Monday, July 10, 2006

First Day of Orientation

Today was just an incredible day in so many ways. It's going to be hard to put all of my thoughts and feelings down in words like this, but I will do my best. My first day as an M1 was quite emotional, to the point of being overwhelming sometimes.

We got to the Lerner Institute at 7:30, and they had us register and gave us all nametags. A lot of us already knew each other from having gotten together last week and over the weekend. They also gave us really nice messenger bags that have the school's name embroidered on them. Inside the messenger bags was a bunch of info about the school, some maps, and about a zillion forms that we had to fill out. One form was for radiation safety rules, and we literally had to initial EVERY rule. Another was for our background check.

Dr. Kathy Franco is the Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions at CCLCM, and she opened by welcoming us here and reminding us that we are a family. We also were introduced to the rest of the office staff, including Wilma Doyle, the Administrator. Like I told you in an earlier post, CCLCM students do not skip class, because our classmates are depending on us. So Wilma explained to us that if we DID ever not come without calling in, she would be showing up at our homes to find us. Literally. (She's actually done it once before!) After that, there was an outreach officer from the CCF police force who spoke to us for half an hour about staying safe on campus. I learned several interesting facts: CCF has the third largest police force in Cuyahoga county (after the cities of Cleveland and Parma); they have almost 200 officers and security guards. Also, the crime rate on campus is incredibly low. No violent crimes at all, with the exception of a few incidents of domestic violence. The biggest problem, of course, is theft of personal items, so it's important to keep our valuables locked up and to not permit people we don't know into the secure areas of the building. He also presented stats for the rest of the city of Cleveland, and the difference is pretty stark. Out of approximately 400 cars stolen precinct-wide, only five were on the CCF campus. (CCF occupies approximately 10% of the precinct geographically.)

We then had a very fast succession of mini-talks. First was the CCF fire marshall, who is an extremely funny guy. Then came the Hazmat coordinator to talk about chemical safety. Third was the director of environmental health and safety to talk about radiation. After him, we heard from the director of library services. And THEN we got to the 1001 little errands that had to be done. We completed all of our forms, took TB tests, paid for parking permits, and got our locker assignments and our locks for them. And we got our pagers. Holy cow, my very first day of medical school, and I already have a pager!!! What the heck for? No one knows exactly. It's not like anyone is going to have to page me for an emergency PBL session or anything. But be that as it may, the pagers were issued. Some of my classmates had a good time playing with them, and every so often a random one would go off here and there for the rest of the day. We were also given a learning style assessment to do for homework. This is supposed to help us figure out how we learn best and understand other people with different learning styles better.

We also prepared for the CCLCM white coat ceremony. Unlike Case, CCLCM issues long coats, and they put our names in them. We each had an individual picture taken while wearing our white coats. Dr. Drake, our anatomy prof, took us to see a bronze statue in the hospital that the staff members are thinking of making the school emblem. It's called "Man Helping Man," and it is dedicated to all of the people who have donated their bodies, organs, and tissues to medicine and research. Afterward, we went to the Foundation House. This is an old, refurbished house owned by CCF that would be perfect to play Clue in. Here, we had our ceremony. First, we heard a speech by Dr. Young (a physician here) about the meaning of professionalism, as well as about what makes medicine different than other professions. The biggest difference, according to Dr. Young, is that unlike plumbing, law, or architecture, medicine has that extra virtue to it. It's not just a job, and you don't stop learning or living it until the day you retire.

One of the things that really got to me is that the program for the ceremony said this on the cover:

Welcome to Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and to the Profession of Medicine.

Wow, that is sounding pretty real there. It has started to hit me that I am a first day first year medical student beginning in the profession of medicine.

After Dr. Young's speech, Dr. Franco called each student up one at a time, and we shook hands with her and Dr. Fishleder, who is the executive dean. Dr. Fishleder also gave each of us a book that is an anthology of essays and short stories written by various physicians. Dr. Franco had written a personalized note to each of us in the front cover. Once we all had our white coats, we took a group picture of the entire class of 2011. So that makes it official. It's too late to back out now.

Just so you know, this was all before lunch. We had lunch after the group picture, and we met several other members of the staff at that point. These were mainly people who are involved with helping us with our curriculum, academic planning, evaluations, etc. We returned to the Lerner Institute, and then came the best part: distribution of the tablet PCs. They're Gateways. If you've never seen a tablet PC, you can check them out on Gateway's website for yourself. Dr. Mehta is the Director of Education Technology, and he spent a few hours teaching us how to use the computers today. We also got CCF emails and Case emails, and we found out about a bunch of online tutorials that we have to take for doing animal research and HIPAA. I am too tired to post about the computers right now, but I will tell you more about them later on in the week. We have more training sessions with them coming up.

After the computer training session, we were done for the day. There was a CWRU Society Dean's Mixer held off campus, and some of us went. But it was optional, so a lot of people didn't. Tomorrow is going to be another long day.


Meg said...

I checked out the website for the tablet PC. Really neat!

If I don't get a free one in med school, I might end up buying it (or whatever version is out at that time).

Your adventures at CCLCM are just beginning! Can't wait to hear more....

MK said...

Hey - I even teared up a little when it said, "Welcome to the profession of medicine."

Good luck - not that you need it. You're going to be an amazing doctor!

Sara said...


Sounds like you had a great first day. I am very happy for you!

It was fun to read about it in your blog.

Any pages yet?

CCLCM Student said...

meg: The tablet PCs are really awesome. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that we are having a fantastic time with them. I don't think we can even appreciate yet what they do; we still have more orientation sessions with them to come.

mk: Thanks. Best of luck to you, too!

sara: Heh heh, no, no pages. The pager is still sitting in the wrapper on the floor at my house where I dropped it when I got home on Monday.