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My Six Year Journey

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S: My Six Year Journey

FC: My Six Year Journey

1: My Six Year Journey: From High School Graduate to Doctor | 1 | This book is dedicated to everyone who provided unending love and support along this journey. I simply cannot say thank you enough. Mom and Dad--I would be nothing without you. Twenty-four years ago I hit the parent jackpot--and your loving actions remind me of that every day. There is no way I can put into words how grateful I am for everything you have done for me over the past six years and beyond. But I can say this: I love you.

2: COLLEGE YEARS KENT STATE UNIVERSITY Starting my collegiate career a week after graduating from New Albany High School was initially an incredibly intimidating proposition. Lucky for me those few short days left me little time to worry and before I knew it I was moving into my dorm in Kent, OH. Tears were shed on that first day but my fellow classmates welcomed me with open arms and we quickly realized that being one of a few students on a large college campus (without parents) wasn't such a bad way to spend summer after all. That first summer forged new friendships which lasted throughout our time at Kent State and beyond. We welcomed the fall of 2006 when the "normal" KSU students started their collegiate journey. I made friends outside of the program; particularly through my involvement in the Catholic Student Association. My two years at Kent were full of school, travel, and fun. My first place, my first trip to Europe, my first half marathon, my first internship, and my first college degree!! | 2

3: Pages 4-5: Good old dorm living. We were incredibly lucky to live in the glorious Centennial C during our first summer on campus. My suite mate was Steffany Bagnolo--we decorated darn well if I do say so myself. Pages 6-7: Our first summer on campus classes were not too demanding so we utilized our weekends for fun. One such fun adventure was a trip to the local theme park, Geauga Lake. Sajid lost his sunglasses and Sheema took a spill but all in all it was a successful day. Pages 8-9: A tradition started early in our KSU careers was going out on a monthly basis to celebrate the birthdays of that month--basically it gave us an excuse to get dressed up. Birthday dinners from throughout my time at KSU are pictured. Pages 10-11: Birthday dinners are fabulous but Caitlin and I decided to mix stuff up a bit for our 20th birthdays. We both had a unique theme: 80's for Cait and superhero for me. To say that our friends stepped up to the challenge would be an understatement. Especially my best friend, Kaitlyn, who managed to surprise me with her presence as cat-woman at my party. Pages 12-13: The Catholic Student Association provided me additional friends and fun outside of my NEOMED crew. Weekends were filled with cookouts, Bible Study, Choir, and other social events. My dad even came up to campus to teach his baking tips and tricks at Culinary Arts 101. Pages 14-15: A lot of firsts were had during my two years at KSU but one of the most exciting was moving off campus and living in my first place. Caitlin and I shared a humble (and well decorated) abode in the Sunny Hill Villas. Soon after moving in we christened our place with our first party. | 3

4: "Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend. " ~Plautus | 4

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10: Awesome 80's and Superhero Birthday Parties | 10

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12: CSA and Bible Study | 12

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14: O U R F I R S T P L A C E | 14

15: OUR FIRST PARTY!!!! | 15

16: 16 | MEDICAL SCHOOL NORTHEAST OHIO MEDICAL UNIVERSITY Before I knew it two years of undergrad went by and I was donning my first white coat in medical school. I can remember the great excitement and great apprehension I felt prior to embarking on my med school career--and both emotions proved to be appropriate. The fours years spent at NEOMED were four of the hardest, emotionally challenging, exciting, fun, life changing, simply indescribable years of my life. I made great friends, established core beliefs, gained a vast amount of medical knowledge and had more fun than I thought was possible.

