Every M2 is enjoying the added stress that studying for "boards" brings, on top of the already-busy schedule of studying for domain exams and other classes. This is, of course, beyond other extracurricular activities we hope to incorporate, such as research, volunteering, exercise, and sleep.
But the thing is, we all find our own ways to accomplish what is important to us. And while some days may be rough, it’s crazy to think about how far we have already come in just a year and a half.
Despite the stress that comes from being in medical school, I have many fond memories at the CHM. There are so many opportunities to get involved, such as with student interest groups and electives.
I explored Emergency Medicine through the Emergency Medicine Interest Group and practiced my medical Spanish skills through an elective called “Health Care Interviewing of Spanish-Speaking Patients.”
Through shadowing experiences, I’ve learned which specialties I am more intrigued by…and others not so much.
Being on Student Council, our big event of the year was putting on the annual Med Ball. We worked for about four months and planned out a special evening for the students, faculty, and staff. It was fun seeing everything come together—from the decorations to music to class superlatives, including best dancers, best dressed, and most likely to NURS (an acronym for patient support: Name, Understand, Respect, Support).
One of my favorite parts was seeing all of the Med Follies that our class produced! These hilarious parodies were about life as a CHM med student. Even the faculty and staff represented with their own Med Follies! I had such a fun night with my classmates dancing the night away.
There is a whole array of CHM events that happen beyond campus as well. Over the summer, I had the opportunity to go to Peru with a group of 14 students from CHM for a few weeks. It was hands-down one of my favorite CHM experiences. In fact, it was one of my favorite summers, overall.
We shadowed in both private urban hospitals and the rural provinces learning about the Peruvian healthcare system from different sides. We had the chance to observe and volunteer with cleft palate surgeries in the rural provinces of Cañete, where we also held many dental campaigns in different schools and towns to educate children and adults about oral hygiene and distribute toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss. It was truly incredible to interact with the people of Peru and learn about their culture, food, and values.
|LMU students worked hand-in-hand with local medical professionals in Peru|
|LMU students at Machu Picchu|
Everyone is so encouraging and respectful of each other. There’s always a positive vibe despite the madness of studying. Many students share their study guides, resources, tips, and advice because we all want our class as a whole to do well on our assessments.
Even more so, the faculty and staff make a huge effort to teach and motivate us. They continuously make themselves available for help or assistance because they genuinely want us to do well and always ask for feedback to figure out the best ways to assist our learning.
One of my most meaningful memories was when an anatomy professor took extra time out of her day to walk through the anatomy lab with me. I hadn’t had anatomy before and I wasn’t initially comfortable around the cadavers. She took time out of her schedule to meet with me outside of class to familiarize and desensitize me to the cadavers, while simultaneously talking about being respectful of the deeply personal donation these people had made to our training. That is one of many examples of how the faculty and staff go above and beyond for their students to help them succeed.
Reflecting on some of my best memories and experiences at CHM reminds me how fortunate I am to be part of a great medical school. It motivates me to continue the push when the school load is hard and heavy, especially as Step 1 slowly creeps up on us.
*Step 1 is the first part of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), which assesses whether medical school students can apply the necessary concepts that are needed to continue medical training. It's also referred to as "boards" or "The Boards."
Sheri VanOmen is a second-year College of Human Medicine student from West Michigan. This year, Sheri is lending her voice to the Office of Admissions blog to periodically offer an inside look at what being a student at CHM is all about. Also read her previous post, "From "Far Off" Place To Medical School."