MSHQ 145 : Premed Jobs, Gap Years, GPA, MCAT and More Q&A

Session 145

Session 145

Watch it!

Ryan recently hosted a chat over at and hung out with around 11 people where he was answering some questions, good questions in fact, that he decided to release them here for you to take all the information you need to get to help you in your medical school journey

Question from a foreign physician with a U.S. green card:

Q: Beside MCAT scores, what additional materials such as letters of recommendation should be prepared?
A: Everything! (letters of recommendation, personal statement, extracurricular activities)

Q: Do DO medical schools require volunteer experience as well as MD medical schools? Can my clinical experience be counted as experience?
A: You can. But get more experience in the U.S. because your clinical experience at a different healthcare system isn't as good.

Q: I have a Bachelor's degree and my Master's degree of clinical medicine. Is it eligible to apply to a DO school?
A: Every DO schools is going to be different with what they require. So read the College Information Book and find out what they want.

Q: GPA of 3.0, is it enough to apply?
A: Yes. The higher the GPA, the better of course.

Q: What subjects does MCAT cover?
A: Go to AAMC and check it out from there.

Regrets his entire undergrad experience by partying/ working too much; low grades

A: You can retake those classes but understand that those classes will either be averaged on the MD application or replaced with the newer grade for the DO application. The other option is to take a post bac that will enhance your grade. Or get a Master's to show that you can handle the higher level sciences. Its GPA will show up separately on your transcript.

Sam: Interested for applying to medical school for 2017; just graduated from college and working in a Boston hospital doing research projects.

Q: What other things should he be doing aside from his job to prepare for medical school?
A: EMT, direct patient care, shadowing experience to know what life is like as a physician. If you take the DO route, most of them highly suggest having letters of recommendation from an osteopathic physician. So if you're applying to a DO school, seek out an osteopathic physician to shadow.

From a Freshman about to take Bio I and think about studying the Biology MCAT review book at the same time.

Q: Should you study for the MCAT side by side with your classes?
A: Not a bad idea but the MCAT is so different from the materials you're taking in your classes. Don't worry about studying for the MCAT at this point and instead worry about making you're course work and being independent at college.

Matthew: On his 3rd year and planning to study for MCAT but looking more towards the gap year.

Q: His sister thinks he should apply through the normal application cycle. But he feels otherwise and thinks about using the extra time to beef up his application and do better on the MCAT. What is Ryan's view on this? Matthew explained that his reason for deferring is to start a family and figured he loves to use the gap year to travel or do something he won't be able to do for quite a while.
A: If you should defer, you need to have a good reason on why you're doing it. But if you do apply in the same time frame and defer, think about how prepared are you in taking the MCAT. Do you have enough time to do your letters of recommendation, personal statement, and get the applications on time? The school that you get acceptance from doesn't have to agree to defer you for a year so you run that risk.

Q: An admissions board said that the majority of those they accept are re-applicants. Should he apply for the sake of being a re-applicant the next time?
A: No, it's a highly grueling and defeating process so it's not something you look forward to doing twice. Don't apply just to apply.

Q: What do you do to find a job for a gap year?
A: No formula for that. Just do something that will pay the bills. Do something you'll enjoy and if it's not related to medicine, make sure that you're still volunteering and staying plugged in with the healthcare side of things. You can marry the two by being a scribe because you get paid while getting patient care experience.

Q: How far back do you put in your application?
A: If it's a life-changing experience, put it on there. You have 15 spots in your application for extracurricular activities but you don't have to fill up all 15.

Emiko: Taking the Peace Corps

Q: Is it a good idea to take two gap years?
A: It's a fabulous idea. Taking gap years is highly recommended. The more time you're spending being away from being a student, the more you're able to understand your patients and build rapport with them.

David: Has a wife and two kids and no time to volunteer but he was a teacher for a while

A: The goal is to show the admissions committee that you're able to put others before yourself.

Q: When volunteering or shadowing, is it better to have a scheduled basis or straight in a week like on a trip or at a camp?
A: It's the quality of the experience, not quantity. It's not just something you put on your application but there to get a letter of recommendation from somebody.

Q: Can you get a letter of recommendation if your volunteering is not medically related?
A: If you can get a stellar recommendation from somebody even if they're not a physician but can speak about qualities as a human being and possible qualities as a physician, get the letter. It doesn't hurt.

Here's something interesting…

LSU's 32-hour policy – It states that…

“This policy allows for an applicant to obtain 32 or more post-baccalaureate hours of coursework in biology, chemistry, physics or mathematics. The admissions committee would then consider the GPA for those 32 or more hours to be that applicant’s GPA for the medical school application process. This policy allows for those applicants to distance themselves from a weaker undergraduate GPA which may otherwise hinder them from gaining acceptance into our medical school.”

