Page 15 - Volume 69, Number 4
P. 15

First Steps in a
New Medical Curriculum
by Sam Schuiteman, M-1
Alittle over ten weeks ago,I was among the
177 University of Michigan medical students who donned fresh white coats as new M-1s.Although the White Coat Ceremony elicited the mix of nervous-yet- excited emotions that are normal at such events,this year there was an additional feeling shared amongst students: curiosity about the new curriculum.The 2017 entering class is the first to be fully immersed in the medical school’s bold new curriculum.10 weeks later,I can report that while students may have been apprehensive at first, the school year is off to a great start.
Among the notable features of the new curriculum is that there is only one year of pre-clinical didactic learning,which allows students to spend three years in clinical rotations.The pre-clinical year is divided into organ-based sequences,which present physiology and pathology simultaneously,allowing students to compare and contrast the different states of illness. Each week there is usually a focus on a specific condition,and at the end of the week a person with that condition speaks in front of the entire class about how it impacts their life. This is a powerful and humbling experience and serves as a weekly reminder about the nature of the profession, especially during the times when studying and bookwork feel disconnected from actually practicing medicine.
Many students (like myself!) were nervous about the brisk pace of the condensed pre-clinical year,however the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS) provides us with a myriad of tools to maximize study opportunities.All lectures are recorded,and rather than go to class,a majority of students watch the recordings so they can pause,slow down,and speed up the video while they learn.This flexibility is greatly appreciated,especially since there are still plenty of required activities throughout the week.For instance,first year students shadow other health professionals (like pharmacists, social workers,and nurses) biweekly to learn about the team-based nature of medicine.The teaching of other traditional subjects, such as anatomy and physical exam skills,essential elements of medical education, appropriately continues as before.
Outside of the classroom,there are hundreds of student organizations one can plug into. One of the most popular ones is the Medical School Student-Run Free Clinic,an entirely student-managed primary care clinic that operates every Saturday in Pinckney,Michigan. Other students become involved in Galens, the UMMS charitable and theatrical society that has been in existence for over 100 years,or join Biorhythms,the student-choreographed dance group. In the UMMS AMA chapter and the WCMS, I look forward to working with students interested in health policy and to experience policy in action.We are currently preparing for the AMA Interim Meeting in Honolulu this November,where we hope to have as many as six resolutions be voted upon.
Our white coats may not be as clean and pressed as they were in August, but my classmates and I still share the same excitement about school that we did on the day we got them.We look forward to the new challenges and experiences that await us in the years to come.
Volume 69 • Number 4 Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN 15

   13   14   15   16   17