10 Things Every Premed Needs to Know with Dr. Eric Strong

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Dr. Eric Strong Shares What You Need to Know as a Premed

session 151

Today, I talk with an amazing guest, Dr. Eric Strong, who has an amazing YouTube channel, Strong Medicine. We talk about the 10 things you need to know as a premed.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

Who Is Dr. Eric Strong?

Dr. Eric Strong attended NYU for medical school and Stanford for his internship and residencies. He is currently a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Stanford.

Today Dr. Strong shares with us his story on how he came about becoming a physician. He also shares tons of tips for premeds and what premeds should know about becoming a doctor.

Deciding to become a physician and what kind of physician to be:

  • Shifting from an engineering major at MIT to becoming premed
  • The anatomy lab as a good differentiator for who’s more likely to go on surgical fields
  • Differentiating non-surgical fields until you’re in clerkship
  • Rotating on a few departments to see what fits and what’s comfortable
  • Think about what’s going to be a good decision for reasons that go beyond just what feels right to you issues like training, financial reimbursement, eventual salary, or paying back student debt

His biggest challenges along the way:

  • Negotiating with his spouse on where you’re interviewing for the Couple’s Match
  • Not getting the interview offer from Stanford

How Dr. Strong conceived of the Strong Medicine Youtube channel

  • Watch Strong Medicine videos here.
  • Distributing free online medical content
  • Initially creating the presentations for Stanford consumption but putting them on YouTube has reached public viewers who were interested in his lectures
  • Now has over 250,000 subscribers (as of 2019)

10 Things Every Premed Should Know by Dr. Eric Strong

Some key points from his video,  10 Things Every Premed Should Know About Becoming a Doctor:

The medical school should never be the default pathway

In every step along the way, reflect back and make sure this if this is really the right path for you.

Becoming a doctor is not a good way to become rich

Dr. Strong emphasizes that money isn’t a good reason to go into medicine—and I agree.

If you’re a struggling undergrad right now and if making money is your top priority, there’s a lot of fields you can go into and be successful that are going to make more money than medicine.

Quality vs. Quantity in terms of extracurricular activities

Not just think about checking off the boxes but do things you’re passionate about. Devote your time and energy to something very specific, unique, and that clearly impacted you in a very transformative way. Something that stands out will help you with your application.

Dr. Eric Strong’s tips for finding physicians to shadow:

  • Be prepared for a lot of people having to turn you down for various reasons.
  • Research the person you’re emailing to know something about them.
  • Don’t just email 50 people randomly. Tie your personal interest into what the physician specifically does.
  • Shadow someone you have connection to by 2 or 3 degrees of separation.

Final Premed Advice from Dr. Eric Strong

  • Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. Even if you don’t get the interview offer, call up the program and asking the school to re-evaluate your application to see if they can reconsider.
  • Make sure you’re going into medicine because it’s truly what you’re passionate about rather than a default pathway.
  • Know what to expect at the end of the road. It’s going to be a lot of hard work all throughout your pathway. Being a doctor is very challenging yet very rewarding at the same time.

Links and Other Resources