First off I wanted to say thanks so much for the feedback on my end of the year post! I will be making weekly vlogs that discuss the things you all wanna hear about, starting this Friday! So stay tuned 🙂 In the mean time I thought Wednesdays would be a great day to talk it up about Year One, step by step–starting with the summer before it started!
My medical school has an awesome opportunity for up to 15 (my year there were only 6) selected incoming first year students who get a med school ‘crash course’ of sorts. The program is six weeks long and entails attending lectures, taking quizzes, exams, & anatomy lab practicals, dissecting bodies, etc. just as students do during first year. Lectures are provided either through podcasts from previous years’ lectures or an in-class talk from a department head.
The Pre-Matriculation Enrichment Program (PEP) was originally started by a trailblazer in the local black community who has a pipeline of STEM programs for ages 5 all the way up to medical school graduation. PEP is currently run by the school’s Director of Anatomy who provides participants with books used during Module I (our medical school is broken down into 4 ‘modules’, the first of which encompasses your first semester of medical school). He also provides feedback on assignments and exams. I’m sure you’re wondering how much one has to cough up to obtain the invaluable resources received from the program–it’s absolutely free to anyone who is accepted. I was truly blessed to be a part of the experience in more ways than one.
Now that you know the background, let’s talk about what my typical day during the program would be like:
- First thing every morning (8 AM) we would start out with a daily quiz over the previous day’s lecture material.
- Podcast the assigned 4 lectures from the previous year’s class
- Quick lunch–usually 30 minutes, sometimes 1 hour
- Anatomy lab for 2-4 hours based on how long it took to get done dissecting whatever was on the schedule for that day
- Spend the rest of the afternoon studying
- Workout by 9 pm
- Bed by 10:30 pm
In addition to the daily quizzes (maybe 5 questions), we had weekly quizzes (25-50 questions) and two big exams (100-125 questions). At the end of the summer our program director told each of us what our PEP Course Grade was–it was meant to be an indicator of what we would have made in Module 1 if PEP were the real semester and these grades actually counted for something.
So was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY! Don’t get me wrong–the program was VERY tough if taken seriously, and my friends and I did just that.
Working hard that summer made certain aspects of the school year more manageable than they would have been without prior background knowledge. Also, don’t even get me started on how much networking I got to do with professors and other faculty and staff! The intimate setting PEP provides allowed me and my peers to truly stand out to faculty and staff on campus before the additional 100+ classmates even arrive.
We all still managed to have fun some fun along the way too! We had a barbecue, went bowling, I ran a 5k with my mom, etc.
Best of all, the six of us got very close and it allowed me to start medical school knowing I would always have 5 other people in my corner if I needed them <3.
After I finished PEP I took a 2 week hiatus from everything including social media and went on a trip with my parents to Atlanta, GA to see family. I really needed to press ‘reset’ after PEP and wanted to start medical school fresh. I worked out everyday, enjoyed the peace and quiet of the great outdoors, caught up on some reading and sleep, and left feeling amazing.
When I came back I saw the last of my friends from undergrad and high school because I knew it would be a while before I hung out with them again.
I also finished doing the last of the paper work and got my ID badge and first year photo which really made it sink in that I was about to start my medical school journey. Before I knew it, I was up early in the morning getting ready for day 1.
Learn all about it and how my first few weeks went next Wednesday! 🙂