Medical School Headquarters 2014 Year in Review

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Session 109

session 109

Before this year finally comes to a close, I want to do a quick recap on the highlights that we’ve had in this past year in terms of what episodes are the most beneficial to our listeners based partly on the feedback received.

Thank you for continuing to listen to our podcast as well as visit our site. And I want to encourage you to reach out to us and provide us with some feedback about what you want to listen to and what type of information you want.

You will be expecting some changes in the next year with the type of information we’re putting out and how we’re putting it out and the frequency, etc. Give us feedback on what you want and what you need and we will be there for you!

Here are the highlights of the year 2014 for the Medical School HQ Podcast:

3x the number of downloads

2013 – 58,000 podcast downloads

2014 – 163,000 downloads

2x the amount of visitors coming to the website

2013 – 155,000 visitors

2014 – 330,000 visitors

Our 5 MSHQ Academy members that have received acceptance into medical school this year. The Academy is our private advising and coaching site, where Allison and I meet with you in a group setting during office hours. We will be having a forum where you can get advice and being part of this non-anonymous community is awesome.

Episode Highlights:

Episode 79 – Partnership with PreMed Life Magazine, the premier premedical student magazine.

Episode 64 – Interview with The Brain Science Podcast host Ginger Campbell

Once you have the MD/DO degree, you can go anywhere and do anything! (including going back and doing a fellowship)

Episode 62 – Allison’s story of her becoming the patient when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease during her residency

Episode 76 – Ryan’s story of becoming a patient when diagnosed with MS

"Becoming a patient makes you a better doctor."

Episode 23 – Interview with Dr. Greg Polites

Episode 91 – Dr. Polites shares with us tons of great information about how to prepare for a medical school interview from getting the interview request to your interview day and what to do afterwards

Episode 92 – An interesting episode on what Allison would go back and tell her premed self and her medical school self as a private practice physician now what she knows now that she wished she knew back then

Episode 96 – An interview with Dr. Rivera from NYU and the school’s 3-year MD program and the future of competency-based medical education and graduate medical education

What were you excited about this past 2014? What did you learn that helped you accomplish something to move forward in your goals. Leave us a comment at

Links and Other Resources:

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.

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

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

Episode 23 – Interview with Dr. Polites of MedPrep at Wash. U.

Episode 62 – Allison’s Story – When the Doctor Becomes the Patient

Episode 64 – The Brain Science Podcast Host Ginger Campbell Shares Her Journey

Episode 76 – 5 Traits Patients Want Their Doctors to Have

Episode 79 – PreMedLife Magazine Partners with the Medical School HQ Podcast!

Episode 91 – Preparing for the Medical School Interview

Episode 92 – What an Attending Would Tell Her Premed & Medical School Self

Episode 96 – NYU’s 3 Year MD Program – a Discussion with Their Dean


Dr. Ryan Gray: The Premed Years, session number 109.

Hey, this is ZDog MD; rapper, physician, legendary turntable health revolutionary, and part-time gardener. And you’re listening to the Medical School HQ Podcast hosted by the irredeemably awesome, Ryan Gray.

Hello and welcome back to the Medical School Headquarters Podcast; where we believe that collaboration, not competition, is key to your premed success. I am your host, Dr. Ryan Gray, and in this podcast we share with you stories, encouragement and information that you need to know to help guide you on your path to becoming a physician.

If you haven’t yet, go to and download our thirty plus page report all about the MCAT. From study tips to study aids and discounts on those studies; things that you normally wouldn’t think about for those study tips. Again, go to and join the hundreds of other premed students that have already downloaded that report and are using it as a recent survey- I went and emailed those people that have downloaded that report, and I would say 95% of them say it was awesome stuff that they utilized. I would say 100%- you know what, I’m going to say 100%. 100% of them said it, so why not you? Go to and download that today.

Recap of 2014

Alright so this podcast is releasing on December 24, 2014. And at the end of the year I wanted to do a quick recap on this past year and talk about some of the episodes, the sessions, that I thought were most beneficial to you, the listeners, based on the feedback that we received and just based on how I thought the interview went or the information that was given during that episode. So if you are joining us later on- obviously this is the 109th episode, so if you haven’t listened to the previous 52 from this year, then maybe we’ll highlight something and you can go back and listen to that podcast. If there’s something you want to listen to or we mention something, you can go to the show notes page for this specific episode which you can find at and the links to all the other episodes will be in that post. So if you’re driving or running or doing whatever you’re doing, you don’t need to worry about going and writing down that information right this minute. You’ll also notice that I haven’t introduced a cohost today, or a guest. It’s just me today. It’s just me and you, and I hope that’s okay. I haven’t done this since I think- I don’t even know when. Maybe back in some of the original episodes; I haven’t been by myself in a while. So hopefully we have a good time together.

