OUWB Orientation: Day 1

All day I plastered this goofy smile on my face [I couldn’t help it… I was just so excited and happy to be there]:
Uhh, so I usually don’t smile so large and ridiculous — but hey, pretending to actually have my white coat [we were trying them on for sizing] was a lot of fun.

[You have been forewarned: this will be a long entry…]

Surprisingly, I got a full 7 hours of rest last night and woke up with an adrenaline rush. After popping out of bed and scrolling through my favorite morning websites [email, news, blogs, Facebook… etc], I got dressed and ready to head out the door.

As I drove toward the school, I panicked for a moment: time suddenly feels like it’s speeding up — wasn’t it just yesterday that I sat before my birthday cake candles and wished for a medical school acceptance? I continued to drive on and noticed an elderly woman walking. I couldn’t help but think: she looks satisfied — I hope that someday I will be able to look back and feel fulfillment. By the time this second thought floated into my head, I was merging onto I-75 North toward University Drive [Exit 79] and needed to direct my attention toward the trucks blocking my exit lane.

I wanted to arrive at the school early enough to write a full blog entry, but was caught off-guard by the numerous news trucks reporting either in the parking lot or right outside of the O’Dowd study rooms. Then, of course, one of my peers arrived and I settled for an entry dedicated to the breakfast they set up for us in the Medical Student Lounge. After hitting “Publish Post,” I put my laptop away and chatted with people as they came in [it felt eerily comfortable to introduce myself to my new peers because I almost felt like I already knew everyone from the Facebook group].

After filling out a couple of forms and checking that the lock on my locker can indeed be cracked using the code given to us, I received my new laptop in a functional computer bag embroidered with the words “OUWB Charter Class of 2015.” We also received USB flash drives. While I already own a 13″ MBP, I was excited to play with the new Mac OS, Lion. Since the day was jam packed with activities, I have only had the chance to turn the new laptop on, and change my password [oh, and take a pretty picture of it for you guys to see!].

Some of the photos are a bit blurry since I hastily took them in dim lighting…

Each of us received a laptop bag with our new 13″ Macbook Pro inside [along with a power cord… and an iClicker… and a blue piece of paper with a really long and complicated password that took 2 minutes to type in…]

You will always know who you’ve run into when you see one of our bags because we all have these laminated name tags affixed to the side…

Can you guess which one is my new one?

Our first orientation session of the day was a heartfelt introduction from Dean Folberg [his story is truly an inspiration and one of the reasons I was drawn to the school in the first place]. A couple of things that stood out to me during his presentation [I apologize if these aren’t perfectly quoted!]:

  • “characteristic of a mentor — making time for students” YES! I love the sound of this!
  • “no one has the right to embarrass anyone at anytime” I’m glad to hear that the climate of medical education is shifting away from unnecessary embarrassment
  • Dean Folberg also painted a beautiful image of who our Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, Dr. Michele D. Raible, was before she passed away — I wish I could have met her myself; she sounded like a wonderful woman with a world of experience to share with our class
  • And finally: “we wish you abundant success…”

We were then introduced to the Dean’s Team, heard an enthusiastic overview of orientation week by Ms. Jean Szura [I love her last name because it’s the first that I have encountered that also has an “sz-” beginning, like my middle name] and took a short break before Dr. Nuzzarello introduced us to “The Profession of Medicine.”

I have a feeling that Ms. Jean Szura arranged for this awesome color-coded orientation week schedule [it did not go unappreciated, I assure you]. She has been amazing every time I had a question!
Dr. Nuzzarello’s discussion included:
  • What is a profession? The example was, do you think that someone on the street corner selling newspapers has a profession?
  • Professionalism. This has become an increasingly important topic with slow decline in dress code enforcement.
  • Accountability
  • Respect for the learning environment
  • Social media. A very important topic to me!