17: 17 | Pages 18-19: One of the first big events of medical school was my white coat ceremony. My parents and grandmother came up to share in this special ceremony when I was welcomed into the world of medicine with acceptance of my white coat. I would come to be less than fond of the "short white coat" but at the time wearing it made me feel like a real doctor. Pages 20-23: Medical school is quite challenging and as such medical students are known for working hard and partying hard. Turning 21 during M1 year initiated my exploration of the bars of Northeast Ohio--my favorite being Bier-Markt. Nights spent with my friends made for memories that will last a lifetime. Pages 24-25: The third year of medical school marks a major change in one's medical training--transitioning from the classroom to the wards. I was able to be part of the care team and use my book knowledge to help patients. I made diagnoses, made friends with residents, and even delivered a baby! I was also able to travel to Columbus, Boston and Orlando--learning from physicians across the nation. Pages 26-27: The epilogue of my medical school career was match day. Though not what I initially planned, I am incredibly lucky to have matched in preliminary surgery at the University of Michigan. As I said earlier, medical students like to party and Match Day celebrations were AMAZING! We hit the town in our match day shirts and cherished one of our last celebrations as a class.


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20: Work Hard. | 20

21: Party Hard. | 21

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24: The hospital and beyond: Clinical experiences | 24

25: "Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become an expert." -Osler | 25

26: MATCH DAY! | 26

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28: ATHLETICS ENDEAVOURS One question that is often asked of me when I describe the accelerated BS/MD program is if I have time for anything else besides school in my life. To answer that simply: yes! One of my greatest passions outside of the classroom is staying physically active. My love of running has only grown over the past six years (including a tattoo to prove it) and I have added new physical activities including spinning and road biking. Being physically active was essential for me over the past six years--it provided me stress relief and drive but more importantly introduced me to people who have become my family. | 28

29: Pages 30-31: Did I mention I love running? These pages include pictures from some of the races I completed over the past six years. Running with others really made for fun times: the Akron Team Marathon and Bowman Classic allowed me to share my passion for running with some of my classmates, my first half and most recent half marathon were run with the speedy Molly Dengler. I even had the opportunity to join my parents for my most recent marathon in Pittsburgh, a true family affair! Pages 32-33: The greatest of all my marathon achievements was the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon in 2010 and 2011--both times with friends to share the fun--Kristi for the first and Jaime and Maria for the second. Pages 34-35: Though the Boston Marathons are my greatest athletic achievements, participating in the Inaugural and Second Annual Pelotonia bike tour for cancer research was my most meaningful athletic endeavor. Never having been on a road bike, the thought of traveling to 180 miles in two days was unfathomable. Yet with the support of family and friends along with the backing of such a worthy cause I was able to finish the trek! Easily one of the greatest experiences of my life. Pages 36-37: As much as I love competing myself I also love watching others compete as well. Over the past six years I attended Kent State, Ohio State, Cleveland Cavs, Steelers, and Penguins games. I look forward to adding a few Michigan games to my schedule next year! | 29

30: "I always loved running...it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs." -Jesse Owens | 30

31: "When it's pouring rain and you're bowling along through the wet, there's a satisfaction in knowing you're out there and others aren't." -Peter Snell | 31


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34: Pelotonia:A grassroots bike tour with one goal: to end cancer. | 34

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38: TRAVEL ADVENTURES Over the past six years I've had the opportunity to do quite a bit of traveling. Friends going to school in different places along with adventurous family members sent me to many different cities in the US and beyond. I was able to visit Kaitlyn in DC, Brian in Princeton, and Molly in NYC. My mom joined Caitlin and I in a trip to Ft. Lauderdale. Christine and I invaded the annual boys trip and fiesta-ed in Mexico. I fulfilled the dream of visiting Europe when I went to Germany, Italy, and Switzerland with my aunt and uncle and then was able to visit again with our family Christmas trip to London. | 38

