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Pre-oven-tative Medicine – Baking for Wellness

Posted by on Monday, January 29, 2018 in Student Activities .

Fact: Medical school is a lot of work. I think every first-year I have spoken to, including myself, did not imagine this would be easy, yet the workload still exceeded our expectations. However, one thing that I also did not expect, was how much Vanderbilt emphasized personal wellness and a sense of community. "Wellness" sounded like a cheesy tagline during orientation, but as the rigor of the curriculum picked up with time, the importance of making time for myself and the things I want to do outside of class became more apparent. As I was wrapping up the first bake sale of the newly-established VMS Baking Club, I am pleased to say that I was not only be able to develop my hobby more than I ever did, but even contribute to a good cause.


I have always enjoyed baking, but I never got the chance to bake as much as I would have liked since I can never find enough people to give away my baked goods to. Unlike college, the community at medical school is a lot smaller and our schedules are very similar. Especially since we start classes so early, bringing in breakfast just makes everyone’s day a lot better. I began to bring my fellow CBL students baked goods on Mondays and was so happy to have a steady group of taste testers every week. Then I had a better idea – why not spread the love for baked goods to the whole school?

There are many clubs in the medical school for leisurely hobbies already (i.e. knitting, wine tasting, etc.), but not one for baking. The process to start a club was incredibly easy – I emailed the Office of Medical Student Affairs with my pitch and our coordinator, Emily Korab, and our Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Fleming, were all extremely excited to help me start the club. I also sent out emails to my fellow students and many expressed a great interest in being part of the club (or eating the baked goods). Within weeks, my new club was officially registered.

Since I am also on the Shade Tree Trot committee that raises money for our student-run Shade Tree Clinic, I thought it would be great to hold a bake sale to help with the fundraising effort. Emily walked me through all the administrative processes form reserving a space, securing supplies, reimbursements, etc. A few weeks before the planned date of the bake sale, I started to recruit bakers to sign up for donations of baked goods. Then a few days prior to the bake sale, I sent more general emails to advertise for the event. I became somewhat infamous among my year for how much I talk about the baking club.

The day of the bake sale finally came, and I couldn’t have been more excited. I personally brought in more than 100 cookies and I was thrilled to find so many other delicious baked goods brought in by other bakers. We set up tables in the North Lobby of Light Hall during lunch hour and many students, staff members, and faculty stopped by to get their share of yummy desserts. We got so much positive feedback on how incredibly delicious everything was. In an hour and a half, we made more than $240 for Shade Tree! I have never run a bake sale in my life, and I consider that a huge success.


Running the bake sale is definitely one of the highlights of my medical school experience so far and I can’t wait to do more events with the baking club. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I’m thinking of having another fundraising "candy gram" event, where people can buy treats and send a message to their friends, or maybe even secret crushes. Taking the time out to bake is my special way of relaxing, and it is important for me to take time out from my academic schedule to do that for myself. However, the best part of having the baking club now is that my hobby does not only make me happy, but I can also feed my fellow hungry classmates and help Shade Tree at the same time.