Jean: 16 years old, premed

Q: What's a good thing to do during the summer?
A: Enjoy your summers. Go shadow or volunteer but just enjoy.

David: 11th grade

Q: How much Physics do I need?
A: For undergrad, you need a year in Physics and lab for most schools. Always keep an eye out on the College Information Book for the DO schools and the MSAR for the allopathic schools.

Other questions answered…

Q: What is a good way of highlighting 8 years as an EMT with increasing levels of leadership?
A: In filling out your application, show what you did and the impact that you've had on whatever you're doing.

Q: Is there a job experience part included in the application?
A: The extracurricular activities include all activities from paid work to non-paid work, hospital, non-healthcare related, everything!

Q: What about those saying that it's not true healthcare experience?
A: Read the application instructions for a specific breakdown of what each section is.

Q: Is being an EMT and the likes looked on as too traditional? Or should you find another job?
A: Do whatever it is that you feel drawn to do. Make sure it's something you're enjoying.

Links and Other Resources


Dr. Ryan Gray: The Medical School Headquarters Podcast, session number 145.

Hello and welcome to the Medical School Headquarters Podcast; where we believe that collaboration, not competition, is key to your premed success. As always 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're struggling with your MCAT test prep, go to, tell them you heard about them from the Medical School Headquarters Podcast and save on one-on-one tutoring. There are lots of test prep companies out there, and their main- their only job is one-on-one private tutoring, and they specialize in re-takers. So if you're retaking the test, if you're having some issues, go check them out. go check out, our partner magazine. They offer bimonthly issues that you can go check out, and they also have tons of other great content that they release during the week as well.This week, the podcast this week is very different than kind of anything else I've ever done I think. Maybe I did a different one, another- a Google hangout once maybe. But there's this new platform out there called Blab, it's and it's pretty cool. It's a live video hangout through the web, or through your smartphone, and it lets me have a conversation with people. And so I just got off of a Blab with- I think there were eleven people at the most at one point. And it allows you to have up to four people talking and conversing and asking questions live, and having their video shown. And so obviously I'm one of them, so some three other people were coming in and out, and asking questions, and so that's what we're going to play here today. I questioned whether or not I was going to release it as a podcast, it was fun to do, but afterwards and during it I realized there were a lot of good questions that were being asked. So this episode is a little bit more distracting because there's a lot more background noise because other people are calling in in different environments, and so if you are too distracted, I'm sorry. We'll have a transcript of this shortly, but there's still a ton of great information. So if you can suffer through some of the distractions, there's a lot of great information to be had.Foreign Physician Starting Medical SchoolAlright so this first question comes in from email, and it's a foreign physician with a US green card planning to take the MCAT the second half of 2016, and use the score to apply for a DO medical school. So you're a physician and you're planning on going to medical school. So that's my first question, why are you doing that? Why not do your residency over again instead of going through all of medical school? But that's the first question. So the question you said besides MCAT scores, what additional materials such as letters of recommendation do I need to prepare from now on? And that's the answer, is you need to prepare for everything. You need letters of recommendation, you need your personal statement, you need all of your extracurricular activities, all set up and ready to go. So you need to get all of that ready so that you can submit your application on time.

DO Schools’ Requirements

Your second question here, ‘Do DO medical schools require volunteer experience as well as MD medical schools? If so can my clinical experience be counted as that experience?’ It can, the fact that you are a physician already, but I would get some more experience here in the US because your clinical experience at a different healthcare system isn't as good. So get some other experience here.

Your third question, ‘I have a Bachelor's Degree and one Master's Degree of clinical medicine, is that eligible to apply to a DO school?’ Every DO school is going to be different with what they require, so read the College Information Book and find out what they want.

‘My GPA during the undergraduate study is 3.0, is that enough to apply?’ Sure, you can apply to MD school, DO school with whatever GPA you want. Obviously the higher the GPA, the better. So take a look at that.

‘And what subjects such as Biochem or Organic Chem does MCAT cover?’ That's- just go to AAMC and go check out the MCAT, and they have all of their information on there. Alright?

