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Four Years Later and Still Friends: Reflections on Halfway to MD/PhD

Posted by on Thursday, May 30, 2019 in Life in the MSTP .

The rising G3 class just celebrated our halfway party with a wonderful evening at Fifth and Taylor. During our time in the MSTP, we’ve had two engagements and five weddings, won one Dean’s Award (given to Brad Reinfeld for an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction while scrubbed in), adopted five dogs, four cats, and two guinea pigs, and exchanged lots of text messages clarifying what room we were meant to be meeting in. We asked our classmates to share their favorite memories from the last four years, and we pulled old photos of them to match.

Back: David Wu, Lizzie Flook, Kelsey McNew, Brad Reinfeld, Michael Raddatz, Chris Williams, Matt Madden, Chris Peek, Matt Wleklinski
Front: Abin Abraham, Connor Beebout, Maggie Axelrod, Brynna Eisele, Bridget Collins, Benjamin Brown, Rachel Brown

Rachel Brown (@RachelBrownMSTP):

  • Studying with Ben, Jackson, Masha, and Anne in Light Hall during first year and my abs hurting from laughing hysterically
  • My second date with Matt, which was at the flow cytometry core because he had to do an experiment
  • Discovering that my silent teaching partner had an annular pancreas in anatomy lab
  • Adopting my cats
  • Organ procurement
  • Delivering babies (placentas, mostly)
  • Getting my first NIH grant
  • Visiting the Bersells at the hospital when they had Abby
  • Pooch and Deirdre’s wedding and Ben and Grace’s wedding
  • Going to Indiana with Matt to see Miranda Lambert
  • Settlers of Catan with Pooch, Deirdre, and the Bersells
  • Teaching Chris (Williams) the terms “don’t @ me,” “janky,” “RBF,” and “dumpster fire” at lab meetings
  • When Josh lost his daughter Charlotte’s turtle magnet and the whole lab dropped everything for 3 hours to find it


Michael Raddatz (@MichaelR21):

  • Brab at the Frist
  • KayBob’s, obviously
  • Four years of basketball on Sundays
  • Writing my MSTP application on OB/Gyn nights while Connor slept on the couch next to me and Rachel went on all the cervix checks
  • Being amazed at my friends doing cool stuff and realizing that in 20 years I’ll be able to say they were in my MSTP cohort
  • Patti Crabtree


Brad Reinfeld (@BReinfeld):

  • Hanging with my friends
  • KayBob’s
  • Putting dish soap in my dishwasher



Ben Brown:

  • Getting married to my best friend


Kelsey McNew (@McNewKL):

  • One morning on our surgery clerkship, I was sitting outside the copy room on a stripped-down hospital bed with Maggie and Chris Peek. I don’t even know that we said that much because we were all exhausted and in a state of disbelief that this was our current existence, but I felt supported just having my classmates there to experience 4:30 am with me.


Chris Peek:

  • Morning walks to class with Brad, scrambling to get to CBL on time
  • Hanging with Kelsey and Maggie outside of the terrible printer on surgery and finding a note from Kelsey written on a gauze pad on the windshield of my car
  • Pranking Caleb (Ford, G4) in lab. Specifically, putting tape under his computer mouse to make him think his computer didn’t work


Abin Abraham (@Abin_Abe):

  • Forgetting to attend various required events at our first retreat because Kelsey, Matt W, Lizzie and I started chatting while sitting outside.


Maggie Axelrod (@MargaretAxelrod):

  • Getting made fun of by patients in first year PDX with Connor; burritos after anatomy lab; commiserating with Kelsey and Chris while waiting to print the list on surgery; Seeing patients with metastatic cancer doing incredibly well on immune checkpoint inhibitors; Planning SEMSS with Lizzie and learning from her leadership skills; talking science all day everyday with Brad in the lab; celebrating Lizzie and Ryan’s wedding; getting advice from Michael about starting a heart project in a cancer lab; many, many Kay Bob’s afternoons…


Matt Wleklinski:

  • I really enjoyed during our first year when we use to have dinner parties at each others’ houses. It was a great way for all of us to get to know one another and showed me that I would have a family here for the next 8 years. Plus, during one of the dinner parties, we ended up dropping a whole taco pizza on the floor right after getting it out of the oven so that was exciting and fun to clean up!


Lizzie Flook (@LizzieAHale1):

  • Anytime Kelsey brings baked goods because she’s an incredibly skilled baker
  • The first day of our first rotation and meeting as a class
  • Studying with the KALM crew
  • Summer KayBob’s sessions
  • Spending an evening with my classmates and receiving an MP degree


Connor Beebout:

  • Sitting next to Abin, Rachel and Michael on that tiny couch in the Gyn workroom twiddling our thumbs and hoping one of us would be lucky enough to get chosen to help with a surgery