Posts in First Year

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.”


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!

The Med School Traverse

Karampreet (Peety) Kaur
September 25, 2017
Posted in First Year

Having grown up in New Hampshire, I’ve spent my life playing in the mountains—from bushwhacking on hot summer days to backpacking in the dead of winter. Every adventure has been uniquely memorable, but earlier this summer I completed a hike that was especially meaningful to me.

North to South: Tips for Any Transplant (& Entertainment for any Southerner)

Lex Erath
August 28, 2017
Posted in First Year

I am a Boston girl through and through: I was raised in a Metrowest suburb, attended Tufts for undergrad, and spent the last year living in and working in Cambridge. More tellingly, I’m a die-hard Celtics fan, am fiercely loyal to Dunkin Donuts, and believe turn signals are somewhat optional. And while I was thrilled to be attending Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, I was also a little nervous about the culture shock of the South and Tennessee in particular. The Northeast was all I knew, as almost my entire family lives there as well. How would I survive in this unfamiliar and totally foreign environment?

Meet and Greet (MAG)

Bekka DePew, Molly Eckman, and Doug Totten
August 21, 2017
Posted in First Year

On July 19, 2017, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine welcomed its newest members: the VUSM Class of 2021! After a morning of introductions and welcomes, the real fun began with MAG (Meet And Greet) and the College Reveal!

Medical Outdoor Orientation

Kaitlyn Weeber and Krishnan Ramanujan
August 14, 2017
Posted in First Year

MOO, Medical Outdoor Orientation, is the annual student-led culmination of VMS orientation. The goal of MOO is not necessarily to focus on the academic aspects of transitioning to medical school, but to allow for students to get to know one another in a more social and comfortable setting.

A Week in the Life of a VMS1

Allie Foshage Williams
August 7, 2017
Posted in First Year

Being a medical student at Vanderbilt is one of my favorite things, and I hope I can convince you how wonderful it is! Not only is Nashville incredible, but the people and culture of Vandy are unlike anything I’ve ever experienced at a highly academic institution. One of the things I wondered in the weeks leading up to starting medical school was what my new schedule would look like, how to allocate time for studying and wellness, and (let’s be real) whether I would still have time to watch Game of Thrones and all the other embarrassing weeknight television shows my husband and I like to watch. Well, good news! Life as a VMS1 is both challenging and rewarding, but also allows for plenty of time for wellness activities and keeping up with hobbies and relationships.

Getting Back into School Mode

Sai Rajagopalan
July 17, 2017
Posted in First Year

They said it would not be easy giving up my "settled life." When you have an established career and all the creature comforts that you are supposedly destined for after toiling many years in academia and the workplace, going back to square one and doing it all over again sounds painful and as some people put it, "crazy." There were many thoughts and doubts racing through my mind when I started on this path exactly a year ago. Can I do this (i.e. sitting and memorizing information for an endless amount of time and taking tests one after another)? Will I fit in with my peers who on the average are ten years younger than me? Is the grass really greener on the other side? And many more.