"Even after all of these years, you still have fun."
-University of Minnesota Medical School Alumni
This past week I had the fun opportunity to have breakfast with University of Minnesota Medical School alumni. This event was organized by the Minnesota Medical Foundation and was a way for current students to interact with alumni and thank them for the support they have provided.
The table I sat with had alumni from the class of 1960 and 1970 and it was interesting to hear the path they have taken and where they are now. It was also fascinating to compare notes about what medical school was like decades before to what is now. Some things are still the same, such as the use of the phrase "body buddy" as a term of endearment for the classmates you share a cadaver with in anatomy lab and the classes had roughly about 170 students.
However, some things are different. The curriculum is different and the make-up of the student body has changed. The alumni were impressed with the curriculum's emphasis on collaborative work and integrated course material. They also noted that while my class is about 49% female and about 20% minority students, the class of 1970 had only 8 females and 2 minority students. Thus, we all were impressed at how drastically things have changed within a span of a few decades.
However, the biggest takeaway I got from the whole experience is how much these alumni enjoyed what they are doing, which was inspiring. Even though it has only been 7 weeks of school, there have been times when I have felt overwhelmed, but seeing the alumni happy with what they are doing is motivating and reminds me of the reasons why I want to pursue a career in medicine. In particular one alumni told me that even though he has been working for decades, "Even after all of these years, you still have fun."