MSHQ 149 : So You Got into Medical School… Now What?

Session 149

Session 149

In this episode, Ryan talks with another orthopedic surgery resident here on the show, Dr. Daniel Paull. He is the author of So You Got into Medical School… Now What? A Guide to Preparing for the Next Four Years. ¬†

Ryan brought him on the show to talk about his book and how this might help you as a premed and eventually as a medical student. Daniel talks about the challenges he met while applying for medical school as well as the joys of really pursuing his passion.

Want a copy of Daniel's book? Get a chance to win by leaving us a comment on the bottom of the page and tell us what you're hoping to do after you graduate from medical school. What do you hope to accomplish as a physician?

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Daniel:

The aha! moment when Daniel realized his calling to become a doctor

  • Coming from a family of engineers
  • Being injured and getting exposed to orthopedics

On writing your personal statement

  • Tell the truth.
  • Be sincere because this is the reason why you're doing it.

Steps he took to prepare for medical school:

  • Focusing on getting good grades
  • Took his premed at NYU
  • Getting a major in physics just because he really liked it
  • Applied twice to get into medical school

What steps did he take to finally get into medical school?

  • He tweaked his personal statement
  • Did more extracurricular activities
  • Finally got into University of Miami

Course correction strategies he took to get better grades:

  • Paying attention to details more
  • Doing the instructional stuff beforehand
  • Going to the lecture, taking notes, and reviewing them

What kept him motivated:

  • Not worrying too much
  • Taking Step 1

What was Daniel's Step 1?

  • Spaced Repetition Learning
  • Use of flash cards

Applying to medical school vs. applying to ortho residencies

  • Find out why Daniel finds it easier to apply to the residency.

On his book, So You Got into Medical School… Now What?

  • This book is for those who want to make the transition easier
  • For premeds, this will give them a better idea of what medical school is really like

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

People will help you out in medical school to help you get through and it does get better as time goes on.

Links and Other Resources

  • Know more about Daniel's book on
  • Next Step Test Prep: Get one-on-one tutoring for the MCAT and maximize your score. Get discount 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!
  • 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.
  • Email me at or connect with me on Twitter @medicalschoolhq



Subscribe for Free

Subscribe in iTunesSubscribe on SoundcloudListen on Stitchersubscribe on android

Listen to Other Episodes

Leave us a Review and Rating!

Just like Yelp reviews or IMDB ratings help you choose your next restaurant or movie, leaving a 5 star rating and/or a written review is very valuable to The Premed Years. It allows us to be able to share our information with more people than ever before.

I am so incredibly thankful to those who have recently gone into our listing in iTunes to provide a five start rating and a written review of The Premed Years.

Subscribe and Download

iOS/Mac/Windows – You can subscribe to the show in iTunes. Or you could manually add the RSS feed to your aggregator.

Android/Mac/Windows – You can download DoubleTwist and use that to manage all of our past and future episodes

Please help us spread the word!

If you like the show, will you please take a moment to leave a comment on iTunes? This really helps us get the word out!

  • Alexander Bush

    Loved this podcast!

    When I graduate medical school (and finish residency) I hope to start a high school level program that is aimed at exposing the medical field as a possible career for minorities in areas where this isn’t done too often. And not just expose, but also mentor and assist minorities through the ups and downs of pursuing such a path.

    That is what I hope to accomplish after medical school.

  • Darby Brox

    Hey Ryan!

    Another awesome podcast, keep it up! After med school, I’ve always wanted to create and own a business. I absolutely love patients and therefore I’m sure I’ll always have a clinical practice, however I also have an entrepreneur mindset, especially with regards to the intersection between medicine and technology. Id love to create a company centered around either a new piece of technology or software that would help facilitate patient care and allow the patient to have a bigger voice in their personal medical journey. The direction medicine has taken from the old paternalistic view to that of patient autonomy is one that I believe strongly in and I believe that the communication between individuals within the medical system could be improved, as well as communication between patients and the medical system. This would allow for greater involvement of patients in their own healing. I think it would also be great to create something that would allow patients to be more proactive in their mental and physical health. As you can see, I love adding value to the world and I fully believe in creating something that can have a wider arching effect on a greater number of individuals than I can personally affect myself with my limited time in clinical practice as a future phsysician. That’s where the benefit of technology comes into play! I’ve still got a long time ahead of me before I have to decide on a residency, and I’m still unsure of what specialty I want to end up in, so only time will tell. But I’m excited for the journey!

    Have a great rest of your week!


  • Moe Moe

    Great podcast! After medical school I would like to work in a family medicine practice and on the side open up a free clinic near my hometown for those that can’t afford medical insurance and for those that fall through the cracks. I see so many people suffering in our small towns with being told that they can’t be seen because they don’t have insurance (or they have Medicare or Medicaid and the doctors quota on those types of patients has been met). I also want to give back to high school students interested in medicine and would like to mentor them.
    David (the 9th Grade High Schooler Now in the 11th grade)

  • Shelby

    Hello Allison and Ryan! I just finished listening to this
    podcast after starting back in June. I made my way through all 149 episodes and I cannot wait until you release more.

