Resilience Despite Uncertainty: The Journey of the Class of 2024

Posted on May 8, 2024
Resilience Despite Uncertainty: The Journey of the Class of 2024

Andrew Willet, class of 2024

The University of Louisville School of Medicine’s class of 2024 embarked on their medical journey amidst a time of great uncertainty in the world – the COVID-19 pandemic. In a time when physical classrooms were swapped for virtual ones, these aspiring physicians remained resilient in their journey to medicine. Andrew Willett, 2024 MD candidate, is among those who navigated through the unprecedented challenges of virtual learning as an added stressor to his medical school experience. Nonetheless, Willett was determined to continue pursuing his goal of becoming a physician.

“I was so grateful to be entering medical school that I didn’t think about the pros and cons of starting during a pandemic – I was simply ready to begin this next phase of my career and wasn’t going to alter my trajectory given the global circumstances,” said Willett.

Pursuing his medical career during a pandemic was not without challenge. Willett highlighted the difficulties of transitioning from an in-person curriculum to a virtual one. This transition created a learning curve and made it challenging to adapt to the pace of medical school. The virtual nature of his M1 year, along with the hospitals being overwhelmed by the pandemic, made clinical experiences as an early medical student difficult to pursue. Social gatherings were far and few in between which didn’t allow for much in-person connection as a class.

Through all the struggle of the virtual nature of his M1 year, Willett still feels fortunate to have started medical school when he did as it encouraged resiliency. “The biggest skill I learned from this experience was becoming comfortable with the unknown and learning how to deal with circumstances that I didn’t create,” said Willett. The commotion during the pandemic allowed Willett to grow in ways that will stay with him through the entirety of his medical career.

Willett recalled a moment that will stick with him forever as a result of this experience. “I remember being vaccinated early during the vaccination efforts while simultaneously learning about the principles of immunology and virology during the second semester of our M1 year – that was a very cool, full-circle experience that I won’t forget.”

Willett does not view the pandemic as an experience that negatively affected his medical career; instead, it made him more prepared for the next steps of his medical journey.

“I feel academically and clinically equipped to work as a physician, and feel like I have a unique mindset and attributes that will help me be effective at the next institution I join during residency,” said Willett, “I have learned and grown so much throughout my time at ULSOM and am forever thankful for the community of friends and mentors that have prepared me to enter into this next stage of my life and career.”

The University of Louisville School of Medicine holds deep admiration for the unwavering resilience and dedication demonstrated by our medical students throughout the challenges of the pandemic and the subsequent return to in-person learning. We are in awe of the accomplishments achieved by the class of 2024 as they continue their journey in the medical field. We look forward to seeing the remarkable contributions each graduate will make to the advancement of healthcare in our world.

Class of 2024 Graduation Live-Stream