Sunday, August 12, 2007

WUMP week

As mentioned earlier, things are bustling around here. We MSTPs and research-oriented meds have been up to our usual fun and games for the last month or so, but everything rapidly changed pace last Monday with the beginning of WUMP.

WUMP is the Washington University Medical Plunge, a weeklong foray into the world of medicine and serving the underprivileged. St. Louis offers a lot of chances to do this, from Planned Parenthood to shadowing a doctor at a prison, from a sexual abuse clinic to a homeless shelter. Only three MSTPs (that I know of) participated in WUMP this year, but had it not been for our lab rotations more of us would have applied. I really wanted to go see the correctional facility, but alas I had data to collect.

WUMP also gives you a head start on the social scene. The 40ish people participating in WUMP get to do the introduction and name learning a week earlier than the other meds, and any rotating MSTPs still in their labs may quickly find themselves out of the loop. WUMP is long in the daytime hours, but at night everyone goes out in one big group that for the most part has no cliques established yet and live like rockstars. It’s great. Yesterday we got about 40 people together in the 100 °F heat and played ultimate Frisbee for 2-3 hours. With a large group of intelligent people like this, it’d be hard for us to have anything but constant fun in a new city.

However, it seems that the uniform solidarity of the WUMP group lasts about a week, as last night I noticed the first evidence of cliques forming while we belted out our favorite songs at a karaoke bar. (Not that this is a terrible thing, as it’s pretty much guaranteed with a group larger than a dozen). With the MSTP orientation beginning tomorrow morning, a day earlier than the meds, the science geeks will be retiring a little earlier than previous nights. We’ll need the rest, too, for on Tuesday we will meet another 80 or so people that comprise the rest of our med school class. Alright, my phone is beeping with texts every few minutes because I am pulling together a dozen for dinner. Hopefully one of the other writers will be able to specifically write more about WUMP.

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