A Brief Intro to the Lives of First-Year Medical Students

uvmmedicine blogger Mary Kate LoPiccolo '18
Mary Kate LoPiccolo ’18

My name is Mary Kate (MK/Ginger for short), and I am the only redheaded member of the UVM College of Medicine Class of 2018.  I enjoy long walks through Michael’s, SNL reruns circa 1992, and eating copious amounts of Mexican food. I’m new to Vermont, and my first impression of this state is that I appreciate its appreciation for flannel. Nice to meet you! Should we exchange numbers? Where are you living? Are we going to be best friends like JD and Turk in Scrubs???

As my first post for the College of Medicine student blog, I thought I would try to shed some light on the hilarity that seems to be the first year of medical school. So to begin, I will sum up the past few months  of my life and the lives of my comrades, which feels like two years longer than eternity.

Orientation (Week 1)

Mom, can you pick me up? I'm scared

Yup, I think that sums it up. You combine trying to remember the name of the person who told you their name five seconds before with trying to dress in business casual for five days straight without spilling coffee on yourself, and you have a very terrifying experience. Plus, you are officially in medical school. So there’s that.

That being said, I realized that the Class of 2018 is full of amazing people. We are all most definitely a bunch of crazy loons, but I’m a real fan. Plus, someone was the 2006 Time Person of the Year! Go You!


Foundations of Medicine (Weeks 2 – 2 million 6)

I will do some bullet points of things I have learned because that defines efficiency (or, “as good as it gets”) as a medical student.

  • Leaving free coffee outside of MedEd 200 is like putting cotton candy in front of a four year-old.
  • Videos of DNA replication can be highly entertaining at 8:45 a.m.
  • It is important to be on the email list for a wide variety of student interest groups—that way, you never miss an opportunity to get pizza, cookies, beverages, and additional medical-related knowledge at no extra cost!
  • Medical ethics is an amazing subject. It doesn’t hurt that it often involves ER clips featuring George Clooney in scrubs.
  • I still haven’t gone food shopping. I still have one jar of pickles and cider in my fridge. How, you ask? Rice and beans, my friend. Nonperishables for the win.
  • Surprisingly, medical school isn’t as easy as everyone says. (“Ugh med students, you guys have all the fun! While I’m off working 9-5, spending the weekends watching Netflix, and meeting Lindsay Lohan at a bar, you’ll be breezing through metabolism! Stay in med school as long as you can!”)
  • But, surprisingly, you still have time to bond with your classmates—which includes blaring Whitney Houston in the car ride home from the Canadian border.

So that’s it! An extremely brief and minimally informative introduction to the lives of first-year medical students. Now that we are in the midst of Human Structure and Function, the Beyonce of the UVMCOM curriculum (in that it reaches completely unachievable heights in terms of spurring gossip and gasps of fear/excitement/awe), I’m sure that there will be plenty more to blog about in the next few weeks. Until then!

What are your thoughts about this topic?