As the first 64 students at Central Michigan University’s College of Medicine recoil from their first week of study, the inaugural class hopes to soon begin shaping the landscape of CMED through a more strenuous workload and quicker academic pacing.
West Bloomfield medical student Kathryn Brandell has observed her fellow students adjusting their lifestyles to the increased workload.
Aware that challenges might arise during adjustment, she says that “personal growth” is essential during the transition.
“It’s been a mixture of being excited and overwhelmed,” Brandell said. “We’re all extremely motivated, but now we have to get back into the swing of things. We’re just rolling with the punches. The faculty and staff have made the transition very enjoyable.”
Maple City medical student Abigail Christiansen says orientation was helpful, but just having an open mind is more essential.
“(CMED) is a little different from our undergraduate programs,” she said. “It requires being flexible and an understanding of the studying, preparation and how to absorb the information.”
Christiansen looked to weekly quizzes that help faculty measure student progress in preventing any problems the class might have keeping up.
“We can all tell the faculty is really excited to have us here,” she said. “The quizzes give (instructors) a good idea of how we’re doing and allow us to maintain the pulse of the college. It’s difficult, but the material is really fun to learn; everything is so important.”
Medical student Saavia Girgla, an international student from India, says she looks forward to developing student groups at CMED once the inaugural class has settled in. She says she hasn’t had time to think about clubs during the first week’s strenuous beginning.
“(CMED) is going very well,” she said. “It’s very busy. We’re still getting used to the workload. The pace is much faster. I’m looking forward to starting student groups, but I haven’t had much time to think about it, since we’re so busy with the work.”
Senior Associate Dean of Educational Programs at CMED Joel Lanphear said curriculums for the inaugural class began development in 2010. He’s hopeful that CMED will soon begin to fill a need for physicians throughout Michigan.
“When the economy became very difficult, a lot of need was created,” Lanphear said of an apparent shortage of physicians in Michigan. “It’s the typical urban problem, but it’s our problem and we care about it.”
In developing the medical school, Lanphear said the greatest challenge was assembling his team of qualified faculty and staff to not only usher in the first class, but cultivate a strong environment for the future of CMED.