PMY 224 : Teen Mom to Physician, Starting Med School with 3 Children

Session 224

It was definitely not an easy ride for Dr. Rebecca Lopez as she had to stumble upon major challenges along her journey to becoming a physician. Talk about having her first child at 15 years old, surviving a divorce, working and raising three kids while attending community college, and transitioning to a university setting, not to mention a few moments of self-doubt and resistance from people who questioned her potential.

But Rebecca never gave up because she knew she had it in her. She kept going and made it a point to find a strong support system from family and friends. Having graduated from medical school and now working as an intern, Dr. Lopez tells an inspiring story of empowerment, determination, and living your passions.

[2:36] Rebecca’s Early Years and Exposure to Healthcare

Ever since she was a little girl, Rebecca has been fascinated by science. Specifically during her fifth grade, she saw a movie about how the body changes and that stuck with her since. She also realized how much she has always enjoyed helping people. Although it also inspired her to become a doctor later on, becoming a teenage mom has changed her course.

Being a doctor was a mystical career aspiration for her since she didn't know anyone in healthcare except for her mom who was a dentist. She clearly had no idea how to get from point A to point B. After she had children, she decided to go to a community college and tapped into one of the school's career path pipeline programs where she had someone to literally guide her each semester.

[7:02] A Sense of Empowerment After a Rocky Relationship

When she had her first child at 15 years old, which was obviously a life-changing moment for her, Rebecca had to put her dream of becoming a doctor on the back-burner. After finishing high school, she took a medical assistant course and briefly worked as a medical assistant.

Rebecca felt some sense of liberation and empowerment after getting a divorce with the father of her children that she felt like she had to reach her full potential she had within. So she got back to community college and started from there. Rebecca expressed her gratitude for her mentors who have helped her in every step of her way to medical school.

[9:30] Dealing with Resistance for Being a Single Mom

It was during a summer program in her sophomore year of college that her advisor talked to her about figuring out a Plan B and this crushed her belief and confidence in herself. But she did some soul-searching, picked herself back up, pushed forward, and never gave up. At that time, she leaned on her best friend for support and sound advice.

[11:50] Does Going to a Community College Hurt Your Chances of Getting into Medical School?

Even without any prior research about community college and its chances of getting to medical school, Rebecca had a favorable experience going to a community college. She recalled having access to great resources and having an intimate class size. Additionally, she thought that although going to a community college is not for everyone, it still is a great option that people don't explore enough.

[13:20] From Community College to University

Realizing that community college could only get her so far, she worked very hard to maintain a very good GPA and took some student government leadership roles which she was able to carry over to the university. Rebecca finally finished her community college courses after three and a half years, a period longer than average since she had to take care of her three kids and work at the same time. She then transferred to a university and found a lot of encouragement.

Rebecca shares the differences between community college classes and university classes. First, she wasn't used to being graded on a curve so she had to adjust the way she studied. Second, she had to commute a lot further to her new school which was something she had to factor in being a mom.

[17:12] Collaboration, Not Competition

During moments when Rebecca had to re-evaluate what she was doing and whether it was all worth it, she did more soul-searching and she surrounded herself with premed friends. Having that network around her kept her going because she knew she had available resource whenever she needed it.

Rebecca reached out to people from student government and clubs she was affiliated to and they found ways to study together. Rebecca and her best friend (who also has three kids and is currently 4th year in med school) have always been together throughout this journey.

[19:50] Applying to Medical School

Considering how moving to another state would be a big change for her and her kids, Rebecca decided to apply to a local medical school. She also applied to a few out-of-state schools to keep her options open but she made sure she explained the whole process to her kids (ages 14, 8, and 4) for them to understand and support her.

Rebecca knew that the question about handling the demands of medical school and having children would often come up during interviews so this was something she definitely prepared for.

She found a support system in her sister who came to live with her right before medical school started. Nevertheless, Rebecca still made an effort to be home to cook dinner and study with her kids whenever she can.

