Med students double as performers in free concert

Some University of Miami medical students are putting down their scalpels and stethoscopes this evening and picking up other instruments to entertain at the Miller School of Medicine.

About five times a year, the Music Ensembles for the Enrichment of Medicine puts together a showcase of students, and sometimes faculty, who sing, dance and play instruments such as the guitar, violin, French horn and bassoon. The concerts are free and open to anyone.

What began as a small, monthly lunchtime show has grown in popularity. The events have moved from classrooms to the outdoors. The group’s size has also grown to more than 100 members.

MEEM members also perform for health-related organizations, such as Physicians for Human Rights, and for sick children at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The performers are usually first- and second-year medical students, plus a few faculty members and others affiliated with hospital, but “anybody is welcome to join,” said MEEM president Mark Choi, who plays the flute and bassoon.

For some med students, who put in long hours and face lots of stress, performing can be therapeutic.

“[Playing the guitar] is like a release and is entertainment for the day,” said Dan Cushman, a second-year medical student and MEEM member. “Last time there was probably about 200 people that came.”

Previous concerts have included students who have performed at places such as Carnegie Hall and on Broadway. Some of the performers create their own material, while others do popular songs.

Fellow med students say they look forward to the performances.

“You get to watch all of your peers perform amazing music,” said Megha Garg, another second-year medical student.

To Know:

There will be a MEEM concert tonight at 5 p.m. in the Quadrangle, located south of the Rosenstiel Medical Science Building. The performance will include popular cover songs by artists including Norah Jones, Cold Play and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Allison Worrell may be contacted at