Finding the ‘Art of Medicine’ with Dr. Faye Reiff-Pasarew

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Session 41

Session 41

In this episode, Ryan talks with Dr. Faye Reiff-Pasarew of The Art of Medicine Podcast. Faye is an artist by heart but seeing that being a physician was the best fit for her career-wise and it was something she would see herself doing day in and day out, she decided to dive into the world of medicine where she is currently a 3rd-year internal medicine resident at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Her podcast is amazing (we’re playing a clip of it at the beginning of this episode) where she is able to creatively integrate her two passions – art and medicine. Ryan was initially blown away by the quality of her podcast which is no wonder why it landed the number one spot on the iTunes’ New & Noteworthy for a number of weeks. But there is so much more to that. Listen in to follow her amazing nontraditional path to medicine and learn from her artful experiences.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Faye:

Faye’s nontraditional path to medicine:

  • Her interest in creative writing and theater
  • Her first two years of college studying English and French literature and writing and theater
  • Discovering she wasn’t enjoying by the middle of her 2nd year
  • Switched her major to international development focusing on African development particularly women’s health
  • Traveling and doing research on women’s public health in Africa for several months
  • Traveling to Vietnam and South Africa

Her thought process for switching majors:

  • Studying what you enjoy doing but not thinking what career you’re going to end up with it
  • The difference between doing something and wanting to do a job that studying that thing leads to
  • Assessing what characteristics of the job would she be enjoying day in and day out for a long time
  • Her first exposure to medicine was doing public health research in Camaron and seeing deliveries and medical procedures
  • Considering nursing focused on public health or a public health degree but realizing nothing is going to be the same as being the doctor
  • Deciding to take a post bac program

Taking the postbac program and applying to medical school:

  • Applying to an organized postbac program at Bryn Mawr – Philadelphia, where she had to live there for two years but changed her mind again and decided not to push through
  • Moving to Brooklyn with her friends, taking her postbac classes at Brooklyn College, and finishing the rest at NYU
  • Working at Planned Parenthood in New York for a year while applying to medical school and ended up going to University of California – San Francisco

Tips in doing your extracurriculars:

  • Don’t overthink it too much. You might find yourself strategizing something and realizing it’s not something you want to do.
  • Go and do something you are passionate about.
  • Do what you think you will enjoy. It’s not about checking the boxes on your application.
  • Doing the things you love help you figure out who you are and they make you a full person and a better person in whatever field you’re in

Things that drew her to Mt. Sinai:

On The Art of Medicine Podcast:

  • Missing the humanities side of things and finding a way to combine it with her medical work
  • Getting involved with The Academy at Mt. Sinai
  • Teaching a narrative medicine class – stories about the human experience of health
  • Using her previous radio background along with her love for humanities and podcast as the perfect media to show the intersection between medicine and the humanities
  • Interviewing interesting people doing great things on the fringes of art and medicine

Medicine as less flexible:

  • Technology as getting in the way of human connection
  • The importance of retaining human connection
  • Looking at health and illness from the perspective of patients, historians, and artists

Links and Other Resources:

The Art of Medicine PodcastiTunes Link

Columbia Postbac Program Podcast

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai – FlexMed Podcast

Course description for Narrative Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine

Academy for Medicine and the Humanities

The Art of Medicine Facebook page

Email Faye at

Session 10: Interview with Columbia Postbac Premed Program

Save $225 on the Princeton Review’s MCAT Ultimate or MCAT Self-Paced Prep Course through March 30th 2016 by going to

If you need any help with the medical school interview, go to Sign up and you will receive parts of the book so you can help shape the future of the book. This book will include over 500 questions that may be asked during interview day as well as real-life questions, answers, and feedback from all of the mock interviews Ryan has been doing with students.

Are you a nontraditional student? Go check out

For more great content, check out for more of the shows produced by the Medical School Headquarters including the OldPremeds Podcast and watch out for more shows in the future!

Free MCAT Gift: Free 30+ page guide with tips to help you maximize your MCAT score and which includes discount codes for MCAT prep as well.

Hang out with us over at Click join and we’ll add you up to our private Facebook group. Share your successes and miseries with the rest of us.

Check out our partner magazine, to learn more about awesome premed information.

Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep): Get one-on-one tutoring for the MCAT and maximize your score. Get $50 off their tutoring program when you mention that you heard about this on the podcast or through the MSHQ website.

Listen to our podcast for free at iTunes: and leave us a review there!

Email Ryan at or connect with him on Twitter @medicalschoolhq

Tweet Allison @allison_mshq or send her an email at