Celebrating the Diversity of Medical Students: The 2018 Class Historian

uvmmedicine blogger Eric Schmidt '18
uvmmedicine blogger Eric Schmidt ’18

I would consider myself a social butterfly; I love attending a wide variety of school and extracurricular functions. I also enjoy documenting and reflecting on my own experiences through journaling and creating computer photo albums. So when I started my first year at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and learned more about the class historian position, I felt like I had found the perfect outlet for my creativity and passion. My election to this position has led to several fun projects that showcase the diversity of my classmates’ hobbies and adventures, even inspiring some friendly competition through the College’s first Picture of the Week contest.

The class historian position was only around for two years before me, so I entered into a new, exciting, and evolving role in the College of Medicine community. Designed to serve as a liaison to Student Council, my major duty was to help produce the annual College of Medicine yearbook, which is released in May. As fun as this project is, I knew that it would not satisfy me, and I wanted to contribute more.

My first project was to become the administrator of the Class of 2018 Facebook page, managing who was granted access to the closed group, and serving as the contact person for Facebook communications. As the administrator, I also change the page’s cover photo, which has led to my Picture of the Week competition. Every Sunday, a new photo (or collage of photos) is posted as the cover photo for that week. My main goal is to showcase the fun and exciting things that members of the student body are participating in. At the time that I took this position, we were about to enter the depths of the Human Structure and Function course, a time when some students’ positivity takes a little nosedive. The purpose of this picture of the week was to provide an uplifting reminder that we are not just medical students and study robots, but unique and interesting individuals who participate in a lot of really cool things at the University and in the Burlington community. I would say this project has been a hit; my classmates really enjoy seeing the next picture and sometimes compete with each other for that winning submission.

This summer, I took charge of another task by leading the Big / Little Sib Program Matching Committee, designating mentors for the incoming medical students. It made perfect sense for the historian to lead this project, as I was “creating” history and documenting a mentorship lineage for each subsequent generation of medical students. This was a really rewarding experience for me, and I had a lot of fun working on match making.

As the historian, I not only documented history, but I made history. I like to think of my position as an unofficial “social chair,” coordinating social events at the College and spreading the word about events in the community.  This position lasts for all four years of medical school, but I am hoping it doesn’t end with graduation. I want to continue connecting our classmates even after we leave the College and begin our careers.

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