Meet Your Admissions Ambassadors

View from the Inside

When it comes to applying to med school, there’s no such thing as too much information.

Our Admissions Ambassadors love to share. They come to us with great ideas on what prospective applicants/students would like to know about our admissions process. They are also happy to share their personal journey to med school with you. Through their stories, you will get an insider’s perspective on what to expect when you apply, advice on how to take it all in, and finding a fit that’s right for you.

We invite you to get to know our amazing Admissions Ambassadors:

Charmayne, M4

What is your favorite part of the med school curriculum?
You'll hear a lot about the unique curriculum that creates more time after core clerkship rotations are complete to explore a variety of career fields. This allows you to spend time participating in areas you're interested in or have opportunities in electives you'll never get to experience again.

What are your extracurriculars?
I came to medical school to serve others, and I've already had the chance to do that as a student by joining the University of Michigan Student-Run Free Clinic. The care of the under-served is extremely important to me and, through this work, I put my words into action in the realm of health disparities.

What do you do to support your well-being?
I made a personal choice not to live in Ann Arbor when I started medical school, and I continue to live a few miles away from the hospital/medical school (in Ypsilanti). This creates a physical, mental, and emotional separation between myself and med school life.

What campus resources do you find most helpful, academically and/or personally?
I normally bring my own meals, but depositing funds onto our hospital ID cards was a nice show of support, and it has helped out to be able to snag something from the cafeteria in a pinch during long hospital shifts. It alleviated a bit of financial stress, and is nice to treat myself every once in awhile.

Now that you are here, what is one thing you would have loved to have known before starting med school?
That it would be so emotionally taxing.

How has Michigan been a good fit for you?
You can be as involved or as uninvolved as you'd like to be. Don't be ashamed to rewrite the narrative you wrote for yourself coming in to medical school. This might be about your relationships, your career field of interest, the type of community you'd like to train/practice in later, etc. Be open to explore new things and be led closer to the path you're meant to be on to achieve the passions you discover.

Bri, M4

Michigan medical students at football game

What is your favorite part of the med school curriculum?
I really like that we start clerkships after one year of lectures and take Step 1 after clerkships. I exceeded my expectations of my Step 1 score, and I fully believe it was due to taking it after clerkships. I also enjoy how much freedom we have in the Branches. The first two years are time consuming, but it pays off in the end.

What are your extracurriculars?
I traveled to Uganda for 7 weeks to do clinical research. We were immersed in the culture and experienced the challenges of doing research in another country.

What do you do to support your well-being?
I enjoy spending time with friends. When you are on clerkships you don't see each other very often, but we made a point to get together every Friday night to talk about med school and life updates.

What campus resources do you find most helpful, academically and/or personally?
Older medical students have been vital in helping me succeed in medical school.

Now that you are here, what is one thing you would have loved to have known before starting med school?
Imposter syndrome is real, but not everyone has it together as much as you think.

How has Michigan been a good fit for you?
The people are what make Michigan unique. I've found my people and I could not have gotten through medical school without them.

Yoni, M3

What is your favorite part of the med school curriculum?
I most appreciate the flexibility and the emphasis on clinical learning. Being given time to explore new areas of medicine and to generate my own research projects allows me to think of medical school as formative, not just evaluative.

What are your extracurriculars?
I am interested in health policy and developing systems that increase access to care, both structurally and methodologically. Faculty have been eager to mentor me in various projects and supportive of my interests at every turn.

What campus resources do you find most helpful, academically and/or personally?
I really appreciate the way the curriculum has been structured to support me as an adult learner. Flexible quizzing let me focus on how I learn best, and set the standard that all students will approach academics differently.

What is one thing you would have loved to have known before starting med school?
Ask the specific steps a school takes to reduce competition between students. If they can point to particular structural components of their curriculum other than pass/fail, it's a good sign that they are intentional about how they have built their institution's culture.

How has Michigan been a good fit for you?
It is exciting to be a part of a new way to educate future physicians. The flexibility to explore different fields, initiate my own research projects, and to direct my own learning has been empowering. I also take tremendous pride in being a part of a world-class public institution providing high-quality evidence-based care to the communities of Michigan. It is a real privilege.

Michael, M4

Exploring Colombia during our M3 Spring Break

What is your favorite part of the med school curriculum?

Starting clinical rotations as an M2. This has allowed for significantly more elective time as an M3/M4. Finding out the next step in your career path is a big part of medical school and this flexibility to explore specialties made those decisions much easier.

What are your extracurriculars?
Because of the flexibility in the Branches, I was able to take a few months to complete a full-time summer internship in health care administration at a different hospital system before starting my MBA this fall [MD/MBA dual degree student]. I've also had the opportunity to work with other medical students as part of a pro bono consulting group for local non-profits, as well as organize a "Medical School Shark Tank" where my classmates presented exciting projects and ideas to local venture capitalists.

