Medical school reunion isn’t a likely topic for a blog post by a medical student. But in June, as the end of my first year came to a close, I was able to serve as a student volunteer for the University of Vermont College of Medicine reunion. Having only been to my fifth high school reunion thus far, I did not know what to expect, but I was excited to spend time with alumni and hear about their experiences at UVM.
One of my favorite parts of the weekend was eating lunch with the alumni who were celebrating their 50th reunion. For a number of them, this was the first medical school reunion they had attended. Some had a hard time recognizing their classmates – people change a lot over fifty years – but all the attendees had good stories and fond memories of their time in medical school. It was inspiring and interesting to talk to these alumni, and hear the different ways they had used their medical degrees since Commencement. They came back to Vermont from across the country, and were involved in many different aspects of medicine, from policy-making to primary care. Through them, I could see some of the possibilities of what my career as a physician might hold.
It was also exciting to see how much the alumni cared about the current state of the College of Medicine. Whether five or 50 years removed from medical school, they were curious about how UVM has changed, and what the experience of today’s medical students is like. There are new buildings here, and much of the curriculum looks completely different now. This weekend gave alumni the chance to see some of these changes in action and spend time reconnecting with the campus and each other.
I have a hard time imagining my own medical school reunions, since we are very much still in the midst of medical school. However, Reunion 2015 gave me a glimpse of the future. Even after (or if) we leave Burlington, we will be welcomed back to UVM with photo booths, picnics, and educational sessions. I have seen that the opinions and perspectives of current students help to shape decisions made at UVM. And when we graduate, our experience as alumni will help inform the educational experience of the next generation of UVM medical students.