Alright so let’s start talking about just the year in review. And I want to talk about- and maybe this isn’t very important to you, but I think it’s amazing for what you guys have done for us. What you listening to this podcast and going to our website, what it does for us and shows that what we’re doing really helps you.

Stats from 2014

Last year, so in 2013, we had 58,000 podcasts downloads. That’s pretty good, that’s a lot, I was shocked by that number. This year we had 163,000 downloads. 163,000 versus 58,000 last year. That’s almost three times as many podcast downloads, which is awesome. Obviously with more podcast episodes you’ll get more downloads, but I think that’s still pretty awesome. We also had double the amount of visitors come to the website. Last year in 2013 we had 155,000 people come to the website, this year 330,000 visitors to And that’s just phenomenal, and I want to thank you as we move forward- I know we kind of did a giving thanks podcast back for Thanksgiving, but I just want to thank you for continuing to listen, continuing to visit, and I want to encourage you to reach out to us and provide us with good feedback about what you want to listen to, what types of information you want. There’s going to be some changes coming up in the next year, later on in the year, with the type of information that we’re putting out, and how we’re putting it out, and how often and stuff. So give us feedback on what you want and what you need and we’ll be there for you.

I’m also super excited- I know I mentioned this recently, one of the things, the year in reviews that I wanted to talk about was our five academy members, at least five, that have received their acceptance into medical school this year. And if you don’t know what the academy is you can find it at But it’s our private advising and coaching site where Allison and I meet with you in a group setting during our office hours, we have a forum where you can get advice and it’s just an awesome community. Non-anonymous and I’ve been loving it and I hope the- I know the academy members are loving it; especially the ones that have the acceptance letters in their hands.

Premed Life Magazine

One of the other big things that came this year was a partnership with Premed Life Magazine, which is the premier premedical student magazine. And that’s something that Tashina, the editor of the magazine, the founder of the magazine, and I talked about back in episode 79. And that was something I thought was an amazing thing for you the listener, and for their audience to kind of cross-pollinate our audiences if you want to get a little nerdy about it, and show our audience that Premed Life Magazine was out there, and show their audience that the podcast was out there. So I know that I’ve seen a lot of awesome stuff come from that. So if you haven’t yet checked out Premed Life Magazine, go check them out at

Influential Past Episodes

So let’s talk about some specific episodes that came out over the year, that if you haven’t listened to them then I think maybe you should go back and listen to them or this is some other information that came out after the podcast episode, specifically on one of them, that I thought was just awesome to mention. And that one specifically was the one with Dr. Ginger Campbell. And she’s the host of the Brain Science Podcast, and we talked back in Session 64 about her path to medicine. And one thing that came out of that was a discussion on the show notes page there which you can get at But there was a comment made by a listener that said something along the lines of how her path was kind of disjointed and it kind of jumped around, and it seemed to him or her that Dr. Campbell really wasn’t settled on anything. And I actually met Dr. Campbell in Dallas at a podcasting conference and she thanked me for that interview and said that that comment kind of made her re-think what she was doing, and she realized that yeah, maybe things seemed a little disjointed. And because of that she actually is now back in a fellowship doing what she thinks she’s meant to do. So she’s back doing a palliative care fellowship, which is awesome. And that just goes to show you that once you have that MD; and we’ve talked about this before. Once you have that MD or DO, once you have that degree, you can go anywhere and do anything. Including going back and doing a fellowship years after, or in her case a decade or two after your medical training. It doesn’t have to be this perfect path that everybody thinks it is, and it doesn’t have to be that way. So congratulations to her for being back in fellowship; if you haven’t listened to that one, again Session 64. If you haven’t heard her podcast, go check it out. It’s the Brain Science Podcast.