    I am currently a senior premed student and I just started
    taking my premed requirements last fall when I finally decided I wanted to
    pursue medical school. I plan on graduating in May and applying to special
    masters programs to start next fall to boost my academic record and enhance my
    application. Your podcast has been instrumental to my journey as I have no physicians
    in family and I did not know of any other premeds before starting my premed
    classes. You have inspired me to follow my dream and allowed me to realize that
    I do not need to be a genius that gets perfect grades without studying to be a
    physician, just an extremely hardworking, empathic person with a passion for

    After I graduate medical school, I hope to help people lead
    healthier lives both physiologically and psychologically. Currently, I would
    like to be a family medicine physician in my small town in North Carolina and
    be a trusted member of the community. I want my patients to trust me with their
    personal issues and share with me their greatest accomplishments and troubles.
    I will really listen to them and make them feel like they are my only patient. I
    hope to help them make healthier lifestyle choices from how to purchase
    healthier food on a poverty level budget and how to reduce stress. Also, I want
    to monitor the mental health of my patients very closely. I have personally family experience with how life changing it can be to seek counselling or professional
    help from a psychiatrist. I hope to have the trust of my patients to listen to
    my recommendations and work together with them to help them lead the healthiest
    lives possible.

  • Michelle

    thanks for the pod cast. I am a nontraditional applicant and was recently accepted to a DO school and still working my way through the interview trail this cycle. I want to use the knowledge and experiences I gain in medical school to work with vulnerable underserved populations – migrant and limited english speaking patients in particular (family experiences). I got my mph in health mgmt and policy worked with upenn and drexel on hospital interpreter services and health disparities and at a cancer center on quality improvement issues and would like to combine this background to a clinical one in order to draw best practices, model structures of care, ideas, and clinical mgmt from health systems around the world and in the u.s. to create pilot programs that ensure quality care reaches the rural and urban underserved through fqhcs and chcs and community hospitals in the area – bridging disparity gaps. I am interested in emergency medicine and internal medicine and am ready to begin school and to figure out what kind of practice and specialty I want to do in my future. Thanks again for the insight you bring to the medical school process

  • Joshua Clutter

    I want to work as a sport team personnel physician. I love sports and I have a great passion for medicine and surgery. But I also want to travel the world and do charity work for less fortunate kids and like family’s. I just feel as blessed we are to have what we have, why not help others? I want to feel like my life has a purpose. I feel like my purpose in this worl is to help others who can’t help themselves. Thanks again guys for a wonderful podcast I love it as a new listener.

  • Anisha R.

    It’s crazy how much the podcast is on my wavelength. Something that is on my to-do list is to find resources on how to best prepare myself for a hopeful matriculation to medical school. Great timing and thank you so much to Dr. Gray and Dr. Paull.

    As a hopeful physician, I have many interests. I am curious to see whether these interests will end up the way I envision or not…and maybe integrate into a diverse and rewarding career. I am currently applying to MD and MD/MPH programs (due to my interest in serving underserved communities locally as well as abroad). Global health and medical missions is a long-term goal of mine. I have a leaning towards pediatrics/neonatology and working in a teaching hospital. Considering the investment I have made in my own journey that wouldn’t be possible without my own mentors, I want to explore mentorship for students on their own journeys. I also intend on getting involved as a medical student with the admissions committee wherever I may be accepted (the wait is killer…and it’s only October) to see if involvement in admissions is something I truly can see myself doing. I have even given a bit of thought to administration… There’s a lot I can see some future in but I like to take one day at a time and see where that leads me. Having said all of this, I am first and foremost excited about being a trusted physician and working with families to improve and maintain their health! Hopefully by spending time in both the hospital and in a free clinic, I will be able to serve diverse populations in the day to day and be an active member of my community. I don’t know how everything will play out, but I am so excited to find out.

    Thanks again for a great podcast and a great resource. Looking forward to diving into it and learning more.

  • Great comments here! I used a random number generator to select the book winners!

  • Pingback: MSHQ 020 : National Health Service Corps Scholarship Info()

  • Pingback: MSHQ 029 : Interview with ZDoggMD, Yes - he is a real doctor()

  • Pingback: MSHQ 032 : Top 7 Things You Should Know as a Medical Student()

  • Pingback: MSHQ 037 : Welcome to Your 3rd Year of Medical School()

  • Pingback: MSHQ 046: How Relationships Change as a Premed & Med Student()

  • Pingback: #AskMSHQ - Should I turn down a DO Acceptance?()



Crush the MCAT with our
MCAT Secrets eBook



DOWNLOAD FREE - Crush the MCAT with our MCAT Secrets eBook