39: Pages 40-41: Visiting Pittsburgh doesn't feel so much like traveling as it feels like coming home. Its always so nice to get to see aunt, uncles, and cousins. I like being surrounded by fellow hardcore Pittsburgh fans as well. Pages 42-43: There is something about the beach that makes you truly feel like you are on vacation. My first beach trip was to Fort Lauderdale with Caitlin and my mom. We stayed at an AWESOME hotel with a rooftop pool that we utilized on a daily basis. My second tropical getaway was to Manzanillo Mexico with Christine, Todd, Ross, Doc Sybert, Austen, Brian and my dad. We stayed at a gorgeous villa with the most amazing staff. We enjoyed exploring the city and relaxing poolside. Having an on-site bar and bartender wasn't too shabby either! Pages 44-45: Running the Boston Marathon in 2009 was a great experience but the plane ride back was even better. Sitting next to me on my flight was a friendly guy who happened to be doing an internship at KSU. We talked the whole flight back to Akron and we became good friends even though Jon had to return to Boston at the end of the month. Over the next few months we continued to talk and at my next break I took the opportunity to see the city of Boston and visit Jon (who graciously offered to host me). I had so much fun traversing Boston and enjoying the Independence Day celebrations. I made new friends and fell in love with the city. Pages 46-47: My visit to Boston, along with trips to NYC, DC, and Chicago, reaffirmed my belief that I am a city girl at heart. Getting to hit up NYC with my family and later with Molly was so fun. Kaitlyn gave me the official tour of DC including a marathon-esque walking tour of the monuments. And what visit to DC would be complete without a trip to the Exorcist stairs? Pages 48-49: EUROPE!!! TWICE!! I am one lucky girl! The first visit was in 2009 with Aunt Cathy, Uncle Gordon, and Natalie (my official travel companion). We were graciously hosted in Germany by friends and then continued our journey to Milan, Lake Como, and Cince Terre, Italy, and then back north to Switzerland. My next trip to Europe was this past December. My mom, dad, and Brian joined myself and Aunt Cathy to visit London. I loved getting to experience a new country with my family. What a great way to spend Christmas! Pages 50-51: Between all these travels I did find time to make it back to New Albany every once in a while. Proms, graduations, and other get-togethers affirmed my decision to stay close to home for my education. | 39

40: Visiting Da 'Burgh | 40

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46: BIG CITY FUN | 46

47: NYC and DC Adventures | 47

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52: HOLIDAYS and CELEBRATIONS Did I mention that we in medical school like to have fun? I don't claim to be the greatest of partiers but I do like to have a good time. From holiday get-togethers, to dances, to the always fabulous wedding reception I attended them all. I like to get dressed up and get my groove on. | 52

53: Pages 54-57: Halloween takes up a lot of pages because I love dressing up! Kent State isn't Ohio University but I have heard our Halloween party comes pretty darn close. One nice thing about staying in the same area for medical school is having the opportunity to attend Kent's Halloween again and again. Pages 58-59: Christmas is a big deal in the Barrett household, I mean my father is the Cookie King of Central Ohio. We spent time celebrating with family at the Jimmy D's Christmas Eve and friends and neighbors at the Barrett/Fireman New Year's Eve Bashes. Suggestion for all such parties; dust off the record player and have everyone bring their old records. Michael Jackson's Thriller anyone? Pages 60-61: NEOMED offers multiple opportunities for dancing fun. As an undergrad we had the opportunity to meet the Akron and Youngstown students at NEOUProm. Throughout our years in medical school we danced the night away in Akron at Charity Ball. The final dance of the six years was Commencement Ball (notice my hot date Ms. Mollie Radzinski). Pages 62-63: Weddings, anniversaries, bachlorette parties: they all have one thing in common--dancing and alcohol. Dancing and alcohol=happy Meredith. David and Ashleigh, Erin and Matt, Suzanne and Neil, Amy and Baris--thank you for providing me the opportunity to pretend that I have moves like Michael. I apologize for any horrible dancing you all were forced to witness. Pages 64-69: CANDIDS (aka great pictures that I HAD to include). | 53

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62: Engagements, Weddings, Anniversaries! | 62

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  • By: Meredith B.
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  • Title: My Six Year Journey
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