Dear Class of 2018,
We don’t know where you are while reading this guide — maybe you’re sitting on a crowded airplane, or passing time during a long bus ride, or perhaps you’re enjoying some quiet time in your dorm room — but wherever you are, you should take a moment to congratulate yourself. It’s no small feat to reach where you are right now — and we appreciate that better than anyone. You’re about to enter the medical profession, and a moment like this should be appreciated for what it is: a milestone in your life journey. We’re excited that you’ll soon join us here at Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM). Sooner than you think, you’ll be feeling like a real doctor. In just the first month, you’ll already have put on a white coat, cut into a cadaver, and spoken to your first patient. And while classes can require a lot of work, you’ll find that you still have plenty of free time: Students can explore St. Louis, join extracurriculars, participate in research, shadow physicians, and still have some personal time. There’s a wide world of opportunities here, and just over 120 classmates for you to share it with. It’s an exciting time, and we hope that you enjoy yourself here as much as we do. The coming months will also be full of changes, and we realize how that can be stressful. In response, we offer you this guide, hoping that it will ease your transition into medical school. Whether you want to know about the cost of local housing, the style of your upcoming classes, or the availability of your favorite cuisine in St. Louis, this guide can help. With more than 80 different writers contributing their advice this year, you’ll be able to see a great diversity of viewpoints. Wash U has published a Dis-Orientation Guide for 35 years, a tradition demonstrating just how welcoming and hospitable it is here. By the end of this book, hopefully you’ll feel better acquainted with this city, this institution, and the general life of a medical student. So jump up and down, let out a joyous scream, and pat yourself on the back. You’ve accomplished much already, and it’s time for you to get excited for everything to come.
Your “Dis-O” Editors-in-Chief,
Arith Reyes, Allison Schelble, and Jordan Standlee