What do you do to support your well-being?
Ann Arbor is a great town, filled with restaurants, bars, trails and festivals. Whether it's attending a football game at the Big House with classmates or going on a Sunday morning run, there are plenty of ways to take a needed break.

What campus resources do you find most helpful, academically and/or personally?
The Taubman Health Sciences Library is fairly new and fully equipped with resources to help you succeed as a medical student. Beyond the computers, electronic books, and study rooms, it serves as a meeting point to catch and collaborate with classmates.

Now that you are here, what is one thing you would have loved to have known before starting med school?
You will have more free time than you anticipate. Find things that you are passionate about to fill this free time, whether that is family, friends, extracurriculars or exploring Michigan.

Jackie, M3

What is your favorite part of the med school curriculum?

Early clinical rotations: This was the biggest draw to UMMS for me, and now that I am 75% done with clerkships, it has lived up to (and exceeded) my expectations. I decided to go to medical school because I'm passionate about learning the stories of others and offering holistic treatment by partnering with them--and it's certainly more powerful to do that at their bedside than in the lecture hall! UMMS made the bold decision to be one of the vanguards of the now-more-widespread curricular shift, and I couldn't be happier. I feel prepared from a clinical perspective after just two years because of the year-long core clerkship experience, and I'm so excited that I have two full years left to explore my clinical interests with that foundation.

What are your extracurriculars?
- Co-founder of CAMP: Going on the inaugural CAMP trip back in 2017 (12 students!!) was integral to my ability to find and curate a community here at Michigan, and it was also just ridiculously fun. 5 other M1s and I tested out UMMS's promise (roughly, "we encourage you to pursue all passions outside medicine and will support you in that") and started CAMP in its official capacity in 2018-- and we now serve well over half of the incoming class! This project has been a product of simultaneous passions for the outdoors, community-building, and wellness, and it has also brought me my five best friends at UMMS.
- Student-Run Free Clinic: I was fortunate enough to serve one of the most beautiful, diverse communities in the area through the free clinic my M1 year. I was the Labs Coordinator, which meant that my partner and I were in charge of handling, interpreting, and informing patients of their lab and radiology results. The free clinic was so immensely fulfilling for me--and also definitely made me a better clinical student my M2 year.
- Smoker: Annual incredible spoof musical that is truly the highlight of the year. My greatest honor in medical school thus far was being cast as one of the all-time coolest, most brilliant infectious disease docs (and getting to sing about fungi as a result).
- Auscultations: UMMS's a cappella group!! Best way to spend a Monday night.

What do you do to support your well-being?
1. Run ~daily and eat well: I have been a big runner for years, and my main well-being priority coming to med school was to keep that up. Ann Arbor is a great place to be an outdoor runner, and for other athletes/runners/etc out there: med school is busy, but you won't need to compromise your exercise routine if you don't want to. I'm running as much as I did before med school. I also do everything in my power to cook for myself and eat well (and I take time to enjoy the awesome restaurants in Ann Arbor as a treat sometimes, too!!).
2. Stay in touch with loved ones outside of medicine: I'm not from anywhere near Michigan, so it definitely takes time and effort to keep in touch with everyone--but I think it's been the most valuable thing that I've done for my well-being. My partner and I are also in a long-distance relationship, and he is not in medicine; having that connection outside of medicine has been great for me. Big shout-out to all of my friends and fam.
3. Get involved in the awesome things going on at Michigan outside the hospital/library. There are a cappella groups, dance shows, musicals, and more all run by med students--and then there are also a million other things to do within the greater Ann Arbor area. [[My personal favorite is semi-regular visits to Blank Slate ice cream with friends]]

What campus resources do you find most helpful, academically and/or personally?
I've never been one to actively ask for help (...classic med student...), but when I need help, the house counselors are always there at the drop of a hat. Truly, though, my biggest on-campus support system has been my friends.

Now that you are here, what is one thing you would have loved to have known before starting med school?
I think the most important thing I've realized in medical school is that I am the most successful medical student when I am also the most successful holistic version of myself. It is absolutely INTEGRAL to take time to do things outside of studying that you enjoy, and to "stay in your lane" and not panic about what other medical students may or may not be doing. You will not be able to provide good patient care unless you are first providing good self-care, so when you're deciding on a medical school and are settling into a routine, don't forget that =)

How has Michigan been a good fit for you?
Michigan has been a stellar fit academically, personally, and community-wise. Michigan certainly offers structure but really values students who are willing to explore their own passions, and they support you in those endeavors and encourage you to share them with the community. That has helped me grow into the type of future physician that I aspire to be, rather than the type of future physician that a medical school may prescribe (pun intended). It serves its patients with respect, compassion, and excellence, and it does so as part of a greater University of Michigan commitment to The Team, The Team, The Team, an ethos that has made me feel at home even though I'm an East Coast gal. There is truly a place for everyone here, and you will be part of a family of the most humble, supportive, passionate, and brilliant peers and faculty in the world.

More Q&A's to come each week!