Life at the College of Medicine: The Perspective of a First-Year Student

Bridget Colgan
uvmmedicine blogger Bridget Colgan

It has been over two months since the start of medical school for the first year “doctors in training,” during which time we have completed Orientation, Introduction to Clinical Decision Making (ICDM), and most recently Cellular and Molecular Biology (CMB). In addition to these courses many of us have just moved to Vermont, are adjusting to new apartments, new apartment mates, new friends, new routines, and a whole new way of life.

This adjustment period has ignited the full range of emotions: From feelings of elation at having just accomplished the huge feat of admittance to medical school – which many of us have worked towards for years and dreamed about for even more – to feelings of anxiety, a little fear, and the realization that we have not reached our destination but indeed have only just begun our journey.

For me, personally, this adjustment period has taken some time. Orientation and meeting new classmates was exhilarating. Gradually, throughout ICDM and even more in CMB, my head began to come down to where my feet were as the reality of the undertaking before me settled in.

In the last few days of ICDM we discussed the transition that must happen from being who we are now to developing into the professional physicians we aspire to become. Any great transformation requires a bit of struggle, endurance, patience, and perseverance. For me, it was the commitment involved in becoming a physician, in making that personal change, that drew me in.

Every day at UVM I am living inside my own personal dream. For so many years, I have imagined the day I would be in medical school. The hours of studying, the vast amounts of information being poured into us, and being surrounded by so many intelligent, fun, interesting peers and faculty, were at one time only fantasies. Not to mention the most recent excitement of beginning anatomy in Human Structure and Function! Today, all of these experiences are my reality and it is my goal to make the most of this experience. Doing so takes a lot of work, but it is so worth the reward of one day being able to give back and be of service to society in such a meaningful way.

What are your thoughts about this topic?