Undergrad Mistakes

So here's the question, ‘How screwed am I?' is the start. ‘I regret my entire undergrad experience by partying/working too much. I had low grades as a result of it.' You're not screwed at all. You just need to restart, so you just added ‘I completed all my prereq's but I want to go back and retake some of it.' So you can retake, just going back and retaking those classes, but understand that those classes will either be averaged on the MD application, or they will be replaced with the newer grade for the DO application. The other option that you have is just to go take a- I can't think of the word. Basically a grade enhancing post-bacc. And that will allow you- those are for people like yourself, who didn't do as well during the sciences, during your undergrad, and allows you to take some sciences over, take some higher level sciences, show that you can do it. Another option is to go get a Master's in something and show that you can handle the higher level sciences. The Master's will- the Master's GPA will show up separately on your transcript. The way the transcript works is you'll have your undergraduate GPA, you'll have your post-graduate GPA. And so that will show up separately. The post-bacc is mixed in with the undergrad GPA. So no matter how well you do in your post-bacc, your undergrad GPA still might be underwhelming; but that doesn't really matter. As long as you show a strong upward trend. You obviously have a reason, although not a good one for doing poorly, you have the option to get that upward trend and rock your MCAT. So lots of options in there, it's just a matter of taking that next step, and starting the process of improving those grades.

So you say you spoke to an admissions committee director and he said I would need to take some post-bacc classes. Yeah, so a couple options like I said. There's post-bacc options, there's Master's class. I did a good episode with Dr. Polites all about that, about fixing your application and what those next steps should be.

Let's see what else did you put here. Post-bacc, undergrad GPA 2.6, yeah so that's the question. So some post-bacc's require some minimum GPAs, some post-bacc's require that you take the MCAT first. I don't suggest doing those post-bacc's. Obviously you're joining a post-bacc because your undergrad GPA is bad, so if they're restricting you based on that, then it's really not the post-bacc for you. But there are post-bacc's out there for you, and then there's always the option of just the do-it-yourself post-bacc where you just take lots of courses, higher level courses, repeat courses to make it work. So it will be okay, you just- it's going to take a long way to improve that 2.6, and getting buy-off from an admissions committee member. There was one- there was an interview I did with Carrie, she got buy-off from admissions committees and said, “Hey this is what I'm planning on doing,” and she checked in with that person every once in a while and said, “Okay here's where I'm at,” and she ended up getting into school there. So talk to some people and make it work.

Alright if you want to join us just click on that seat button there, I forget exactly what it says. ‘Join' or ‘Take Seat' or- all I see is that there's an open seat. We've got three open seats, four people can join me, or three people plus me. Alright, Sam is back.

Video Chat with a Few Listeners

Sam: Hello.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Hey Sam.

Sam: How are you?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Good how are you doing?

Sam: Very good.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What's going on? Where are you calling from?

Sam: We're in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Where I just left.

Sam: Oh really?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, thankfully.

Sam: Thankfully?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Thankfully, yeah- oh it's Boston, come on.

Sam: It's beautiful this time of year.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, and then the winter hits.

Sam: Yes.

Dr. Ryan Gray: 110″ last year was not fun for me.

Sam: It was [Inaudible 00:10:32], hopefully it doesn't happen again.

Dr. Ryan Gray: You look like you're in a classroom.

Sam: I'm not actually, I'm in a conference room.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Oh, a conference room at a school?

Sam: No at my job.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Oh you're at work too, everybody's at work.

Sam: Yes, yeah everyone's working I guess. I guess it's a common theme.

Dr. Ryan Gray: You have a question or are you just hanging out?

Sam: I'm a long-time listener, and it's kind of crazy to be actually- when I saw that I wasn't sure like what exactly who was getting the emails, but I'm a long-time listener, and like I wrote a review very recently saying that how your podcast, and Allison's podcast is better than some of my med school advisors, and I was not lying when I said that. I really mean it because the advice that you guys give, it's very clear and it's direct, and it actually means something. A lot of the things that people are telling me like to do for medical school, it's all well meaning but it doesn't really have any substance. So I just really appreciate what you guys do, and that you're taking this time out of your days to do this.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That's what I'm here for, that's awesome. Yeah I remember reading that review and laughing when you put that part.

Sam: Yeah it's not to bash the advisors, it's just that you're better.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Better than some, maybe.

Sam: Yeah. So I don't know where I got the courage to put myself up on this video chat. I'm actually kind of a reserved person. But-

Dr. Ryan Gray: It's just you, me, and the world.

Sam: Yeah exactly, and ten other people who aren't talking now. Maybe I know some of them. I'm interested in applying for medical school for 2017.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay.

Sam – Preparing for Medical School and a Gap Year

Sam: And I just graduated in May from college, and I'm working in Boston in a hospital. And I guess my question is what are the sorts of things that you think I should be doing on top of my job to prepare myself for medical school?

Dr. Ryan Gray: What are you doing job-wise?

Sam: Right now I'm a research tech in the cancer center.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay.

Sam: And so what I'm doing is assisting the other post-docs with their projects and also working with PI and the grant coordinator to facilitate the projects.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay, so not direct patient care, more research.

Sam: No, yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How's your patient care experience look like?

