Friday, December 27, 2013

Reflections From CHM Admissions While Looking Forward To A Brand New Year

It's the closing of a new year and we, here at the College of Human Medicine Office of Admissions, reflect on a terrific 2013.

Like any college, the students are the heart and soul of CHM and we feel we have some of the brightest, most talented future physicians in the nation. As we look forward to a new year, we're sure the incoming class of 2018 will follow suit.

Our #SpartanMD's achieved much this year, not only across East Lansing and Grand Rapids, but across the globe.

We're proud that the CHM student body took on so much this year in a variety of directions. Considering the many different roles (like teammate, employee, tutor or even mother, father, scholar, researcher, navy medic, and board member) each CHM student can play in their daily lives, staff and faculty have the opportunity to witness them take the role of student very seriously.

Yet, as a community-based medical school, we also have the opportunity to witness students contribute to their communities in a variety of ways, from hosting benefits like the inaugural Flintstone Challenge 5K this past May to lending helping hands (and feet) a month later for the college's inaugural Gran Fondo cycling event, benefitting skin cancer research.

But there were also a few events that were far from being inaugural. Thousands of students across the country work hard to reach a certain milestone in a medical student's education. Gathering with their loved ones, fourth-year students celebrated Match Day, as will a brand new batch of future physicians this upcoming Spring.

This past October, students also took to Secchia Center for the annual MSU College of Human Medicine Black Tie/Green Heart Gala, where they were accompanied by some of the most influential companies and individuals in Grand Rapids.

Beyond doing what we can for the students (like simply allowing them to relax for a bit), there was a lot going on even for the staff and faculty. Two CHM professors, for example, were named fellows for the only program in North America dedicated to preparing women of color for senior leadership roles in academic health and science institutions.

Looking forward to 2014, the College of Human Medicine's 50th Anniversary, there's more to feel excited about.

Here, at the Office of Admissions in particular, we look forward to helping and reviewing more tremendous applicants, vying for spots in the aforementioned incoming class. With a semi-rolling admissions process, acceptances will be given in stages and interviews will be held through April.

Some applicants receive notifications early while others may not receive notice until the end of the cycle, so patience is appreciated.

Beyond reviewing applicants, we look forward to events like Second Look Day. The Office of Admissions is also currently setting up respective social media and planning a new website for 2014, so give us a follow and stay tuned.

There's much to look forward to. We hope you are as excited as we are. On that note, we wish you a prosperous new year! See you on the other end!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Health & Wellness Team Offer Fun, Relaxing Activities to Help CHM Students Unwind During Finals

Throughout medical school, students can spend much of their time studying—exerting a good amount of mental energy taking in gulps here and swigs there of information that, well,  took humans quite a bit of time to accumulate.

Yet studying can be most rigorous when proficiency with school curriculum is to be displayed. So the most intense stressful times during medical school focus around final examinations.
Sure, finals can be stressful.
Asking themselves what they could do to help alleviate some of that stress, the MSU College of Human Medicine Office of Student Affairs set out to give our terrific medical students an opportunity to sit back and, yes, unwind if at least for a bit.
It’s all part of helping our CHM students succeed, even if that’s helping them catch a breather and have a little fun in the process.
The Health & Wellness Team, comprised of MSU Faculty: Judith Brady, PhD; Laura Bennett, MA; and Patricia Brewer, PhD, among other Office of Student Affairs staff, created a week-long series of activities during exam week to reduce stress and allow the students in both Grand Rapids and East Lansing contingents a solid, meaningful break.
Attempting to supply activities for everyone, the week-long initiative has included art therapy, chair massages, mindfulness exercises, perpetual coffee and snacks, pet therapy, relaxation exercises, an ugly sweater holiday gathering and even yoga classes.
CHM students take in a variety of stress-free events during finals week
Created in the fall of 2011, the Health & Wellness team began planning such activities, not only as a way to reduce stress, but also as a way to promote adjustment for first- and second-year students, some of which come from as far as California and Canada.

So far, the week is working.
Direct stress reduction has been noted by the students in their feedback since the initiative’s inception. In 2012, close to 90% of those who responded said stress was indeed reduced. Additionally, over 90% strongly agreed that the activities put on by the Health & Wellness Team made them feel cared for and valued.
Students wrote statements such as, “I so appreciated the care and effort CHM put into my health and well-being during finals week.  It reminded me how lucky I am to be a CHM student.”
Another respondent said, “This program was just proof to us students that CHM cares and loves us!”
Many students even believed that the activities were beneficial to their learning beyond finals week. Over 60% strongly agreed the activities helped them gain practice insight.
“It was interesting to consider incorporating activities into future patient care,” said one respondent.
The Health & Wellness Team thought that it to be so successful, they plan to incorporate activities in the spring as well as the students themselves were enthusiastic to supply suggestions for future activities.
As far as this week, the Health & Wellness team incorporated past activities such as Therapy Dogs and yoga with massages and coffee breaks among do-it-yourself activities like “Make Your Own Stress Ball” and “Make Your Own Trail Mix,” sponsored by the Lake Michigan Credit Union.
CHM students try their hand at making the perfect trail mix to their liking.

Only time will tell what the Health & Wellness team comes up with next.

Good luck with finals!

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