Ann Arbor at its Best

6:26 PM

Author | Shannon Flynn

It's amazing to me how quickly Ann Arbor transforms itself this time of year. Over the past couple of weeks, thousands and thousands of undergrads have returned to the campus, and it feels as though there has been a doubling in size of the town from its relatively sleepy summer state. I'll admit that I have always been a sucker for the back-to-school season, and even though I technically no longer have a summer to come back from, I can't help but get a bit swept up in (and more than a little nostalgic for) the start of the new college school year. I did, however, find myself not loving all the commotion quite as much last week when my 3-mile drive to a clinic at Briarwood took me over 30 minutes, nearly making me late for work. 

For the most part, though, the Ann Arbor energy is contagious, which was exemplified yesterday morning as I made my way to the first football game of the season surrounded by hundreds of screaming, maize-and-blue-clad fans. We played Western Michigan in a game that turned out to be particularly memorable…more for the weather than the actual play. The temperature went from stifling (according to the Detroit Free Press, the temp on the field at the start of the game was 137 degrees!!!) to downright chilling as a massive storm came through drenching the two teams and the 109,000+ fans in the Big House. After two rain delays (the second of which was spurred by a lightning bolt that came dangerously close to the stadium) the game was called with a 34-10 Michigan victory in the first football game in the school's history that was called short due to weather. I certainly hope the weather cooperates a little more next Saturday, when we play Notre Dame under the lights in the school's first night game!

Alright, in fear of this post sounding more like a sports blog than a medical school one, I should probably write a little about school this past month since I last wrote. Internal medicine started off with a bang, as the short days and weekends off of psychiatry were quickly replaced with early mornings and Q3 call (on-call every third night) of inpatient cardiology. Despite the long hours at the hospital, I LOVED these four weeks and was sad to see this rotation end. This was the first time of M3 year that I have had a team with a set attending and residents with whom I worked every day. Even more so than with previous rotations, this structure gave a real sense of camaraderie as well as let me feel like, even as a third year medical student, I had a set (albeit very basic) role to play, which made the time even more rewarding. I also loved getting to learn more about the field of cardiology in general. As one would expect, many of the patients admitted to the service are quite ill, but it was rewarding to get to see some of the medications and procedures I had only read about make noticeable improvements in many of the patients. 

I am now on my outpatient month, which consists of various general medicine and subspecialty clinics around Ann Arbor. So far, I am really enjoying the hands-on nature of these clinics and the variety of the patients I have gotten to see. It was a little challenging in week one to see patients in the subspecialty clinics (I have GI, liver, and pulmonary half-days), since at this point I have really only a basic understanding of these fields, and some of the patients present with very complex or advanced conditions. However, I think it's one of those things where you best learn as you go—as I'm learning is the case with much of medicine—and it's helpful to not get too bogged down in all the details.

I'm off to get a little studying in so that I can then enjoy the rest of this long weekend. Until next time…GO BLUE!

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