State College of Human Medicine is a community-focused med school, we also rotate through many different hospitals. I might be assigned to a hospital in downtown Grand Rapids for one Clerkship, then transfer to a hospital in a more rural town 45 minutes away for another clerkship. I'm looking forward to the variety of experiences that we'll get when we're exposed to different settings of practice. I'm still not sure if I want to practice in a big hospital in a city or a smaller hospital serving a more rural community, so this will be pretty eye-opening for me.

Before then though, I have to do well in all my classes as well as Step 1. Gotta keep my eyes focused on what's in front of me... Hard at times, but necessary.

As always, hope you've enjoyed reading.

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