Medical students find a home at inaugural M-Home Olympics

June 30, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements, Our Employees,

The 2016 Olympic summer games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are still a year away, but that didn’t stop Medical School students from getting an early jump — and run, and hit, and kick — on their schoolmates during a spirited multi-event competition May 29 at Elbel Field.

The first annual M-Home House Olympics served as a festive kick-off to one of the new elements of the transformed medical student curriculum. M-Home is a learning community intended to create a more distinct “home-base” for students to support the curriculum as well as other critical components of the student experience, including mentoring and advising. It will provide a safe, longitudinal developmental setting for students to practice, explore and reflect to synthesize the learning of the curriculum.

After opening remarks from Associate Dean for Medical Student Education Rajesh S. Mangrulkar, M.D., the students participated in the official sorting ceremony. They were assigned to a house by peeling open their nametags to reveal a temporary Block M tattoo in one of four colors — each representing their house and t-shirt color. Incoming members of the Class of 2015 will join a house when they arrive on campus in August.

Before the official games began, house directors Andrew R. Barnosky, D.O., M.P.H., Rachel L. Glick, M.D., Michael P. Lukela, M.D., and Eric P. Skye, M.D., competed against the M1 students on the planning committee — Maria Pliakas, Kylie Steenbergh, Christine Wu and Katie Zurales — in an obstacle course that tested the important talents of this esteemed group: from eating donuts without hands, to shooting a soccer ball while dizzy, to dancing. Of course, the M1s soundly defeated the house directors with the crowd cheering them on.

Donning shirts that read: “M-Home is Where We Come to Train. FLEXING MUSCLES. STRETCHING BRAINS.” the students competed in a variety of Olympic-style events including flag football, quidditch, soccer, kickball, volleyball and tug-of-war. House “D” emerged victorious and took home the trophy (a garden gnome emblazoned with Block Ms), thanks to their superiority in the tug-of-war.

Heather L. Burrows, M.D., Ph.D., and Jennifer N. Stojan, M.D., served as the keynote speakers and facilitators of the ceremonies. They also were part of the planning committee that included the house directors, M1 students, and Justine Hein from the Office of Medical Student Education.

In the end, this laid the foundation for the incoming students to join their respective houses, beginning in five short weeks.