[23:08] Dealing with Mom Guilt

Rebecca’s biggest challenge was dealing with the mom guilt of not being able to be there for every single moment of her kids’ lives. So she had to put things in perspective. As with her kids, Rebecca felt it was rewarding to hear her teens telling people how proud they are of her and how inspirational it is for them. Rebecca always makes it a point to tell her kids stories about the positive things of being a doctor and how rewarding it is.

[28:05] Living the Dream

Having graduated from medical school, the most rewarding thing for her was being able to pursue her potential and her calling to have a positive impact on patients' lives. Right now, she is definitely living her dream job.

In the future, Rebecca hopes to run a center for teenage parents, which was actually something she did a project on back in medical school.  She hopes to be able to build a resource center for the healthcare and educational needs of teenage parents. She believes people give up on their dreams way too early and she wants to be that mentor she needed at that time to pursue her dreams.

[29:39} Rebecca's Final Words of Wisdom

Do not give up. Tap into your potential and realize there are so many resources. The number of resources are growing everyday to help you reach your potential and to help you succeed in anything you want to do.

Links and Other Resources:

The Short Coat Podcast – University of Iowa's Carver College of Medicine

www.mededmedia.com

The Medical School Premed Hangout Group on Facebook

PMY Session 218

The Premed Playbook Guide to the Medical School Interview

Next Step Test Prep (Use the code MSHQ to save money on their products and services)

Transcript

Introduction

Dr. Ryan Gray: The Premed Years is part of the Med Ed Media network at www.MedEdMedia.com.

Don't forget to check out our newest show at the Med Ed Media network, the Short Coat Podcast put on by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. Go check out everything that they have to offer at www.TheShortCoat.com.

This is The Premed Years, session number 224.

Hello and welcome to the two-time Academy Award nominated podcast, The Premed Years, where we believe that collaboration, not competition, is key to your premed success. I am your host Dr. Ryan Gray, and in this podcast we share with you stories, encouragement, and information that you need to know to help guide you on your path to becoming a physician.

Welcome to The Premed Years, as I said in the beginning, my name is Dr. Ryan Gray and I am your host here at The Premed Years where we share stories, encouragement, information for you, the premed, to help guide you on your journey to getting into medical school. If you haven't checked out some of our newest podcasts, go to www.MedEdMedia.com or search for Med Ed Media in your podcast app, the one hopefully that you're listening to this podcast through. That's the best way to get these podcasts to you every week, is subscribe on your phone or other device so that you don't miss an episode ever.

This week I have an amazing story of a teen mom who is now a physician. I first learned about her as somebody had posted in our Hangout, the Medical School Premed Hangout. Go check that out. If you're not in there, it's a Facebook group that has over 2,000 members in it and it's super collaborative, super friendly, and an awesome, awesome group. Go to www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/group to find out more on how you can join that group. It's as easy as clicking join.

So I learned about Dr. Lopez's story from that group, somebody had shared a post that the University of California LA, UCLA had posted about her and a couple other graduates from their medical school, and I reached out to UCLA and was able to connect with Dr. Lopez, and she is going to share her story with us.

Rebecca, thanks for joining me on The Premed Years. It's nice to have you here.

Meeting Dr. Rebecca Lopez

Dr. Lopez: Thank you, thank you for having me.

Dr. Ryan Gray: When did you know you wanted to be a doctor?

Dr. Lopez: I think as early as I can remember, when I was a little girl I had aspiration, I remember being really fascinated by science.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What does that mean? We always hear- when I do students with doing mock interviews, like ‘I love science and I love helping people, so I wanted to be a doctor.' How do you take that love of science and go, ‘Yes doctor, that's what I want to be. Physician.'

