Marie Lim is a first-year medical student at the University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine.
In the following blog post, Lim writes about her background and starting medical school.
“Medical school is a challenge, but it is one I’m ready to embrace. I’ve lived a lot of different lives and experienced so much. I am grateful to carry all of that knowledge and experience with me as I begin my first year of medical school here at the Larner College of Medicine.”
The Call of Larner
Born in Seattle, I spent most of my formative years in the vibrant city of Manila, Philippines. A blend of cultures, experiences, and places has always fueled my desire to explore the world. When it came to choosing where to embark on my medical journey, the Larner College of Medicine stood out for several reasons that felt just right.
There were so many things that I liked about Larner from the get-go. But really, I was drawn to Larner’s unique Pass/Fail curriculum, a system that promotes collaboration over competition. In a field where teamwork is paramount, this approach resonated with me deeply. What’s more, being one of the oldest medical schools in the U.S., Larner embodies a legacy of innovation. It’s like a well-established institution with a bold, trailblazing spirit.
From my very first visit during “Closer Look Day,” I felt the warmth and thoughtfulness that Larner infused into every detail. From the innovative VIC (Vermont Integrated Curriculum) concept to the little touches like the devices we received on our first day of school, it was clear that this was a place that valued its students’ growth and well-being.
Where I Belong
And then there’s Burlington – the perfect blend of a productive study environment, a friendly community, and a natural haven for my mental well-being. With its outdoor activities and stunning surroundings, it’s like the universe conspired to create a nurturing space for me to thrive academically and personally.
From Dancer to Doctor
From performing the Russian character dance with the Bolshoi Ballet, to learning the traditional Chinese fan dance at the Beijing Dance Academy, I have immersed myself in a wide variety of cultures and languages. My rich global exposure, plus many more experiences provided by my dance career, broadened my perspective in a way tourism could not have. The foreign worlds I was put into helped me appreciate both the diversity and the common bonds—dance among them—that united humanity.
It is not a far leap to apply this mentality to medical school. My classmates and I bring so many different things to the table. Altogether, we have such diverse backgrounds and experiences. I appreciate that diversity while also enjoying our shared bond—medicine and our passion to help others—that unites us as a class.
Mountaineering and Medicine
Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro was a lesson in patience and perseverance. The Swahili phrase “pole, pole” – meaning “walk slowly” – was a constant reminder to embrace the journey step by step. It’s a mindset I carry into my medical training. Medicine is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m excited to take it slow and steady, knowing that each step brings me closer to my goals.
Ballet and Beyond:
Ballet taught me discipline, resilience, and the power of mentorship. I remember my ballet teacher saying that corrections come from a place of care, pushing us to be our best selves. These lessons resonate as I step into the world of medicine, where learning never stops. The openness to feedback and a positive mindset are key, whether in perfecting a pirouette or honing my medical skills.
Enriching the Future:
Research, for me, is about pushing the boundaries of knowledge. As a future physician, it’s about bridging the gap between current practices and new discoveries. I’m excited to integrate my research interests into my medical education at Larner, creating a ripple effect of knowledge dissemination within our community.
As someone who’s passionate about ballet, research, and mountaineering, stepping into Larner feels like another exhilarating leap. To all my fellow students and soon-to-be colleagues, the journey ahead feels both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. If my life so far has taught me anything, it’s that every uphill climb has its reward. The road ahead as an M1 might be daunting, but my arsenal of perseverance, adaptability, and empathy will guide me. These strengths are my companions on this transformative journey.
To My Fellow Classmates
To my incredible classmates, remember that every challenge is a stepping stone to greatness. Our paths here might have been winding, but we’re here. I get it—the days can be tough, and doubt might knock at our doors. But let’s recall the times when we almost quit—”almost” is the keyword. We’re here, stronger than ever, ready to conquer. Let’s be kind, let’s support each other, and let’s show the world what Larner’s Class of 2027 is made of.
So here’s to embracing the new, tackling the challenges, and creating our own unique mark on the world of medicine. The journey has just begun, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us!