On Friday, September 29, the first year med school class embarked on a full-day retreat to Deer Run camp in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee. The theme of the day was Wellness and the students were ready to embrace a day away from the classroom, so spirits were high! In the morning, Dean Fleming, Dr. Yakes, and an upperclassman student all addressed the students, giving thoughtful speeches that drew upon their own experiences and hard-earned pearls of wisdom.
Afterwards, students broke into small group sessions led by faculty and student advisors, who helped lead more focused discussions surrounding how to really thrive in medical school. Thriving vs surviving was the name of the game! After breaking for a catered lunch, the first year class balanced mental wellness with physical wellness by taking full advantage of the sprawling fields of Deer Run. Adventurous students climbed a 45-foot climbing tower to triumphantly ring the bell at the top; meanwhile, large games of soccer, volleyball, and Ultimate Frisbee broke out on the various fields and courts. The students enjoyed beautiful weather all afternoon, and most alternated between showing off their athletic abilities (and prepping for College Cup!) with breaks relaxing on the shady lawns and snacking on fruits.
Overall, the VMS1s enjoyed a successful first class retreat, and are currently gearing up for their second large block exams, so they’ll be using their new Wellness skills soon!