comMEDores Vanderbilt Medical Student Blog

providing insight into the experiences of medical students at Vanderbilt

Favorite Faculty: Eli Zimmerman, M.D.

November 20, 2017
Posted in Faculty

I think that VUSM’s people are what make the community and atmosphere special. It is no secret that medical school is hard, but being able to learn and grow in a supportive, collaborative, friendly environment makes it so much more doable. And this is a universal, innate characteristic – everyone is here to help you and encourage you – other students, faculty, staff, and administration all want you to succeed! I actually went to medical school here (Class of 2010) and left for residency. Coming back to Vanderbilt was an easy decision for me, and what I felt about being here as a student remains true.

To Live is Incredible

Eva Niklinska
November 13, 2017
Posted in First Year

Vivir es increíble. The words on the leather and metal wrapped around my wrist speak for themselves: To live is incredible. I happened upon this bracelet in a bustling street market in Madrid this past summer, and could not help but take it as a sign. Similar potent words by Oscar Wilde have served as beacons, comforting and guiding me through mistakes and triumphs alike: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Nashville Restaurant Reviews

Stephanie Dudzinski and Sumeeth Jonathan
November 9, 2017
Posted in Nashville

MSTP students Stephanie Dudzinski and Sumeeth Jonathan review five restaurants in Nashville and nearby Franklin. From pancakes and pizza, to Thai and upscale Italian, they've got you covered on where to dine out in and around Music City.  

College Cup 2017

November 6, 2017
Posted in Student Life

October 27th and 28th was Vanderbilt University School of Medicine’s College Cup! What’s College Cup? So glad you asked! College Cup is the best weekend of the year for Vandy Med students. All the students compete for their college to see which college reigns supreme. Read what our College Cup Event Captains had to say about this year's events!

Favorite Faculty: Brian Drolet, M.D.

October 30, 2017
Posted in Faculty

Balance is essential to your success in medicine and life. Choose the activities that are meaningful to you and do them whenever you can. Boundaries are probably the most important thing you can learn early; where does work start and where does it end? The more that you do and the better that you do it, the more that people will ask you to do. If you love being productive and contributing to your work product (patient care, education, research, and publications, etc), then work may be one of your ‘hobbies’ – to me an activity from which you derive joy. If work is interfering with time for your hobbies or family, then you need to put up boundaries to protect yourself and establish that balance. Of course, this is easier said than done.

It's College Cup 2017!

October 26, 2017
Posted in Student Life

College Cup 2017 is here! This Friday, students will officially kick-off this year's College Cup, an Olympic-style competition that pits the four School of Medicine advisory colleges against one another in tests of athleticism, intellect, and team spirit. The winning college takes home the Cup and bragging rights for the year.


Shaunak Amin
October 23, 2017
Posted in First Year

Wait, medicine isn’t all zebra metabolic diseases and killer bugs? Welcome to Homeostasis, the third block of the FMK phase. Homeostasis is the first 12-week block at Vanderbilt and it hits the ground running, covering hematology/oncology, cardiology, renal, and pulmonology. That sounds like a lot, and I am not going to lie, it is definitely not a cakewalk, but it is one of the most fun and rewarding blocks of the year.

Med School: Am I Ready?

Jaclyn Lee
October 16, 2017
Posted in First Year

I decided not to go to medical school right after undergrad, because I wasn’t ready. I even deferred for another year after getting accepted, because I still wasn’t ready. I wanted some more time to myself, to accomplish the goals I’ve set aside for my personal life, outside of my professional aspirations. It may seem silly to think about goals outside of medicine, with such a demanding and time-intensive career track. But for me, this was just greater motivation for other personal ambitions. My career is absolutely important to me, but there are also other important things, and I want to make sure I’ve accomplished what I can, before committing fully to medicine. Dean Balser said it best on the first day of orientation – “getting to medical school is not the step towards the next thing – this is it; this is the thing itself.” 

First Year Wellness Retreat

Lex Erath
October 9, 2017
Posted in First Year

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!

Favorite Faculty: Buddy Creech, M.D., MPH

October 2, 2017
Posted in Faculty

I never thought I would work primarily in a research capacity – I simply wanted to take care of children. But during fellowship, I realized that having a research career provided the opportunity to do things that could help kids that I’ll never meet. It also gave me a chance to work within a research team, each of us pursuing a new discovery, a new application of science, etc. This has been tremendously fulfilling.