Some craziness is happening around here. This week Allison interviews me about my job as a flight surgeon. I get a lot of questions about what a flight surgeon is, and what we do on a daily basis. I can tell you one thing. A flight surgeon DOES NOT operate on a plane! We are basically family practice doctors for pilots and other essential personnel involved with flight. We are also occupational health doctors and preventive medicine doctors all wrapped into one.
Dr. Polites is back with us again to talk about how to go about fixing a poor start to a premed career. If you remember, Dr. Polites joined us back in session 23. Dr. Polites and I try to create scenarios that students may be in, whether it is a poor GPA or low MCAT score, so he/she can listen to the advice Dr. Polites has to offer. If you have a good GPA and low MCAT, should you retake the MCAT? Should you try to retake the test with the hopes of raising the score? We talk about that! What about getting a C in a course - should you retake the course? For the AMCAS application you have to average you grades. For the AACOMAS application you us the LAST grade, even if you do worse.
Do Your Homework With SDN Interview Feedback.Although I'm wary of spending too much time on SDN forums (for my own mental health), the Interview Feedback section of the website is a true hidden gem for applicants. Past interviewees post about their experience, including the day’s schedule, specific questions asked, and what interviewees wish they knew beforehand. This type of information from past interviewees is an invaluable resource- schools like to use the same questions over and over to compare students. Over six different interviews, more than half of the questions I was asked were directly from this website and thus very few questions actually caught me by surprise.
The world of Twitter is very confusing to most. I even thought it was the weirdest thing when it came out. I signed up for a personal account very early on and never used it, because I never knew it's power. Fast forward to last year when I created an account for Medical School HQ and actually began learning how to use it. It's crazy how you can truly reach out and touch (tweet) anybody in the world (as long as they are on Twitter!). One of the earlier people I saw on Twitter, sharing advice and retweeting fun pictures and stories of other premeds was @PremedPrincess_. She's a premed twitter star with over 9,000 followers (as of this publishing). I reached out to her to find out who she is - or I guess at the time, I didn't even know if she was even a she. You never know in todays internet world. 65 year old Billy Bob from the middle of nowhere could have been having a blast being a Premed Princess :)!
Allison and I talk about what it was like transitioning into medical school the first year. Some of the obstacles, frustrations and what worked for us, what didn't and how we survived! We talk about how we chose what to do with our first summer during medical school (typically your only free summer during medical school). Take a listen for a lot of fun conversation!
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Session 32We had a great response to Session 31 - 8 Pieces of Information Every Premed Should Know that we thought we would add follow up with medical school tips for this week. These are the 7 things that we thought you should know entering medical school and as you go through med school to increase your chances of whatever residency you want, maximize your time and enjoy yourself.
Dr. Saguil now works at the 'Military Medical School,' located in Bethesda, MD, right outside of Washington, D.C. USUHS has been around since 1972 and has graduated 5000 physicians. It is an allopathic (MD) granting degree. USUHS is part of the AMCAS application which is used to apply to the majority (except for Texas) allopathic medical schools. USUHS doesn't charge for applying! But that doesn't mean you should apply, just because it's free. You should truly have an interest/desire to be part of something bigger/something other than yourself. 1/3 of students have some prior association with the military, ROTC, Academy or prior active service.
I was asked to speak at the 2013 OldPreMeds and OldMeds National Conference, their 13th Annual. The theme of the conference was military medicine and I was able to meet some great people, including the founder of SDN, Army Lt Col (Dr.) Lee Burnett. The subject of my talk was about my journey to being a Flight Surgeon in the Air Force, including accepting the HPSP Scholarship. I was able to record the audio, and have put it together with my slides. I hope you enjoy!
Dr. Zubin Damania, a.k.a. ZDoggMD, is a hospitalist, healthcare visionary and internet personality. He was grateful enough to sit down and talk to me for a little while about his path to medicine, some of his struggles with his career and the exciting stuff he is doing with the Downtown Project in Las Vegas, NV. Dr. Damania grew up in a dual physician household, and went into medicine just to "spite" his parents. He followed this path into medicine because he liked science, was good at taking tests and had an aptitude for taking tests - which he now says are not good reasons for going into medicine. Dr. Damania talks about how he mostly saw the negative side of medicine as he grew up with parents as physicians, which he thinks helped in proving to the admissions committees that he truly knew medicine was what he wanted to do. One of the most disturbing things Dr. Damania said near the beginning of the interview - that he actually liked the process of being premed, getting into medical school and going through it. Maybe we should call a psych consult for him?! He actually finished his undergrad at UC Berkeley in 3 years and found medicine a "nice change of pace." If only we could all see it that way!