But the part of her presentation that touched me was the video — she compiled a wonderful video of interviews with several Beaumont doctors who wanted to share advice from their journey with us. Each section was tied around the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, known as the Declaration of Geneva. I won’t give more detail than that [you’ll have to be admitted to hear their wisdom], but I will say that I did hear some sniffles from my peers at the conclusion and I personally was moved by their words [serious kudos to you, Dr. Nuzzarello!].

Afterwards, we were directed to the activities fair and luncheon — let me tell you, I never expected to find a group of people applauding us as we ascended up the stairs of the Oakland Center. It felt weird. Anyway, during this time, I ate food, walked around and was interviewed twice [I know you want hear how fast I was talking during my interview]. We were also honored with the President of the Oakland County Medical Society, Dr. Sherwin Imlay. Oh, and we got the famous Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy as a gift from the Society. Thank you!

Hi, my name is Amanda and I am obsessed with textbooks. I love them. [Well… I say this now…]

Afterwards, we went into our Wellness session. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that we would not be staring blankly at colorful Powerpoint slides for 2 more hours, but would actually be running around campus. Say what?! Oh, and we got these spiffy GPS devices too:
Sorry it’s blurry… I took the picture while walking. Oh and yes, that’s GRASS you see in the background… because we were sent to the FIELD to retrieve an envelope [where I obtained 3 mosquito bites and very dirty toes!]
It was definitely a fun activity [and I very much appreciated the fresh air — even if it was humid]. While we didn’t win, I still had a great time AND we wrapped up the day earlier than scheduled.
Since I had a couple extra hours, I decided to check out the Rec Center. Sadly, I am disappointed that I have found such a wonderful facility to sweat in and it’s all going to be taken away from me for a week for maintenance! Why must you do this to me?! [By the way, the gym is everything everyone from Oakland raves about. Seriously. I cannot believe I’ve been working out in the CCRB for 3 years!]
Finally, I braved the traffic home [eh, wasn’t too bad today] and tried to unwind before heading to the OUWB Improv Night at GoComedy! in Ferndale. 
The stage area…

While I was pretty amused for the beginning of the show, the material slowly degraded [or my brain function did because I was exhausted from the day’s activities]. Either way, I enjoyed myself and found it to be worth the drive out [though, I got lost on the way back… who knew that you had to get onto I-75 to get onto I-696?! I didn’t…].
And here I am, extremely tired and so ready for bed. If you made it to these words [without cheating!], then I’d like to offer you a cookie because there’s a lot of text. Maybe after I learn how to actually bake cookies from scratch [that is, once I’m done with medical school and stuff…].
All in all, a successful day — thanks to everyone who made it awesome: the OUWB Faculty and Staff, my peers of the Inaugural Class of 2015, the media for publicizing my piece of the interwebs and finally you, the reader who I can always count on to listen to my rants. 

5 thoughts on “OUWB Orientation: Day 1

  • August 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Congratulations Amanda! It is really cool to hear about your experiences as you start this off. Keep up the good writing!

  • August 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I am curious as to where you are living while you attend attend OUWB- are you living with your parents in west bloomfield or in student housing (is there medical student housing?) or somewhere else? I am also wondering where some of your peers are living?
    Good luck your first week and just so you know I really enjoy reading!

  • August 10, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Congrats Amanda 🙂

  • August 10, 2011 at 2:01 am

    Wow! Sounds super fun (at least so far). Keep writing because as a pre-med, I´m super intruiged.

  • August 10, 2011 at 10:56 am

    @Justin: Thanks! Good luck to you as you progress further into the application season. =)

    @Lea: I’m actually living in another property my family owns in Bloomfield. A good number of my peers live at home, while another good number live in the student housing/apartments right across the road from campus. My guess would be that more than half of us live really close to campus.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog! Good luck during the application process!

    @Jordan: Thanks!

    @Kristin: Definitely has been fun — hopefully it’ll stay that way when we start cracking the books open!

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