My Biggest Hope for You to be Your Best Self

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Session 500

Today, we celebrate our 500 episodes by talking heart-to-heart with you, particularly about our hopes for you as a premed and beyond! As we’re looking for where we go in the next 10 years, we need you to also help direct us so we can be on this journey together.

For more podcast resources to help you with your medical school journey and beyond, check out Meded Media.

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

[03:38] Wonderful Stories Shared in the Last 10 Years

10 years ago, we started this podcast with the goal of sharing information. We’re talking to deans and directors of admissions.

We’re talking to students who have gone through the process and have shared success in their journey. These are students who were told they never would be able to get into medical school.

Students like Chad, who couldn’t get into a Caribbean medical school, but ended up doing an SMP and getting accepted into two DO schools. Check out Episode 230 where we had Chad talk about his journey of getting acceptance at a Caribbean school. Currently, Chad is in his second year as a surgical resident.

One of our most popular podcast episodes is Episode 261 about Nneka, who had a 2.7 GPA coming out of her undergrad at Cornell and doing some postbac and master’s, and ultimately getting into medical school.

We’ve also had two deans of admissions from Carle Illinois College of Medicine who have already come here on the podcast. They shared the amazing things they’re doing at the first engineering-based medical school. (Episode 256 and Episode 497). We have shared so many amazing stories and so much information.

What started as a single website and a single podcast is now a really large company with more than a dozen employees all across the world. They are helping to create material content, books, and more podcast videos to help you on your journey to medical school.

[07:44] Don’t Live a Life of Regret

My biggest fear is having that regret of not living the life I was meant to live. And so every day I wake up, and I do what I think I am supposed to be doing.

My goal is to wake up every day and do what I love. If you have parents, advisers, or physicians telling you that you shouldn’t do this or you can’t do this, do some deep soul searching and figure out if that’s the truth.

'Wake up and do the things that you want to do to live the life that you want to live.'Click To Tweet

[10:03] Do What You’re Passionate About

There are a lot of students who are checking off all of the boxes, thinking everything they have to do has to point to medicine. But you’re allowed to live your life. You’re allowed to explore, be passionate, be inquisitive, and be interested in things outside of medicine.

Physicians aren’t monolithic beings of science and service. Every physician out there is a human being passionate about whatever they’re passionate about.

'Having your own passions will lead to greater success, personally, and professionally. You will be happier and you will take better care of your patients because of that.'Click To Tweet

Follow your passions. Too many students assume that everything they have to do has to show why they’re interested in medicine. 

The AAMC gives you 18 categories on AMCAS to categorize your activities, hobbies, extracurricular activities, research, paid/nonclinical, volunteer, and nonclinical. You have other things in your life to share with medical schools, your future community, and your future classmates. All of your experiences are important in becoming the person that you are today. 

And so, don’t be afraid to share with the medical schools those activities because there are a lot of intangibles such as communication skills, leadership skills, organization skills, responsibility, etc. And medical schools need to be able to see those to get the whole picture of who you really are as a person. This shows your maturity and it will help you when you apply to medical school.

[14:34] It’s Not the “What” But the “So What”

There is no perfect medical school applicant. The interpretation of your experience is what will set you apart from everyone else when applying to medical school.

You and thousands of other applicants may have scribed or may have worked as a CNA or an EMT. You may have all taken all the med school prereqs to apply to medical school. But your interpretation of those experiences is what helps you differentiate yourself.

“Your interpretation of those experiences is what helps you differentiate yourself.”Click To Tweet

The most common question I get these days is – how do I stand out? And that’s the answer. Just be yourself in writing your application and essays, and focusing on your interpretation of the experiences.

Dr. Scott Wright, our VP of academic advising at Mappd talks about the “what” and the “so what.”

Too many people focus on the “what” thinking that is what is going to help them stand out. But it’s the “so what.” It is the interpretation of the “what” that the admissions committees are going to look for to connect with who you are as a person through writing.

When you’re able to focus on your passions, reflect on that journey, and interpret what happened and what that means to you, that’s how you stand out.

Don’t worry about what will stand out on an application. Do the things that interest you. If you’re dragging yourself into a research lab, and you are super excited about it for the first three months, and now it’s a slog, and you don’t enjoy it, then step away.

[20:28] Changing Your Mindset

Being an amazing physician is all about critical thinking. Instead of complaining about why you need to learn all this stuff, try to change that mindset. Come from a perspective of doing it to practice your critical thinking.

The way that the MCAT focuses on the subjects is they look at things from a four-dimensional point of view. You may know what the amino acid looks like, but can you look at it from behind, from the side, from the top, and from the bottom?

Look at that amino acid from all different angles, because that’s the type of thinking that will help you through your classes and through the MCAT. This will also help you in medical school, and when patients come to you.

[22:41] Cherish Everyday of Your Life

Too many of us focus on the end result as the only measure of success in this journey. But success is about taking one step towards your goals but still enjoying and cherishing each day. Whether that’s showing up for class, showing up to the gym, eating well, or sleeping well. Or maybe that’s building friendships, building relationships, doing well on your quizzes and exams, or studying for the MCAT.

“Success is waking up every day, being on this journey, continuing to take one step towards your ultimate goals, and enjoying today.”Click To Tweet

All of those are successes and wins that you should be taking every day. Celebrate those wins and successes, and they will make this whole journey easier. And ​​we’re all here to make this process better for all of you involved.


Episode 230: Rejected From the Caribbean! Now with a US Acceptance!

Episode 261: From a 2.7 Undergrad GPA to First-Year Medical Student

Episode 256: A Look at Carle Illinois College of Medicine with Dr. King Li

Episode 497: Med School Dean Shares Thoughts on Physician Innovators


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