Sam: I'm relatively diverse. I was an EMT in college, and that gave me some background. And I know it's in a pre-hospital setting which is a little bit different but I think that that kind of gave me the idea of what kind of a skillset it is to be the person in care of someone. Because when you're an EMT you have like very particular questions that you ask, but outside of that you kind of find your own groove, and like how to talk to somebody in the first place. Which is something that I was not easy prepared to do when I came into college. So that was definitely a very rewarding experience for me.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay. Yeah so EMT, definitely direct patient care. It counts even though it's pre-hospital. The thing that is missing from that is the experience of knowing what life is like as a physician. Right? And that's what shadowing gives you.

Sam: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: How much shadowing experience do you have?

Sam: Very little. The one time that I shadowed someone who's an anesthesiologist, and they were preparing an epidural for a woman. This long needle that I'd never seen before, and it just kept going, and going, and going, and I felt like I was going to faint and I almost did.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

Sam: So that was my experience. Besides that I haven't- and that's something I'm interested in opening the conversation for.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah so that's where I think you can spend some extra time. Are you planning on applying to osteopathic schools or just allopathic?

Sam: I'm trying to keep an open mind. I haven't really read that much about osteopathic schools, mainly allopathic schools but I'm not really sure at this point. I think it's too early to narrow it down.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay. So the one thing that you need to keep in mind is if you do go the DO route, and apply to DO schools, most of them if you look at the College Information Book which you should be looking at as well as the MSAR. Most of the schools highly, highly suggest having letters of recommendation from an osteopathic physician. So if you're planning on applying to DO schools, I would go and seek out an osteopathic physician to shadow. At this stage of the game you're not necessarily doing it for the shadowing experience, or to confirm in your head that medicine is right for you. What you're doing is you're building those relationships for good letters of recommendation at this point.

Sam: Gotcha.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And you're still far enough out where you can join- or you can find a physician and stay with them once a week, or once a month, or whatever it may be. Get that long-term relationship going.

Sam: Yeah, got it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So work on that. The research obviously is strong, you've taken the MCAT already?

Sam: No.

Dr. Ryan Gray: No? Okay.

Sam: No I've not stepped a foot near the door of the MCAT.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay. So you planned on taking a gap year, were you a late premed?

Sam: I kind of knew early on, but I wanted to focus on my classwork when I was in school, so I never really got around to studying for the MCAT. Which is I think not the worst thing.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. Yeah, no that's interesting. Okay. Yeah, so you have lots of time to study for the MCAT and get some shadowing, and yeah. And your undergrad GPA is good?

Sam: Yeah, it's not bad.

Dr. Ryan Gray: I would hope so.

Sam: I won't disclose details but-

Dr. Ryan Gray: You differed everything to do well in school, hopefully you did well in school.

Sam: Yeah, I hope so. We'll see.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay, good. Alright.

Sam: Yeah well thank you for having me on this show.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Not a problem. Hang out and sit, and relax.

Sam: Yeah I will get myself off the screen because I don't think everyone wants to look at me anymore. Thanks Ryan.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Bye Sam. Must be Johnny's- anybody can come join us. You said LSU has a 32 hour policy which means if you take 32 hours of Physics, Chem, Math and Bio, they will replace your entire undergrad GPA with the 32 hours taken post-bacc. Cool! I do not know of any other schools that do that, I didn't know they did that. That's the problem. I get so annoyed with medical schools, and how every school is different. All their requirements are different, yeah it's interesting, but I'll check out that link. That's good to know. Anybody else? Click the little ‘Join,' we could have a chat in front of the world like Sam just did. Thanks Sam for joining. And for your review, it was a good review. Alright I mean I can go through my email and answer some questions, or you can come and have a chat with me. I'm just hanging out. Hanging out. I'm redesigning the podcast artwork if you guys are in the Medical School Headquarters hangout, which is, you can see a new picture there I think I'm going to use. I was toying with some other podcast artwork yesterday for two other podcasts that I'll be starting in collaboration with a couple other websites. Premed related which is awesome. Must be Johnny just said, “Thanks for answering. By the way I have listened to 99 episodes in order in the last four months, excited to get 100 on my ride to EMT class today,” that's awesome. That is awesome. 100, you're still listening. Good. I'd better hurry up and create some more episodes so you can keep listening.

This is a little behind the scenes look on my recording set-up. You can take my camera over here. I'll make you all dizzy. I've got my mixer there, a little recorder there, and some other equipment. A little behind the scenes look. I'm back on top. Now it needs to focus, there we go. Alright. So if you have a question you can type it in, I'd prefer if you joined me over there. Let's see. What can we talk about? So I answered a question already about DO stuff, lots of DO stuff.

