I want to be an orthopedic surgeon. No, an OB/GYN. No, a neurologist. Wait, I’ve got it, an emergency department physician! Maybe? First year at WUSM has been an incredible experience for me. Not only have I learned a great deal in the lecture halls, but I have also learned a great deal more by shadowing, such as how to amputate a limb. Many shadowing opportunities are possible through student interest groups, but can also be easily set up by contacting whichever physician or specialty interests you! The physicians really made an effort to teach me and I have also found great mentors by shadowing. Lastly and most significantly, I have found specialties I unexpectedly fell in love with and areas of medicine I never even knew existed. With that said, first year is about finally being able to explore all areas of medicine and WUSM definitely makes this possible.
– Maria S., M1
Whether you have to race to sign up or simply show up, attending Grand Rounds at the clinical department of your choice is an invaluable way to experience a field from the inside. In my experience, the patient-viewing portions of the sessions offer the chance to see interesting clinical cases and meet patients in person (without having to do a formal POM-style interview), and observe seasoned clinicians “work up” these patients on the spot. In case presentations, I’ve seen faculty and community physicians engage in academic discussion about managing some of their more challenging cases, and discovered how aspects of medicine I would never have thought interacted can be integrated in the care of cases that go beyond the norm. My advice? If you want a window into the life of modern practice, go to Grand Rounds!
– Patrick P., M1
Getting involved in research at WUSM gives you the unique opportunity to work with some of the world’s most renowned clinicians and scientists. Although most students do research the summer after first year, you can also choose to work during the academic year, or even the summer before starting medical school. Why would anyone not do research here, when our students publish at twice the national rate, and have plenty of funding sources available to them? Many students work in labs during the first semester of school, and they don’t have any issues balancing schoolwork, especially since first year is pass/fail! If you’re interested in doing research, definitely email Associate Dean for Medical Student Research Dr. Koong-Nah Chung, who will give you the resources you need to find a mentor and get funding for your project. One unique thing about WUSM is the overwhelming support of the faculty who will genuinely do their best to help you succeed in doing the things you love. And if you happen to love research, you are most certainly in the right place.
– Farah M., M1