Thursday, July 18, 2013

Welcome to VUMC

Who needs to wake up in the morning and exercise? Not me, that's for sure. Of all the classes offered at VSA, I'm certain when I say that Med School 101 is the most active. Because our class is across the street, we do more exercise than the majority of classes here. While commuting can be a bit of a challenge, it's put at least an hour of exercise into my schedule without having to pencil it in. And because of the convenience of taking the stairs to class and back at my dorm, I feel active enough. There's plenty of ways to stay active without having the need to go to the gym at VSA. 

For the first half of class, several students from my class was given a tour of the medical center. But before we began our venture, I noticed something different today. Today was the first day of medical school for first year students here at Vanderbilt University. The moment we walked into the building, a sign was posted welcoming the incoming class of 2017. I had no idea some medical schools start earlier in the year. Summer becomes a season instead of a vacation after starting medical school. And as Jake said, it's important to make the most out of your summer vacation while the opportunity is still there. 

I had a wonderful time being exposed to different parts of Vanderbilt University Medical Center. It was nice being able to walk into unknown territory. Similar to the dining commons food, it was nice getting a change in scenery. Because of its complex nature, there was a lot to see in a span of three hours. But we managed to see most of Vanderbilt University Hospital and Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. I noticed a significant difference between the designs of both hospitals. While the Children's Hospital was upbeat looking, VUH was plain simple. Catering to children, I understood why Vanderbilt Children's Hospital had a playful design to cheer up their patients. I just wished that same play on architecture could translate to adult hospitals. Whether you're big or small, tall or short, old or young, everyone needs something to cheer them up when stuck in hospitals. What ultimately matters is their overall performance. And since VUMC is state and nationally recognized, they must do a phenomenal job. It's what's on the inside that matters in the end. 

After coming back from lunch at the Commons, we all met with Jon, Mary, and Jake inside the Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment. This was one of our most hands on learning experiences yet. With several groups in different rooms, we all took turns learning about different exams and techniques. From administering a cardiology exam to drawing blood, I felt like I was on a mini rotation. From hearts to lungs, I got a taste of everything. Along the way, I found out one of the individuals spending their time to help us was a graduate from UC Berkeley for his undergraduate studies. And he's stayed at Vanderbilt University ever since. While he did get accepted to UC San Francisco, another top notch medical school in somewhat familiar territory, he chose to go to VUMC instead. Using pizza as his example, he mentioned how colleges are like pizzas. While one person may love pepperoni pizza, others may love veggie pizzas. All pizzas are delicious, but it's subjective and an acquired taste. Likewise, the decision of choosing a university is ultimately in the eyes of the beholder. 

Coming back to the classroom, we watched another episode of "Scrubs". This time, it was more to fill in the gaps before heading into discussion groups. 

What really got to me was the weather before heading back to the Hank Ingram House. It was going off the rails. Since my discussion group is usually outside on the patio of the student lounge, I could tell there was something strange. It was so windy that the branches of a larger sized tree in front of the building were shaking uncontrollably and the clouds soon gathered into larger clumps. And by the time we dove into talking about our day in either the clinic or OR, the rain started to pick up. It was literally raining cats and dogs. Unlike yesterday, the large droplets of rain could be multiplied by one hundred with the occasional thunder. Luckily for us, the rain passed giving us enough time for Arete.

With the showcase tomorrow, I'm sad by the fact that my Arete class is coming to an end. Although it was a rough first day, I've warmed up to my self defense class. I've adapted to my Arete like I have with the weather here on the other side of the country. The only sad part about tomorrow being Friday is how fast the time has passed my by. While talking with one of my good friends Carolyn, we both couldn't believe that our countdown until the end of VSA is soon approaching. The end of VSA may be near, but it's not the end to anything by any means. 

1 comment:

  1. This was a very enjoyable read, Kimberly, but I’m missing the photos. Words are nice but words with pictures are nicer. Right?

    You’re absolutely right about the way hospitals look and the affect it has on a patient. There have been a lot of studies on this even down to the color of the paint on the walls.

    Some of our local Vanderbilt alum friends would be pleased to read about the Cal alum who chose to attend med school at Vanderbilt. They seem to like their school, too.

    You’ll have to tell me sometime about how your class is only across the street it adds an hour’s worth of exercise to your day.