MCAT Prep as an Undergrad Freshman

I had a good question come in recently from somebody who's a freshman at Rutgers about to take Bio 1, and thinking about studying the Biology MCAT review book at the same time. Kind of going hand in hand, checking out what's in the MCAT review book as this person is studying for their class. And so it's interesting. So they're saying, ‘so that I can familiarize myself with the test and then do that with every other one of my classes as well. The reason I felt the need to ask, is that I'm unsure if the material in the MCAT is the same as what I'll see in Bio 1 class. Maybe I should wait until I take Bio 2, Chem 2, or so on.’ So my answer to this question, if you should study for the MCAT side by side with your classes. It's not a bad idea, and it's actually something that people in medical school do; they study for the boards side by side with the classes in medical school. But for undergrad, because the MCAT is so different than the materials that you're taking in your classes, obviously the content- the base content is there. But taking the MCAT is totally different than taking your undergrad tests. It's such a different beast. And the fact that this person is a freshman, my advice would be to don't worry about studying for the MCAT at this point. Worry about being a student, making sure you're handling the coursework, handling being alone or being by yourself now independent at college, being independent as far as your schoolwork goes, because it's not like high school where you turn in your homework every day or whatever it is nowadays. You're there to be a student first, and so worry about the classes, do well in those, and if you feel later on that you can add some of that MCAT prep, then go ahead and do that. But right off the bat, just worry about your classes.

Alright what else? What else? What else? Somebody come join me, we've got ten people watching, somebody can step up. Sam stepped up. Matthew is stepping up. Hey Matthew.

Matthew: How's it going, Ryan?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Good, how are you?

Matthew: Pretty good.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Welcome, welcome.

Matthew: Oh man, that was scary.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Why?

Matthew: I don't know, it's intimidating to be on air.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Nah. It's just the world.

Matthew: Yeah, well Sam inspired me so thank you, Sam.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Thank you, Sam. There's just ten people watching. What's going on? Where are you hanging out right now? Oh Matthew froze.

Matthew: [Inaudible 00:22:47].

Dr. Ryan Gray: Matthew, you're all choppy. Oh, audio only. And gone. Come back, Matthew. Sam started it off for everybody, so if you want to join, join us. Hanging out, it's fun. This is my first hosted Blab. I actually joined a different Blab last night, and so that was my first Blab. And it's kind of cool because you just hang out and have conversations with people. I like it, I'll probably be doing more of these maybe once a week or so, just to hang out and talk. Answer questions. Intimidate more people apparently according to Sam and Matthew. Intimidating to join.

Let's see, Must be Johnny's- ‘I'm an EMT and have been for eight years.' What is that? Must be Johnny. Matthew come back and join us. Oh username Must be Johnny, alright. Matthew's back.

Matthew: I'm back, sorry about that.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Back again. So where are you?

Matthew: Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Nice, alright.

Matthew: Yeah it's pretty sunny, so pretty rare.

Dr. Ryan Gray: For once? Yeah. Yeah, not a problem here in Boulder, Colorado where it's sunny all the time. You have a question or are you just hanging out?

Matthew: Sure I'll probably have a question here in a minute.

Dr. Ryan Gray: In a minute?

Matthew: Yeah I'll just- they'll come. I always have questions when I'm listening to your podcast, but then when I actually think of asking them, they're- I lose them.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah so what year are you right now?

Matthew: I'm going to go into my third year, I start in about three weeks.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay, exciting. So you have lots of higher level stuff coming.

Matthew: Mm hmm.

Dr. Ryan Gray: MCAT's coming.

Matthew: Eventually, yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: What are your sights right now for medical school? Are you planning on applying at the end of this year?

Matthew on Taking a Gap Year and Differing

Matthew: Well I guess I'm still figuring that out. I was originally planning to, but I'm looking more towards a gap year.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay.

Matthew: A decision that both my girlfriend and I came to. You know, we thought it would be best considering we want to get married right after undergrad, so-

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay.

Matthew: So yeah, so that's the big change so I'm kind of rethinking everything now, trying to figure out how the timeline's adjusted both with classes and then also what I want to do with that year off.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, do you have any ideas?

Matthew: A lot. But it's hard because I'm one of those people who loves to plan ahead, so now I'm trying to- you know I've been planning ahead on applying right away for a long time, now that things are changed it's kind of like I have to redo everything in a sense.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

Matthew: So.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Not really redo everything, the only addition is what are you going to do to fill your time? Right?

Matthew: Yeah, just mentally.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Because you can still take the MCAT during the normal timeframe, it will just be a year older when you apply, which is fine. It's just a matter of showing your interests during the gap year.

