During orientation you will meet with your support group. This will not only give you a chance to meet with some of your classmates more intimately, but also a chance to get to know some old pros. We hope these groups will provide an initial set of friendly faces and ultimately a resource for personal support and growth.
Feel free to wear shorts or jeans to orientation meetings. The shirts and ties will get their workout during the third and fourth years. Keep in mind, however, that you must wear a sports jacket and tie for the men and equivalent attire for the women for the Freshman Convocation (White Coat Ceremony). Refer to your orientation schedule for the Convocation Day.
Your first day of class will probably remind you of your first day of college. Don’t get frustrated if you get lost; the medical school building can be a little confusing at first. One-third will be dissecting a cadaver on the first day of Anatomy class. You will need a dissecting kit, dissecting manual, and a long lab coat or a scrub suit. If you have a lab coat and dissecting kit from college, use them. Don’t get uptight about how you’ll react when you first uncover or start to dissect your cadaver. If it bothers you just leave the lab and come back a few minutes later. It’s nothing to be worried about if you feel a little uncomfortable. You’ll probably laugh when you think back on that time later in the year when you spend many hours next to your cadaver learning the seven ins and outs of the pterygopalatine fossa.
The lectures you attend will be similar to those from your undergraduate education. You may have heard about the note-service that records each lecture. This is something your class will probably want to organize. What it involves is a Noteservice committee that is responsible for organizing the class so that everyone will take a turn taping and typing lecture. These lecture notes are available on the World Wide Web. There is a syllabus for each class; in most cases this is actually a lecture outline. With this and the noteservice, many of the students just follow along in the syllabus and fill in their own additions as the lecture proceeds.
The years of medical school are what you make them. If you get started in the right way with good study habits and good personal habits, you’re on the road to becoming a fine physician. Good luck!
Support Groups consist of 5-7 first years, 2-3 second years and a faculty advisor. Their major function is to provide freshmen with some knowledgeable friends to answer questions and help them get situated. They are mostly fun, with various meetings in the first two weeks including a lunch or dinner (on SLU) at a faculty-member’s house or a restaurant. Support Groups are a good way to meet some fellow classmates and to find out what really to buy at the book fair. Each of you will be receiving more information on this later in the summer.