Family Weekend and Service

Last weekend, new medical students were welcomed to campus with an opportunity to share the start of their experience here with family and other important people in their lives. As a former medical student, the spouse of a former medical student and the parent of a former medical student, I feel like I have, at one time or another, been in the shoes of every participant in Family Weekend. (And yes, I have even been the child of former medical students if there were any of those there….)

Starting medical school is an amazing, electric, momentous time, but it brings with it many unknowns. It is important to recognize that the process of attending medical school involves not just the student but their entire support system. Although the families and friends are usually the most critical part, please remember that we at the Medical School are also part of the students’ support system. 

For those who were able to attend, I hope the student panel, tours and activities helped everyone around you better understand the years to come and that good memories were made.

So a few words to our new and returning students:
This is a time in your lives of tremendous growth. Approach it with optimism, remember the importance of what you are doing, be kind to one another and be kind to yourselves. 
There is, and you should have, a life outside of school, so don’t forget to keep in touch with your family and friends no matter how busy things get. Speaking as a parent, texts are nice, but phone calls are better. Speaking as a former student, that goes both ways.

When the first medical building on campus was dedicated, the famous physician educator William Osler spoke at the building’s dedication. His words, some 126 years later, still have resonance for all of us.
“In these days of aggressive self-assertion, when the stress of competition is so keen and the desire to make the most of oneself so universal, it may seem a little old-fashioned to preach the necessity of this virtue, but I insist for its own sake, and for the sake of what it brings, that a due humility should take the place of honour on the list. For its own sake, since with it comes not only a reverence for truth, but also a proper estimation of the difficulties encountered in our search for it.”
Two other notes on service:
Students, physicians and staff have now made four trips to Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria to help with physical and mental health issues. In addition to providing care, the team is also collecting information to help create structured interventions to help deal with the stress of future disasters.

Saturday, September 29 is the U of M Day of Service. Please check out the website for many volunteer options.