Dr. Lopez: Well it's interesting, it's kind of a funny story. When I was in- I think it was fifth grade, and they showed you the movie about how your body changes, and I was completed fascinated. I just couldn't get enough of that movie, I think was more into it than the rest of my classmates, and I didn't realize it at the time but it stuck with me. And I did enjoy helping people, I didn't realize that at the time either. I had a rather challenging childhood and I ended up becoming a mom at a very young age when I was a teenager, and that was kind of both- I don't want to call it a setback, but it changed the course of things, but it also in retrospect inspired me to become a doctor later on.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Let's talk about some of your early life. So you are a Latina female, correct?

Dr. Lopez: Well no, I have a Latina last name from when I was married, but I'm actually not.

Dr. Ryan Gray: You're not, okay interesting. Okay so I'll edit that out because that would sound very weird then. The assumptions we make on names. Okay.

Dr. Lopez: Yes I kept my last name.

Dr. Ryan Gray: You kept your last name?

Dr. Lopez: Yes.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay so the marriage was not your marriage.

Dr. Lopez: Yeah it was my marriage but when I got divorced I kept the last name.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay you kept it after the divorce. Okay, alright so let's rewind that a little bit. So you talked- watching this movie and seeing body changes going, ‘That's really cool what happens to people.' Did you have anybody in your life that was in healthcare or around healthcare, or somebody that you could look up to, a mentor to kind of guide you on that path?

Figuring Out First Steps to Medical School

Dr. Lopez: Well my mom was a dentist, and that was kind of the only exposure to healthcare that I had, but it wasn't really a big part of when I was growing up, and I didn't really know anyone in the field. It was kind of a mystical kind of career aspiration for me because I really didn't know anyone that- I had no idea how to get from point A to point B.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So how did you figure that out?

Dr. Lopez: Well after I went through a lot of life things, and had children, and decided to go back to school, I started at community college and I got tapped into one of- very early on there I got tapped into one of career path pipeline programs there, and just took it from there. I had someone to really guide me literally every semester, sit down with me and tell me what I should be doing, and opportunities that were known to be helpful for me.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you had your first child at fourteen, correct?

Dr. Lopez: Fifteen, just after I turned fifteen.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay so fifteen, I'm assuming unplanned.

Dr. Lopez: Yes.

Being a Teen Mom with Dreams of Medical School

Dr. Ryan Gray: Which at fourteen, fifteen is usually not planned. How do you- at that point you're interested in being a doctor. When you have your child, and obviously having a child is a life changing moment, did you think at that point, ‘There's no chance I can become a doctor, I'll have to figure out something else'?

Dr. Lopez: Yeah you know sadly I did. I thought these dreams that I had were- they were going to be a big challenge to begin with, but once I had my daughter I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is impossible, I need to look into what else I can do and still be a mother,' and that was definitely something I had to put kind of on the back burner.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Were you thinking about other health related fields, or were you just thinking about something that would work with your lifestyle of having a child at that point?

Dr. Lopez: Both. I actually graduated from high school, and I took a medical assisting course, and I worked as a medical assistant very briefly, and I was definitely always fascinated by helping people, with science, and their bodies. But yeah that's what I did for a little while.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What was the spark that you finally threw up your hands and said, ‘Okay I give in. I need to be a doctor.'

Dr. Lopez: Well it was I ended up getting a divorce, I went through a very, very challenging relationship with my children's father, and I was- once I got out of that relationship I felt liberated, I felt empowered, and I felt like I needed to at least try to reach my potential that I knew I had in me. So I started very small, went back to community college, and just took it from there. I was very fortunate to have the mentors that I needed at community college to be able to help me get to the next step, and then the next step, and then eventually medical school.

Soul Searching Amid Meeting Resistance

Dr. Ryan Gray: A lot of premeds that I talk to, or medical students, or even physicians at this point that have had rocky starts to their path similar to yours, have talked about meeting resistance along the way. Going back to school, and talking to those advisors, and the advisors saying, ‘Look you have multiple kids, and you're older, there's no chance, that you should think about something else.' Did you ever meet that sort of resistance?

