Tuesday, February 20, 2007


It’s amazing how quickly things can get crazy. The number of student organizations I joined at the beginning of the year seemed totally reasonable. I had regular meetings, and lots of things to do, but everything seemed fairly doable. Now, somewhat suddenly, I can’t seem to get everything done. Everyone seems to talk about balance between extracurricular activities and school, or school and relationships, or anything other than what seems to be my problem - balance between saying yes and saying no. Every medical student thinks that s/he can change the world, and I’d argue that we should take Margaret Mead’s quote to heart: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” That being said, I’m not sure that I can do it on my own, by tomorrow, and still pass my second year.

For those of you who keep tabs on me, here is what I’ve been up to, and what you can do to help:

1. Women’s Health and Fitness Day: The day is over now (the event was last Saturday), and it was great. We didn’t have quite as many people attend as we might have liked, but those who did were a wonderful group. Joanne Bailey, our inspiring keynote speaker, spoke about the way that society influences women’s health, the role of medical research, and what all of us can do. We got lots of positive feedback and everyone had a great time.

2. Dominican Republic Trip: This is coming up so quickly I can hardly believe it. We’ve had lots of interesting discussions about the different aspects of health we’ll be focusing on while we’re there, as well as the limitations of our work. We met last night to discuss what we can all do to make the effects of our trip more sustainable. If you’ve got suggestions, let me know - aknittel@med.umich.edu.

3. Galens Smoker: We’re getting into intensive rehearsals, and I’m going to be missing tech week for the Dominican Republic trip. I will be dancing (in 3 dances this year!) and although the plot and details about the show are top secret, I can assure you that it will be amazing. The title of this year’s show is “The Breakfast Clubbing, (Cyanosis, and Edema),” based on “The Breakfast Club.” The shows are Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 (both at 7p) at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theater. If you’d like to see the show, but aren’t sure how to get tickets (because you’ll want them before the show - they frequently sell out), e-mail me - aknittel@med.umich.edu.

4. M2 CCA: Out of everything I’ve listed, this is the scariest. I know that assessing our clinical skills is important, but did it have to be this week? The answer clearly is yes, with the note that I’ve known this was coming for months now. Nonetheless, I’m terrified that I’ll omit some critical step of my neurologic examination, or forget to wash my hands (what I’ve heard is an automatic failing grade). So today and early tomorrow I’ll be finishing honing my physical exam, history taking, and presentation skills. If you’d like me to examine you - just kidding!

I think that’s all (more than enough!).

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