Matthew: Yeah, so I do have a question.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yes.

Matthew: One's come to mind. So I have a sister, she's super smart, she's in PT school right now, physical therapy school.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay.

Matthew: And just for kind of background, her idea of getting into medical school is all dependent on your GPA and your MCAT.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

Matthew: So kind of the traditional view of how you get into medical school. And so she thinks that I should go ahead and apply through the normal application cycle, and then apply to schools, and then if I get into one, differ for the year.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay.

Matthew: I don't know if I totally agree, because I feel like I should you know, I might as well use the extra time to beef up my application, do better on the MCAT, et cetera. What's your view on that?

Dr. Ryan Gray: So the biggest red flag for me is why are you applying and then differing? So that's what I did. I applied and then I differed a year. And the medical school wants to know- they called me, or when I requested- Emiko you can join back in, I didn't see your request. When the medical school- when New York Med, when I had that conversation with them they said, “Why are you differing?” And at that point I had a good reason, I was managing a gym up in Boston and enjoying that managerial side of things that I wasn't going to get in medical school; how to manage people and lead a business. And so they were okay with that reason. So if you're going to do that you need to have a good reason on why you're differing. And so just keep that in mind. But if you do apply in that kind of timeframe, that same timeframe and then differ, then you have to think are you going to be prepared to take the MCAT? Are you going to have time to do your letters of recommendation, your personal statement, do the applications, get those in on time? Or are you thinking about your wedding and other stuff in that sense? If there are some deficiencies in your application, that a gap year would help you kind of strengthen, then that's great, take that gap year and strengthen your application. But have a good reason why you're differing.

Matthew: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Hi Emiko. It's a little loud in there.

Amiko: Hey Ryan.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, oh there you go, now I can hear you.

Emiko: So can you hear me talk?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. I hear sirens.

Emiko: Really? Huh, I'm in an office space so that's weird. Okay so why are you differing?

Matthew: I think that's from me.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Oh is that from you? Alright Matthew, alright. Say that again, Emiko?

Emiko: What's your reason for differing?

Matthew: Oh for me? The reason is in a sense to start a family, because my girlfriend and I would like to get married right after undergrad, and so she- I mean it was a decision- both of our decisions. I was kind of indifferent either way, but you know she would prefer for sure to do the gap year. And I thought about it and thought that would be the best for both of us. Plus you know, Ryan you wanted to get some outside experience, and I figured with medical school, the whole medical path, it takes the majority of your time. And so I'd love to use- possibly use that year to travel, or to do something I couldn't previously do, or wouldn't be able to do for quite a while.

Emiko: Yeah, I'm actually in the same way. I thought about differing for the Peace Corps.

Matthew: Oh wow.

Emiko: Actually.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Not a bad reason.

Emiko: Yeah, but then I called some schools and they said to wait until I was ready.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. That is the issue, is the school that you get an acceptance from, assuming you get an acceptance, they don't have to agree to differ you for a year. And so you run that risk. I got lucky with mine that they were okay with it. But it's not an automatic thing, and so it is a risk if you do that. So if you apply, get in, request to differ a year and they deny are you, are you prepared to just go to school and give up the Peace Corps, and Matthew in your case are you okay with getting married at the court house and just going- differing your honeymoon instead of differing the wedding. So those are things that you have to ask yourself, and make sure you're okay with those answers.

Matthew: So I don't know if you've ever heard anything like this, but a year and a half ago- so I'm in Oregon so the local school is OHSU, the admissions board came and talked with- we had basically a premed course that you could take. And one of the things they said is the majority of those that they accept are re-applicants. And OHSU is kind of weird because they like re-applicants and they like priding themselves in having older students. They're the ones you hear about with the graduate 51-year-old medical students and such. So that's one of the things we were discussing should I try to- should I ever apply just for the sake of being a re-applicant the next time?

Dr. Ryan Gray: No. No.

Matthew: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: The process is so grueling and so defeating that it's not something that you look forward to doing twice.

Matthew: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: It's a miserable experiences.

Emiko: Yeah I'm sure you're also concerned about your MCAT running out.

Matthew: Yeah.

Emiko: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah no don't apply just to apply. It's an interesting strategy, I might have to reach out to their admissions office and maybe have them on the podcast to talk about why they enjoy re-applicants, and tips for those reapplying.

Thoughts on the Peace Corps

Emiko: Okay. Well I had a question Ryan, about what your thoughts are about the Peace Corps because I've been listening to you- a lot of your episodes when I get to work. But we never talked about the Peace Corps or taking two years to volunteer.

Dr. Ryan Gray: As far as if I think it's a good idea?

Emiko: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: I think it's a fabulous idea.