Dr. Lopez: Oh my goodness I did, and it was such a turning point for me. I was in my sophomore year of college at community college, and I went to a summer program that was for premedical, pre-dental students, and the advisor there- this was a surprising source of my resistance, but the advisor there, she said- and I know she meant no harm but she said, ‘Maybe we should think about a plan B for you,' and I was crushed. I thought no one believes in me, and I can't do this, and I really had to do some soul searching, and pick myself back up, and push forward. And I'm so glad that I did because I could have just given up at that point.

Dr. Ryan Gray: I think a lot of people do give up at that point. What type of soul searching did you do? Who did you reach out to to lean on for support?

Dr. Lopez: My best friend, she's great, she always gives me the best advice and she said, ‘You have to put this into context and think this person doesn't know all of you, she knows one part of you and she doesn't know the late nights that you stay up studying, the homework you do with your kids, and then you do homework yourself, and she doesn't know the whole story so don't let that one person set you back from your dream.'

Dr. Ryan Gray: Was her advice, or poor advice, was her advice based on like facts? Like poor grades, or any issues that you had as a student? Or was it just looking at you as a mom?

Dr. Lopez: I think it was just the mom aspect. I looked her in the- she said, ‘Do you have any questions for me?' And I said, ‘Yeah,' it was kind of a big question I guess, and I said, ‘I'm a mom of three, I have this big dream that I want to accomplish, is this unreasonable?' And I just- at that point in time I just needed a little confirmation and I didn't get it, so it was quite a blow, but I'm glad that I had other people in my life to help me along.

Beginning Journey at Community College

Dr. Ryan Gray: You started off at community college. Did anybody talk to you, or did you do any research about how that may hurt your chances of getting into medical school?

Dr. Lopez: Fortunately I didn't. I just had a friend at the time that was going to that community college and she was like, ‘Come on, let's take some classes. Whatever it is you want to do, let's just take some classes.' And I just started from there. So by the time I had heard anything about medical school in relation to community college, I was already in deep, and I had great resources there, the class sizes were very intimate, and I think that it's a great option for people. It's not for everyone but I think it's a great option that people really don't explore enough I think.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah I would agree. I don't personally agree with the information out there that community college hurts your chances. Maybe there's one or two medical schools that may look down on you, but who cares about those two schools? There's plenty of other schools to choose from, right?

Dr. Lopez: Yeah. I mean I got into a really good medical school so they must have not thought too badly of it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So you go through community college I'm assuming premed the whole time wanting to go down this path. How did you choose transferring from the community college to going to a four year university to get your actual Bachelor's degree?

Dr. Lopez: Well I had a goal in mind, and community college could only get me so far. It did a lot for my goal, but I wasn't able to complete it there so I worked really hard to maintain a very good GPA, I did some student government there, and leadership roles there, and was able to carry that on over to university. But yeah, it was kind of bittersweet but I had something that I needed to do at that point, and I'm glad I did.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How many kids do you have at this point?

Dr. Lopez: I have three kids.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay and you had three in community college as well?

Dr. Lopez: Yes. I had all of them by the time I started.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Three kids, going to community college, I'm assuming working as well.

Dr. Lopez: Uh huh.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How long did it take you to finish those community college courses so that you could move on to the university?

Dr. Lopez: Well it took about three and a half years. Normally it would take I think full-time, someone could do it probably in two years, but for me it took a little longer because of all of those other circumstances that you mentioned.

Transferring to a Four Year University

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay so three and a half years, you're trucking along, and then you transferred to a university, and you meet new advisors, and new people; transferring to that university, again having to re-tell your story to advisors. Did you at that point get any more pushback?

Dr. Lopez: I wouldn't say pushback but I was kind of- I didn't have as great of resources I don't think that I had at community college. You go from a very small pond to a great big ocean of students, and there were just- I wouldn't say classroom sizes, but hundreds of students. So I think I had to really find my way there, and I had a couple of advisors in my department that did help me along, but I did not get pushback I'd say. I really did get a lot of encouragement there.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Was there any huge setback- not setback, it's not the right word. Were there any obstacles going from community college to university in terms of how you studied, the amount of preparation for tests, just differences between community college classes and university classes?

