Michigan Med students find support on campus
Justine Hein is our M-Home Administrator, but her business card says “Med School Mom.” It’s a role she cherishes.
Since launching M-Home last fall, Justine has worked alongside the four faculty House Directors to provide co-curricular and extracurricular events and activities for the medical students in the domains of wellness, community building, educational enrichment and service learning. These include the coaching program with the Doctoring faculty; co-curricular offerings such as the Healer’s Art Course and the M-Home Reads book club, and many extra-curricular activities including House Bowling challenges, Whirly Ball, Wellness weeks and many House lunches.
The recent M-Home Olympics is another one of these events. Each of the four M-Home houses took to Mitchell Field to compete in teams for the honor of winning the coveted M-Gnome trophy. Here, Justine shares a little more about her role and gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how this special day came together for students and faculty.
“The M-Home Olympics is a fantastic opportunity for students, faculty and staff at the Medical School to take a break and gather together for a half day, play games and interact in a very informal setting. There was a lot of anticipation leading up to our Second Annual M-Home Olympics. Our student planning committee did an excellent job choosing a variety of challenging games and fun activities.
“The pie-eating contest was definitely my favorite activity, followed by the wrecking ball and the obstacle course (have you ever tried to eat an Oreo cookie that is positioned on your forehead, with your hands tied behind your back?). It was wonderful to see students and faculty play on teams together, as well as faculty/staff teams competing against student teams. My hope is that the students were able to re-connect outside the classroom, encourage each other and build relationships through teamwork. Considering this was the second year for our event, I think it was a smashing success, and I am already looking forward to next year!
It’s absolutely the highlight of my day to meet with students and get to know them — they are extremely intelligent, hardworking, goal oriented, compassionate people. I have a lot of respect for the choice they are making to enter into medicine with aspirations to improve health and the health care system. I am inspired by their energy, and I learn from them every day.
“I can’t even describe how completely honored I am to be referred to as 'Med School Mom' by our awesome students. While not every student needs a ‘mom’ in medical school, I like to think that all students appreciate a friendly face and a listening ear, and taking a break to enjoy a sweet treat once in a while. It’s absolutely the highlight of my day to meet with students and get to know them – they are extremely intelligent, hardworking, goal oriented, compassionate people. I have a lot of respect for the choice they are making to enter into medicine with aspirations to improve health and the health care system. I am inspired by their energy, and I learn from them every day.
“One of our current students recently said, ‘You get as much out of the M-Home Learning Community as you put into it.’ Medical students are extremely busy and are pulled in many different directions, so it’s critical for them to spend time wisely and prioritize accordingly. M-Home will continue to become even more integrated within many other aspects of our curriculum, which I believe is an essential part of our goal to enrich the student experience. Students will continue to become even more involved in choosing, planning and executing events and activities, and I will work closely with them to support their efforts as needed.
“Overall, I am very happy with what we have accomplished so far. I am excited and impressed that UMMS has committed the resources to develop and fund this program, because it shows that our Deans care about the wellbeing and success of our students. Medical school is not an easy journey. In fact, it can be very difficult. We are here to help along the way.”