What a difference a year and some vaccines make. It was not until September last year that our residency program’s Humanities and Wellness Committee felt comfortable inviting the new interns out to City Park for a welcome meal. And even then, masks, questions over whether communal boxes of pizza were safe, maintaining six feet even outside, low guest count, all those were rigorously monitored.
Maybe it was the memory of that smaller crowd, the fact that big group gatherings have been so missed, that the rain earlier in the afternoon had broken some of the heat, or a combination of all of it, but this may have been the most widely attended welcome picnic in recent years. Interns, residents, faculty, children, significant others, and even a couple of friendly dogs, all turned out for the cookout and ice cream bar on Tuesday.
Some talked about their experience in the Objective Structured Clinical Evaluations earlier in the day. Others offered advice on adapting to life in Iowa City. Everyone reveled in the chance to drop the masks and make plans for the future that felt more certain.
Once the food was ready, the line formed and everyone helped themselves.
And long after the plates had been cleared and the ice cream scooped, many still lingered as the sun dipped behind the trees and lit up the sky in shades of purple.
Thank you to everyone who attended and to the administrative team who organized such a successful event!