May 14, 2020

VIDEO: Follow medical students through their ‘Four Years in Blue’ in new documentary

In the short film, they share stories in their own words, with glimpses into the reality of medical school life as they lived it

Four Years in Blue documentary

One medical school. Four years. Fifteen stories. 

In 2016, the University of Michigan Medical School welcomed 172 new doctors-in-training. Out of this group, 15 students agreed to be followed throughout their medical training, documenting key milestones in their journeys from the first months on campus until just days before graduation for most of them.

In the short film, “Four Years in Blue: The University of Michigan Medical School Documentary,” they share stories in their own words, with glimpses into the reality of medical school life as they lived it.

The documentary realizes the vision of a talented team from the Michigan Medicine Department of Communication (DOC), led by Lead Brand Manager Maria White, Creative Services Manager Joe Hallisy, and Nick Beardslee, a member of the DOC creative services team, who composed original music for the documentary.

“It was a true privilege to see the students grow from eager, sometimes overwhelmed M1s to insightful, highly competent M4s,” says White. “We so appreciated their honesty and time, and hope their message inspires others to pursue their dreams despite the challenges they will encounter along the way.”

The students came to campus during a significant time in the school’s history. The transformed A. Alfred Taubman Health Sciences Library — a space that is home for many students during their time here — re-opened less than a year before they arrived, and the UMMS was busy revamping the very curriculum under which they studied for four years.

Four years later, most of the students are members of the graduating Class of 2020 that this week will become doctors and prepare for residency during another historic period. UMMS is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that has greatly impacted the students’ final months at Michigan. They were able to celebrate the significant events of their M4 year, including Match Day and Commencement, but the pandemic dictated they gather virtually.

“I loved how open the students were with us,” says Hallisy. “We really wanted to make this story authentic to the true medical school journey and the students didn’t hold back. I am really happy with how it turned out and I hope the film will help and inspire people going through their own medical school journey.”