And back in Session 62 Allison shared a more personal story of her becoming the patient, and being the physician, and becoming the patient when she was diagnosed with Crohn’s during her residency a couple years ago. And then in Session 76 I kind of talked about becoming the patient when I was diagnosed with MS this year. And I don’t know how lucky we are to have both received autoimmune diseases a couple years apart, but you know what? It is what it is, we’ve taken it in stride and things have had to change because of it, but I think we’ve learned what it’s like to be patients now, and to have those struggles that patients have, and we shared those stories, again in Sessions 72 and 76. And I hope that all of you are happy and healthy and never have medical issues, but when you do you learn what it’s like to be a patient and I truly believe that it makes you a better doctor for it. So learn from us, I hope you don’t have medical issues that have to learn that way. Learn from us and go listen to those; again 62 and 76.

One of the more popular episodes we did this year was with Dr. Greg Polites who’s been on the show three or four times now. In episode 91, we did an interviewing podcast, how to prepare for the medical school interview from the moment you get your interview request to interview day, and what to do afterwards. And that’s one of the bigger stresses for premed students after the MCAT and applying and everything else, is that interview day. And so the better prepared you are, the better you’ll do and the more likely you’ll get an acceptance letter. And so Dr. Polites shared a ton of great information there back in Session 91.

Now Allison is out of her residency now, and in private practice, and she actually has some changes coming up for that in the coming year which we’ll talk about in the future. But back in Session 92 we did an interesting podcast on what she would go back and tell her premed self and her medical school self, as a practicing private practice physician now. What does she know now that she wished she knew back then? And so that podcast episode was also a popular one, and we got a lot of good feedback on that. Again, that’s Session 92 if you haven’t listened to that one yet.

And I think the last one I want to mention is Session 96 with Dr. Rivera from NYU. And the three year MD program that NYU has. But more importantly, the discussion that we had about the future of medical education and graduate medical education, and how they are pushing the boundaries and pushing and trying to mold something totally different with this competency-based medical education and graduate medical education. Traditionally you go to four years of high school, four years of college, four years of medical school and then three to seven years of residency. But what if- what if you are some superstar that can learn everything and do everything that is expected of you in medical school in three years? Why should you have to wait for four years if you are fully ready to enter that next stage of training? And the same goes for residency training. If you’re doing a family practice residency, and you have met all the requirements of that residency programs in two and a half years instead of the full three years, why not graduate early and go out and start practicing as a physician? Why not be available to patients as a fully licensed and ready to practice physician, instead of being stuck in residency and in training because that’s just the way it’s supposed to be? And so I’m very excited to see what comes out of NYU and their programs there as they work on this. So that’s exciting; again that’s Session 96.

Final Thoughts

What were you excited about this past year, 2014? What happened in your life? What did you learn that helped you accomplish something? Something that helped you move forward in your goals? Go leave us a comment – will take you specifically to the show notes page for this where you can scroll down to the bottom and leave a comment. I would love to hear from you.

I also want to take a minute to thank the two people that left us great five star reviews this past week. One from CWDaly says, ‘What a great resource for anyone contemplating this journey.’ And he’s actually a PharmD, so a pharmacist, has a Doctorate in pharmacy who’s looking to go back to get his or her MD which is awesome. Apparently they have a podcast too, so you can go check them out on Twitter. They’re @CWDaly.

And we got another one from MedMT says, ‘Great podcast,’ a nontraditional who gave us some good suggestions on some content in the future. So thank you to those two people. If you haven’t yet, you can leave us a rating and review at and that will take you to iTunes where you can leave us a rating and review; it only takes a minute. We had- we reached 230 total ratings here in the US, 240 total worldwide which is awesome. All but I think three of them are five stars, which is phenomenal. So thank you again for that. We feel so blessed every time we get one in our email box, every time you leave a review we get it emailed to us and Allison and I are just super excited about those. So thank you for sending those and taking the time to do that.

Come say hi on Twitter, you can find me at There’s been a few people recently that have signed up just to say hello on Twitter. And yes, I’m talking to you SaxtonSikes. He’s @SaxtonSikes on Twitter. He sent us a tweet a couple weeks ago and said, ‘Finally got a Twitter, just so I could follow you guys.’ So awesome, thanks Saxton.

Alright I hope you have a wonderful holiday week, whatever you may celebrate. Happy Hanukkah to those that celebrate that, we’ve been lighting our Menorah the last couple days and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate that; we’re actually flying out to visit some family soon to celebrate Christmas as well. We do it all here. So have a wonderful holiday season and I hope you go and listen to some of the podcast episodes we- or I mentioned today, and yeah. I hope you join us next time here at the Medical School Headquarters.