Dr. Lopez: Oh definitely. For one, everything was graded on a curve so I wasn't really used to that. But I had to really adjust the way I studied, and furthermore I was commuting a lot further to my new school and I had to really factor that in, and factor that in with being a mom, and coming home and cooking dinner, and doing all the other things that I needed to do. But it definitely- I had to adjust the intensity of my studies for sure. It became a lot more intense and a lot more was on the line there at the university.

Dr. Ryan Gray: The premed path for many people is lonely, and stressful, and terrifying, and all kinds of other adjectives. Having three kids at home, working, and trying to take classes to fulfill this dream, at any point along the way did you question why you were doing this?

Dr. Lopez: I did. There were occasions where I really had to re-evaluate why I was doing things, and was it worth all of it, and I had to again, dig deep down and do soul searching. But also having my friends who were also premed, and reaching out to them, studying with them even if we weren't on the same page in coursework, just having that network around me kept me going and I'm so glad that I had that resource for me because I needed it. I really needed that, and I would strongly advise anyone trying to reach a big goal like that to really surround yourself with people that are likeminded, and even if it's just one person that you study with regularly, I'd strongly advise you do that.

Collaborating with Other Premed Students

Dr. Ryan Gray: That's great advice, and something I preach on this podcast is collaboration, not competition. How did you find those friends and those classmates that you could study with? Because usually premeds are very competitive unfortunately, and don't want to help other people. How did you find classmates that were willing to help out, and be part of a study group?

Dr. Lopez: I found my resources through student government, and also through clubs- different clubs on the different campuses I went to. Like there was one that was a biology and chemistry club, another one that was a premed club, and I think people let their guard down more in the club setting than just if you're sitting next to them in class. And we were able to collaborate, and find ways to study together. And even my best friend, she's a fourth year medical student now, and she has three kids also so we have always empowered each other through this journey together.

Dr. Ryan Gray: The mom club, I like it.

Dr. Lopez: The mom club.

Applying to Medical School

Dr. Ryan Gray: You go to university, you have a great group around you. Talk about applying to medical schools, and being a mom, having three kids, and thinking about where you wanted to go to school. How did you factor in your family with where you applied to school?

Dr. Lopez: I definitely applied locally because of the fact that moving my kids to another state was going to be a big change for us. However I did apply a few places out of state just to keep my options open and it's something I had to really consider, and I sat my kids down and talked to them about the whole process that I was going through, and the competitiveness of it, and they were not too pleased with it but they did understand and were supporting me and my goal.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How old were your kids going through the application process?

Dr. Lopez: Oh let's see. One was- I believe she was fourteen or fifteen, that was my oldest. And then it was about eight and four I'd say, maybe a little bit older, I can't remember exactly but I did sit my older ones down and talked to them about it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah because it would affect them the most with their social surroundings, and all their friends, so that makes sense.

Dr. Lopez: Definitely.

Dr. Ryan Gray: During your applications and your interviews, what sort of questions would you get along the way during your interviews that would question your ability as a mom to go through medical school?

Dr. Lopez: Oh I definitely got the question about, ‘How are you going to handle this? How are you going to handle the rigorous demands of medical school and have children?' So I had to explain my home situation, and that I had a family member to help me with juggling my kids, and their schedules and everything. But yeah I definitely had to have that answer prepared for my interviews because I knew that it was going to come up often. And it's a reasonable question, they want to make sure that you have all of the challenges in a really realistic perspective.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How did you set up that support? Obviously knowing how rigorous medical school is, and having three kids at home, how did you structure your life so that you would have those resources so your kids had that support?

Dr. Lopez: Well I had my sister fortunately came to live with me right before medical school started, so she was my support system at home when I couldn't be there. But I definitely made an effort to be home to cook dinner when I could, and study with my kids, and help them with their homework, and do all the things that I could, but I couldn't have done it without family resources.

