October 06, 2020 5:00 AM

Students Share Medical School Details You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

From favorite electives and research opportunities to student life and finding support during challenging times, Michigan medical students provide their insights.


Applying to medical school is an extremely stressful experience, and Michigan medical students know that firsthand. That’s why five students took time to share their insights with hundreds of prospective students during a recent video livestream Q&A. 

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Topics ranged from curriculum and mentorship to application advice and much more. Below, read through a few highlights from the session or watch the full video above to get all the topics covered.

Fourth-year medical student, Stephanie Reyes, on the medical school application process:

One thing I wish I knew was that all I needed to do to get into medical school was to be myself and not try to be anything other than that. 

I think when you're preparing for a process where everything that you've done and who you are is going to be heavily judged, you try to be the best version of yourself, and sometimes that's not the most honest or truthful version of yourself. Now, being on the other side of this, I've realized that they don't want that perfect applicant. They really just want you. So I wish I knew that prior to applying. It would have saved me a lot of stress and trouble in the process.

First-year medical student, Sarah Zimmerman, on work-life balance in medical school:

I've been very pleasantly surprised by how much of a work-life balance I feel I have. Everyone was telling me, ‘Med school is hard, you're not going to have a life, all you're going to do is study,’ which is sort of true. But on the other hand, I feel like I really do have time to go have dinner with friends during the week or go Up North for a weekend. The pass-fail curriculum is really important and really crucial to allow work-life balance, and I've really tried to embrace that.

Second-year medical student, Alexandra Herman, on why she chose Michigan Medical School:

For me it was about seeing that everyone was really enthusiastic about their place in medicine, but also just enthusiastic human beings in general. It's really nice to be in an environment where everyone else is as high energy as you are. That's what I felt on my interview day and pretty consistently throughout my first year and now in this Transition to Clerkship period. Everybody that I've worked with here just has that energy and passion and drive that is medically related, but they also just have that human, fun, personal life-related energy and passion as well, which was really important for me.

SEE ALSO: DOCUMENTARY -  Reality Checks: Michigan Medical School Students Open Up

Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.) student, Hadrian Kinnear, on the welcoming community:

My partner moved to Michigan with me and started a master's program. Something I've really appreciated is, for students with significant others or families locally, there are a lot of activities relating to the med school where you can bring your people. That's been really helpful for me in trying to integrate those parts of my life. So, for many things, you can come alone or come be a part of those activities with your significant other so they can join that broader group. 

Third-year medical student, Sudharsan Srinivasan, on the early Branch curriculum:

After taking the Step 1 exam, you return early in your third year and do two month-long sequences of transitioning to Branches. You have to do an intensive care unit rotation, an emergency medicine rotation and a sub-internship rotation in a field that you're interested in. But there's a lot of flexibility. You can choose quite a few electives and even create your own. This past year one of my friends created an elective in veterinary medicine and had a fun time exploring that. You can really branch out in your interests and work closely with faculty members. And there's a good amount of time to do research or to do a dual degree.

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Search #GoBlueMed on Twitter to see more Michigan med students’ answers to a range of questions.