The Scariest Things We’ve Encountered on our Path

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Session 49

Session 49

In this Halloween edition of the podcast, Ryan and Allison talk about the scariest stuff they’ve encountered during their path to premed, medical school, residency, and beyond – with most of them coming from first time experiences they’ve had.

The path to being a physician is pretty scary with a lot of hurdles, a lot of unknown, and a lot of hard work that you don’t know if it’s going to pay off but at the end of the day, it all comes down to great patient care which is definitely worth all the journey. Lastly, you’re not alone. You’re surrounded by other people who are going through it with you so knowing that is comforting.

Here is a list of the scariest stuff Ryan and Allison have encountered along their path:

  • MCAT!!!! – Taking the MCAT as very intimidating
  • Step 1 test
  • First day and night on call – (What could be worse is sleeping through a page!)
  • First family meeting – (Allison had to conduct a family meeting at only Day 3 of her internship that got her peeing in her pants, figuratively)
  • Being in the ER waiting for trauma patients to come in (At Ryan’s medical school, they had a very large level 1 trauma center and waiting for the calls is scary.)
  • Allison being in the OR the first time
  • Allison’s first acute stroke call (Getting as much history as you can and jumping through a stroke scale to determine the extent of the stroke)

Scary stuff patient-wise:

  • Ryan and Allison getting into a locked psych ward
  • Ryan doing his internship at a prison hospital
  • The difficulty of communicating with a psychiatrically ill patient
  • Allison dealing with a 48-year old patient with AML and died within 48 hours

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

It’s okay to be scared getting exposed to these situations the first time but you will get lots of practice and practice makes perfect.

Keep a journal of what you encounter as a premed because there are lots of stories you can draw from, take with you for years, and talk in your interviews or personal statements.

Links and Other Resources:

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

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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!

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Email Ryan at or connect with him on Twitter @medicalschoolhq

Tweet Allison @allison_mshq or send her an email at