Biggest Challenge as a Medical Student

Dr. Ryan Gray: What was the biggest challenge for you as a medical student?

Dr. Lopez: The biggest challenge for me, well I think anyone that gets through the premed coursework and into medical school already has the self-discipline part down. So that was a challenge that doesn't change in medical school. For me personally, it was just dealing with a lot of issues that I think a lot of parents deal with- a lot of working parents deal with, is not being able to be there for every single moment of your kid's life, and I term it ‘mom guilt,' and I had to really put things into perspective, and remember the things that I am doing with my kids, and the efforts that I do make for my kids. And so for me as a parent, that was my biggest challenge. It's still something I struggle with but I think again, a lot of single parents do struggle with that and that's just something that we have to deal with.

Dr. Ryan Gray: I don't think it's a single parent thing either. I think it hits harder for single parents, but even I know with my wife working full-time as a physician, she still has mom guilt missing things. But it's hard being a professional and working, especially obviously going to school full-time, and studying full-time as a side job.

Dr. Lopez: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How did your kids take it? How did they respond to mom now being a medical student?

Dr. Lopez: Well so going through it they were- the two older ones at least were teenagers and the youngest was preteen, they won't say how cool they think it is, but it was really rewarding when I hear them tell other people how proud they are of me, and how inspirational it is for them. But they won't say it directly to me.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Of course. Parents are not supposed to be cool.

Dr. Lopez: Yeah that would be way uncool for them to tell me that.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That's alright.

Dr. Lopez: But they're very supportive.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah that's great. And I think I read somewhere that your oldest is kind of on the premed path now as well?

Dr. Lopez: It's actually my middle one, she's a student at university now, she's in her freshman year, and yeah she's- even in high school she really took an interest in everything medical and she's on that path now, premed path.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Do you recommend that path to your kids having gone through it and kind of in the heat of it now? I lost you. Hello, hello? I lost you, alright.

Dr. Lopez: I'm sorry about that, it's probably my connection here.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That's alright it was pretty solid up until that point. So I'll just start off where we were. As an intern now kind of in the heat of your medical training, and having just finished medical school, do you recommend this path to your kids?

Dr. Lopez: Absolutely I think- and especially with my kids, they've seen the challenges that come along with it, but it's so rewarding. I make it a point to tell them stories about the positive things if I see a patient, and what happened, and they are definitely in tune with the challenges but also the rewards of it. So I would definitely recommend it to anyone that wants to pursue that. But you have to- I think you have to want it for the right reasons.

Biggest Reward of Medical School

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. So I asked you earlier what the biggest challenge has been. What has been the most rewarding thing about going back to school, and pushing yourself, and now having graduated medical school, and are a resident?

Dr. Lopez: Oh the most rewarding thing is number one, just being able to say that I pursued what I thought to be my potential and succeeded at that. But also I feel that it's my- I know it's cliché but it's my calling. I feel that I really can have a positive impact on patients' lives, and that's what I'm doing. I'm living my dream job right now.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What do you hope to be doing in the future?

Dr. Lopez: Well I want to definitely practice as a physician, but I have hopes of running some sort of center for teenage parents. I did a project in medical school that gave me a taste of that, but I definitely want to have a resource center for the healthcare needs and also the educational needs of teenage parents because I think people give up on their dreams way too early, and I want to be able to be that mentor that I needed at that time to help me pursue my dreams.

Words of Wisdom to Premeds

Dr. Ryan Gray: I think that's a great aspiration and definitely something that's needed. As we wrap up here, what last words of wisdom do you have for a teen mom, or even a teen dad out there that has possibly given up on their dream of becoming a physician, but is still listening to this podcast with thoughts of maybe there's still a chance?

Dr. Lopez: I would definitely advise that do not give up, that your potential is there, that you have to tap into it and not give up, and realize that there are so many resources, and it's growing every day, the number of resources there are out there to help you reach your potential, to help you to succeed in anything it is that you want to do.