Emiko: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: I've talked about taking gap years in general, and how I highly recommend them. Because the more time that you're able to spend away from being a student, the more you're able to understand your patients, and build rapport with your patients. Because you're not a traditional student coming in, and having only experienced life as a student. And so you have all this extra experience, all these life experiences and travel experiences, so you'll be able to bring to your patients. So I think it's a fabulous idea; obviously Peace Corps is a huge organization, great organization, they do a ton of great things. So I highly recommend it.

Emiko: Alright, thank you. It's good to hear from someone that's been there, done that kind of- because I have people that say that's not the right way to go, like that's a waste of your time, and-

Dr. Ryan Gray: So the majority of people telling you that are probably people your own age I'm assuming?

Emiko: No it's like my family.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay so family is the same too, because families are a little bit more motivating and want to see you succeed. There's always that risk of you going off to the Peace Corps and you losing your motivation to go to medical school so they may be worried about that as well.

Emiko: Really? I would think it would be the opposite.

Dr. Ryan Gray: It could be. But just the risk in general. You're like, ‘Oh, not being a student is kind of fun.' So there's a risk there. But if you keep that end goal in mind, then that's awesome.

Emiko: Okay I didn't- I never thought of that as a reason. That's interesting.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, no it's I've heard it from some parents that that's a thought that they have when they say their children want to take a gap year. But the other thing to think about, a lot of the negative comments typically come from younger people in your own peer group.

Emiko: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And they don't have that sense of time. They assume that- Matthew's making me dizzy over here.

Matthew: Sorry I don't know where my pen went. Oh, found it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: They in the grand scheme of things, your peers look at two years as this just daunting gap. Whereas somebody in my situation, or somebody that's older, they go, “Two years, it's nothing. Go enjoy yourself for two years. You have thirty years of practice as a physician, what's two years?”

Emiko: Okay. Yeah, no I think of it like that as well.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. Awesome. What else? We have one more open seat if somebody wants to join us. What do you got, Matthew?

What Specific Jobs to Look For

Matthew: I'm trying to figure out how to phrase this question. So in regards to a gap year, or time off, a major concern is always finding a job, and you know making money too. And one thing that's on my mind is when going through undergrad, you know typically the number one thing I want to study is anything that has to do with sciences or medicine, and that's what I'm interested in. But I didn't know, you know if you hear people who tried to study more and direction looking for a specific job or what you- or if you know trying to wrap up your undergrad, you know a term early so you can do a certain certification or what do you see people do when it comes to try to find a job for that gap year?

Dr. Ryan Gray: There's no formula for that. Do something that will pay the bills hopefully, do something that if you need it to do that. Do something that you'll enjoy, do something that is- if it's not structured or related with medicine, make sure that you're still volunteering and staying plugged in with the healthcare side of things. But if you can marry those two and maybe be a scribe, which is a very popular job these days because you get paid and you're in healthcare. It's great experience, you can try that.

Emiko: Does it count if you work for like a public health research group?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Public health research group? I mean it's sort of healthcare related but it's not patient care.

Emiko: Uh huh.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So make sure you have that patient care, you're maintaining that patient care.

Emiko: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. That's good. Hello David. David is Must be Johnny.

David: Oh hey how's it going?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Good, how are you?

David: Alright, my satellite and my audio is kind of messing up everything when I first connected.

Dr. Ryan Gray: It sounded like it.

David: Is it working alright now?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah it sounds good.

EMT, Shadowing, Volunteering

David: Oh, okay. One thing- I joined because one thing with the job, the reason I'm becoming an EMT is to try to [Inaudible 00:39:25] last time I was in school was twelve years ago, I have a Bachelor's in Philosophy and Theology and a Master's in Theology so I have no science at all, so I have to do it all. And [Inaudible 00:39:36] my DOI post-bacc to have something little income during that gap year. I heard it was also good on the application.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. Being an EMT is great for the application. It's great patient care experience, you're obviously getting paid. The thing I talked about earlier too, the one thing you have to be careful of is that it's not really experience of what healthcare is like as a physician. Great patient care, great experience, but you're missing that physician side, so make sure you still have that extra bit whether it's shadowing or whatever other experience to be plugged in with a physician.

David: Yeah I didn't realize that, I'm glad you said that.

Emiko: Yeah, that's good.

David: Now what would be a- I have a wife and two kids. What kind of a- I have no time to volunteer, you know I'm doing this EMT stuff; shadowing and volunteering is important, but because I've heard of some people say that if you don't volunteer you're just flat out not getting into med school at all. Do you have any ideas? I was a teacher for a while so I thought, you know trying to do something at a hospital, maybe children's extended stays in the hospital, helping with tutoring with their subjects or something. But I don't know if that exists or what would be a good thing? Or what would be a good suggestion.

