Sunday, August 12, 2012

The First Match

Tomorrow, the class of 2016 experiences a huge milestone: their first day of medical school lecture! As they enjoy their last day of blissful ignorance of how embryos develop, here's an update about how we've been preparing them for this moment.

Orientation week started early for our brave new classmates: a 7:30am breakfast with the faculty last Monday. Our day of orientation didn't start until 10:30, which was probably to ensure that the M2s didn't steal all of the food from the firsties with our finely tuned free-food radar. Thankfully, the M1s left us some coffee and pastries, an act of kindess that shall be repayed when we introduce them to the coffee and donuts that we steal from the interviewees who are too nervous to eat.

The student leadership of the Orientation Committee set an impressive precedent this year by planning a week of introductory activities among the M1s and M2s. As you no doubt read about last week, we had a pretty stellar Student Interest Group Fair to introduce the new class to all of the extracurriculars in which they can participate. Another great theme that progressed through the week was our new mentoring program, in which each M1 has been paired up with an M2 in their academic society. On Wednesday, each society held its own "Matching Ceremony," in which the new class was introduced to both the society and their M2 mentor.

I'm sure that we're just in the process of getting a sorting hat, so for now we have an envelope system much like the one we may see in a little under three years. Below, you can see Rachel explaining the process as she is cheered on by Dr. Servoss herself! Also featured in this photo is our new society crest, which is proudly displayed in our society lounge.

After opening our envelopes that contained the name of our mentor/mentee, we had a chance to get to know each other over lunch. The orientation committee had paired us up based on a survey that they'd sent to the M1s, and it was almost eerie how much most of the pairs had in common.

The most exciting part about the mentoring program (so far) happened on Friday, during the culmination of Orientation week: the White Coat Ceremony. It's hard to believe it's over a year ago now that our class received our white coats and recited the oath that we had written together. Just like last year, we had a little dress rehearsal the day before, during which the second year class tried desperately to regain the attention that was now being directed towards our little siblings:
In an attempt to make the ceremony as foolproof as possible, we were familiarized with our assigned seating:

As you can see, I had the most coveted seat neighbors.

The second annual White Coat Ceremony was very similar to the first, with one major distinction. The white coats that were hanging on stage for the first years were incomplete--they were missing the "Humanism in Medicine" pin that we all wear on our right lapel. During the ceremony, these pins were in the posession of our class. (Rica, mastermind of pinning logistics, made the (brilliant) executive decision that the M2s would not be receiving the first years' pins until the last possible second before the ceremony so that we couldn't practice our astounding ability to lose things). One by one, the M1s received their white coats and crossed over to the other side of the stage to be "pinned" by their mentors. This was definitely the highlight of the ceremony for the class of 2015, as it symbolized how we are welcoming the incoming class to both our medical school family and the field of medicine.

Congratulations again to the class of 2016, and know that we're all wishing you the best on your first day!

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