Final Thoughts

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright again that was Dr. Lopez, sharing her journey from teen mom to now being a physician, which is awesome. And there are so many stories like this, we told obviously Anna's story back in 218. If you haven't listened to that one yet, Anna shared an amazing story coming from El Salvador and working through all of the struggles that she had. You can listen to that at www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/218. But I think what you need to take away from this and everybody else's story is that if this is your dream, if this is what you are shooting for, then nothing can stop you. There are no excuses. And I know you're sitting there thinking, ‘But my situation's different.' Let me just tell you it's not, it's not different. Everybody has their own struggles, everybody has their own demons, everybody has their own roadblocks; if this is what you want, figure out a way to do it.

Alright with that said, I want to thank a couple people that have left us ratings and reviews in iTunes. The first one here from EMT to MD that says, ‘Best premed resource. As a 28 year old premed it can often be overwhelming trying to finish my Bachelor's while completing all the necessary steps to apply to medical school as well as live life. Listening to this podcast during my commute or between classes not only provides great advice for premeds, but also serves as a regular reminder that it can be done.' Yes, exactly what I was saying. ‘So thankful to Dr. Gray for this podcast, as well as the Specialty Stories, and the Old Premeds Podcast as well.' Yes and don't forget The MCAT Podcast. Thank you EMT to MD for that review.

We have another one here from MatayahFox that says, ‘LISTEN TO THIS,' in all capital letters. ‘This podcast has made such a difference in my life. It presents so much necessary information and has transformed my premed path.' Awesome, thank you for that review.

And we have one more here from Aleja_ndra that says, ‘Wow, life-changing podcast. This extraordinary podcast has given me a new perspective and has answered so many questions I didn't even know I had. After listening to episode 218 about the super nontrad,' that's the one about Anna I was just mentioning, ‘I feel a newly found focus and energy in pursuing my medical school dreams. I listen to an episode, whether it is new or old, every day. I will be attending the UCF Medical School Symposium to try and get my hands on even more information and resources. I am so excited to be able to get the chance to meet Dr. Gray.' Yes so I got to meet this poster, Alejandra, and had a great time meeting with her. She even won a copy of my book, ‘The Premed Playbook: Guide to the Medical School Interview,' which if you haven't purchased yet, you should check it out on Amazon. It will be out by the time you are listening to this for Kindle, for Apple iBooks, for your Nook. The eBook versions will be out everywhere, so again go check those out if you're listening to this and you haven't purchased the book.

I want to take a second and thank Next Step Test Prep for their continued support of the Medical School Headquarters. If you are in the midst of beginning or in the middle of studying for the MCAT, go check out www.NextStepTestPrep.com. They are known for their one-on-one tutoring, which if I had to do it all over again, I would choose one-on-one tutoring instead of sitting in a classroom being taught the same information that I've already learned. I need that one-on-one tutoring, or I would have loved that one-on-one tutoring to help me identify my specific weaknesses, to help coach me through those weaknesses so that I can learn how to better perform on the MCAT. That's what Next Step Test Prep is known for, but they're also getting into the online course world with their newest course, The MCAT Class, and you can save some money by using the code MSHQ on their tutoring- you can save on tutoring, you can save on their class, you can save on their full-length practice exams. Anything that you buy through Next Step, use the code MSHQ to save some money.

Let me tell you a little bit more about that class. You have access to five days a week live online office hours, you get more material than the other test prep company classes, and it's cheaper. How can you argue that? So go check them out, www.NextStepTestPrep.com. Again us the code MSHQ to save some money.'

I want to thank everybody that left the ratings and reviews. If you want to do that, you can go to www.MedicalSchoolHQ.net/iTunes to do so. I would love for you to just share this podcast with your friends, with your neighbors, with your colleagues, with your classmates, with your advisors. Go take their phone, give it back to them, but take it for a second, subscribe to the podcast, show them how, and give it back to them. Every new listener is a new opportunity to change the future of medicine. I hope you have a great week, and don't forget to join us next week here at The Premed Years and the Medical School Headquarters.

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