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Haley Sherburne, M1

818 Fitness (the CORE Gym)

The CORE gym is an incredibly well-equipped, well-maintained and convenient place to work out. The facility includes all the traditional amenities, such as plenty of cardio machines (e.g. treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, rowing machines and stairmills), as well as weight machines and free weights. The CORE gym also has some more unique amenities, including punching bags, deadlift platform and monkey bars. Besides the equipment, I enjoy working out at the CORE gym due to its convenient location by the medical school, its 24-hour access, and its in-house showers and lockers. It is very easy to workout before, after, and in between classes, or whatever time works for your schedule! The gym is fairly busy around 9am and 5pm, but even during peak hours, I never have trouble using equipment or finishing my workout. All in all, I would highly recommend checking out the CORE gym!

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Learning Specialist

Kelsie K., M1

Although I only took one gap year before coming to medical school, adjusting to studying again was one of my biggest concerns before starting. While the school did a great job of easing us into the curriculum, I knew that I wanted to streamline my study habits moving forward in my education. Within a week of emailing our learning specialist, Dr. Sarah Fowler-Dixon, I had the chance to meet with her to discuss my current studying style and how I could become more efficient. She initially had me fill out a short quiz to classify my studying style and then gave me pointers for how I could modify my current study habits to learn better and save time studying. As I’ve slowly implemented her suggestions, it’s become easier for me to understand how I learn and how I can help myself to learn better.

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Mental Health

Madeline D., M1

Medical school can be overwhelming and is inevitably a big life transition for students. Fortunately, WashU knows this and has resources in place to help you navigate school and life outside of school. The health center has a Student Health Services Counseling Staff consisting of three psychologists (one who is a sexual violence prevention therapist) and a psychiatrist. Each class also has a Student Wellness Representative who coordinates with the Office of Student Representatives (OSR) to provide group wellness activities for medical students. Faculty at WashU also know that other circumstances can interfere with school and that students are under a lot of stress and will generally be understanding as far as deadlines, missing class, and anything else that might come up. Lastly, WashU has many groups or facilities for wellness activities and encourages everyone to continue doing what they are passionate about and what keeps them healthy.

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Student Health Services

Amy R. Z., M1

Nestled in a corner of the third floor in 4525 Scott Avenue (right behind the FLTC), Student Health Services is truly a hidden gem for medical students like you and me. In terms of access, cost, and friendliness, I dare say that WashU Student Health has no equal. During the first few days of orientation, you will be given a short talk from the inimitable Dr. Karen Winters, the director of Student Health Services, who will tell you all about the wonders of student insurance and introduce you to the fairly straightforward logistics. Appointments are easy to book, and walk-ins have fairly short wait-times, so if you wake up one day with a sore throat or mysterious pain, all you need to do is walk right into the office. Referrals to specialists are easy to obtain (including vision and dental), and you can get most, if not all, of your services at an on-campus location — a huge pro for people who might not have cars. (Small caveat is that your appointments might be booked a bit farther into the future due to longer wait times.) While it is recommended that you keep your primary insurance, for those whose plans don’t cover non-emergent services in the Midwest, rest assured that WashU’s student health insurance will more than suffice. Copays are low ($10 for specialists), and physical therapy is free. Yes. Free. There is no out-of-pocket payment for physical therapy. Furthermore, Student Health can be flexible, and Dr. Winters will work with you if serious health crises arise or if special services are needed — just make sure to call and communicate with her. Additionally, the staff is always friendly and very happy to address any questions or concerns that you might have. Medical school can be a tough transition, and oftentimes health becomes a forgotten element during this time, so it is immensely comforting to know that in times of need, you will have a great student health program to fall back upon.

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Sumers Recreation Center (Danforth Campus)

Jessica C., M1

The Danforth Campus recently built a state-of-the-art fitness and recreation facility, the Sumers Recreation Center, that is available free of cost to WashU med students! You can do individual cardio and strength training or attend a group exercise class like yoga, kickboxing, spin, or Zumba. The gym isn’t too crowded, so I’ve never had to wait more than a few minutes to use the machine or weights that I want. The amenities are excellent — there are lockers available free of charge (you don’t even need to bring your own lock) and a towel service! There is also an indoor track, an indoor pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, and massage therapy available.

The Danforth gym isn’t quite as conveniently located as the CORE, but it’s still easily accessible. There is parking available for free in front of the gym from 5 p.m. – 7 a.m., or the MetroLink can drop you off a short walk away. It takes about 10 minutes to drive or 20 minutes to ride the MetroLink to the gym from the medical campus. It’s worth it for all the facilities, plus I prefer having a bit of time to myself each day to work out without all my classmates around. The Danforth gym is an insanely nice facility and makes keeping up with my workout routine hassle-free.

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What to Wear

Gideon H., M1

Class: Feel free to wear whatever you like to class (within reason). Most people show up in pretty casual clothes: jeans/leggings in winter and shorts in warmer seasons.

Shadowing: The general rule for shadowing is business casual with your white coat and stethoscope unless told otherwise. This usually means slacks or skirt and a button down or an appropriately long dress. For some shadowing, you will be wearing scrubs, but usually they will tell you in advance, and they will provide the scrubs and a place to change.

Operating Room: Students are given scrubs to wear.

Anatomy: Students are given two pairs of scrubs for the semester of Anatomy. Since the floor can get kind of grimy over the semester, most students also dedicate a pair of old tennis shoes for Anatomy use only (whatever footwear you choose, it must be closed-toed). If you have your own scrubs, you are more than welcome to wear those into lab as well.

Emergency Department (ED): Students rotating through the ED are given scrubs to wear. For ED shadowing, they recommend wearing your white coat with either scrubs or over business casual attire.

Standardized Patient (SP) sessions: For the SP sessions, students are supposed to dress like it is a “real” patient encounter, which means business casual with their white coat and stethoscope.

Clinical mentoring sessions and clinic: For clinical mentoring sessions, students are expected to wear business casual with their white coat and stethoscope.

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Patrick W., M1

Students at WashU have really taken ownership of their own wellness and are enthusiastic about supporting each other. One of the resources we created was the WUMS Well page on Canvas. We have modules with resources pertaining to all aspects of wellbeing – physical, social, spiritual, financial, mental, and academic. Short videos provide information on everything from sleep hygiene to relationships in medical school. One of my favorite parts is a series of short videos from past medical students with advice for M1 and M3 years.

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Rachel M., M1

M1s take a yoga break in the King Center of Becker Library. Photo Credit: Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.

Namaste. I have done yoga on-and-off throughout my life. When I came to WashU, I learned about the Yoga Club, and I was eager to join a new yoga community. The club is open to anyone across the WashU Med campus including MD students, PT students, PhD students, pharmacy students, etc. The club meets every Tuesday evening for an hour in the beautiful King Center, which has floor-to-ceiling windows. This creates a great ambiance to do yoga each week while watching the sunset. The class is heavily subsidized, so it only costs $25 per semester, which comes out to about $2 per class. Thus, it is a great deal compared to other places around the Central West End, which can get quite pricey! On the occasional days when there are other events that conflict, I do not feel guilty missing a class because it is so affordable. I go each week with my Big Sib, and I have made friends there from across campus, as well. I think yoga is a great way to relieve stress and get a workout while catching up with friends. I would highly recommend joining, regardless of where you are in your yoga practice.