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Med Students By Day, You Tube Sensations By Night

Friday, September 07, 2012

 A screen shot from the "Study Maybe" video.

When studying gets to be too much, our second-year students sometimes break into song – and the You Tube videos capturing these musical interludes have created quite a bit of buzz lately.  The videos put a med school spin on some of the most popular songs of the past year, such as Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” (“Study Maybe”); Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “In Paris” (“Med School’s So Hard”); and The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” (a boy-band send-up to welcome the Class of 2016).

"I brought the idea up to a few of our classmates towards the end of first year, and by then everyone was so exhausted that they just wanted to work on a project that did not involve holing up in the pods or the library," says Jeremy Bengson, who works with Andy Chen on producing, shooting and editing the videos. "Before we knew it, we had two videos ("Study Maybe" and "Med School So Hard") that we could show at our end-of-the-year class event, Freshman Follies."

The students film the videos and lay down the audio tracks themselves. "We usually shoot all of the scenes over a few days, and then sit down with all the clips (anywhere from 30-200 clips overall) and select which ones we will use," Jeremy explains. "The mixing and mastering process for the audio and the editing of the video takes the longest, reaching upwards of 24+ hours of work."

Recruiting performers has been surprisingly easy. “Of all the things I thought I would do in medical school, making a music video would not have been at the top of the list, but now I’m hooked," says Meaghan Moxley, one of the featured singers in “Study Maybe.” Adds Tom Robertson: “There is such diverse talent here, so being creative, doing something new with good friends in a place we really enjoy – it was a no-brainer to get involved!” Matt Zeitler thinks "performing arts are a great outlet. It's hard sometimes in med school to remember to have fun and be creative. These videos are an awesome creative outlet and way to blow off steam.”

It wasn’t only our medical students who responded well to the videos. “Before we knew it, the videos went viral in the medical school social networks," explains Tim Costales. "To me, this not only was incentive to do more films. It also has allowed our class to garner inventive ideas for future films, such as the welcome video for the Class of 2016." The nationally broadcast ABC World News even took notice, featuring clips from “Study Maybe” in a profile they did on Jepsen (Watch Now).

So don’t be surprised if the class comes up with more videos. "It’s become a unique way to convey the spirit of our class – fun-loving, multi-talented, and ambitious,” says Meaghan. “We are definitely considering making more videos for our class’ end-of-year events (e.g. Sophomore Sillies, Junior Jollies, etc.)," Jeremy says, "In the meantime, we have been contacted by the School of Nursing to help out with a video to establish a hand-washing initiative put forth by the hospital. Campus Communications has also contacted us about wanting to do more campus-wide videos. Unfortunately, with our current second-year schedule, we may not be able to make good on all of the requests, but we will do our best."

Jeremy stresses that the videos will never demean the medical school experience. "Medical school is no joke," he declares. "But if you cannot find a way to joke around and have fun along the way, you are going to have a bad time. We wanted to show through these videos that medical students are not just study zombies. For a while now, students across the country have resorted to making parodies as a way of humorously depicting the plight of a med student, and we just wanted to contribute to the mix and show our fellow med school colleagues that they are not alone." Adds Greg Lessans, "I think Maryland is a great place to go to school because of the 'work hard, play hard' mentality that my classmates and I adopt, and the videos showcase this perfectly."

Contact Us

University of Maryland School of Medicine
Caelie Haines
Manager, Public Affairs
(410) 706-7508

 "Study Maybe"

 "Med School So Hard"

 "Glad You Came"

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