Dr. Ryan Gray: If it doesn't exist, go out and create it.

David: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Then it looks even better if you started something. Yeah, do what you can do. The goal in all of this is to show the admissions committee that you are able to put others before yourself. And unfortunately in your situation, putting others before yourself include yourself and your family.

David: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And your family has to buy into that as well, knowing that in the long run this is what's good for everybody. So-

David: Yeah they're all [Inaudible 00:41:43] so I don't have any problems with that.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

David: Luckily.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So work out a schedule and know that Mondays and Tuesdays are your time to go and volunteer, and be away from the house and get everything you need done, and the rest of the week is for your family. Set a schedule like that and hopefully everybody's okay with it.

David: Okay.

Matthew: Ryan, question regarding all of that. Is it- you know when accomplishing a set amount of hours, is it better to do it kind of on a schedule basis of a few hours every week? Or can you do it straight in a week, like you're on a trip, or a volunteering based trip, missions trip, or work at camp? You know is it- is one better than the other?

Dr. Ryan Gray: I always look at volunteering and suggest to look at volunteering and shadowing and any other experience, as the quality of the experience. Not necessarily quantity. So the quality of jamming stuff into a week might not be as good as building that relationship over a long period of time with one physician or a couple physicians.

Matthew: Okay.

Volunteering in Regard to Letters of Recommendation

Dr. Ryan Gray: You have to remember that volunteering isn't there just to put it on your application, it's there to possibly get a letter of recommendation from somebody. And if it's an intense enough week, maybe you build a good enough relationship with somebody to get a good letter of recommendation, but if it's not then it's kind of a waste. I hate to say it just that it's a waste, that you should do everything for a letter of recommendation, but that's the kind of thinking that you have to do.

Matthew: Are you saying a letter of recommendation for volunteering? Or just for shadowing, or-

Dr. Ryan Gray: All of the above.

Matthew: Do you get- so if the volunteering is not medically related, do you get a letter of recommendation for that?

Dr. Ryan Gray: If you think you can get a stellar recommendation from somebody, even if they're not a physician, but they can speak to your qualities as a human being and possible qualities as a physician, get the letter. It doesn't hurt to have a ton of letters, and worry about them later. You have the interfolio website where you go log on, make an account, and just have it there and start collecting letters. Keep a list of who you're getting letters from and why you think they may be good, so that when you apply you'll know who you use for what.

Matthew: Okay.

David: One thing I can throw out there is I have a friend that's trying to get into dental school, and he did a lot of volunteering with Habitat for Humanity or something, but he's really introverted and just like- you know what? They didn't remember him. So he couldn't get a letter of recommendation. He had to do something and get the people that lead it to recognize who he is so that he could get a letter.

Dr. Ryan Gray: I'm glad they didn't write him one.

David: Yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: That's good.

David: Yeah, maybe.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay. Awesome.

Emiko: Okay Ryan, I've got to go but thank you for doing this for us.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Okay. Not a problem. Hopefully we'll make it more regular.

Emiko: Yeah, okay see you later.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Bye Emiko. Alright there's another open seat if somebody wants to join. Where are you David in the world?

David: Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright.

LSU 32-Hour Policy

David: There was one thing with my question that tied to it, is I was really interested in that 32 hours policy that LSU had. I don't have a terrible undergrad, but it's not the best, but if I could knock out a 4.0 and that's my whole thing with 32 hours, that's one thing I was shooting for.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, that's pretty awesome. I'll look into it.

David: Yeah and I'm not sure if you have to- they have to be LSU courses or not. Or if it's just you're going back and you're just taking a 32 hour set. So that's one thing I haven't had clarified [Inaudible 00:45:56].

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. I don't know, good question. A little phone call to them. When are you planning on applying?

David: Three years. Two to three years because I have to take I think it's ten classes now, is what I figured out. Because the only thing I had in my undergrad was one math course, and an environmental science course, and that was it. So I don't have anything. And really I'm lacking- I have a severe understanding of math. This chemistry [Inaudible 00:46:28] course I'm in, I'm having to relearn how to do exponents, and fractions, and all this stuff, there's just so much I've lost. So it's really rough.

Dr. Ryan Gray: It's amazing.

David: Yeah it really is bad how much you forget. Because I have to divide a fraction I'm like, ‘Oh my gosh, I'm an idiot. I don't know how to do a fraction.' It really makes you feel stupid when you go back in.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

David: And then when I'm in class, you know everybody's looking around they're like, “You don't look a freshman, what are you doing here?” Like yeah, I'm old.

Dr. Ryan Gray: “I'm auditing the class, leave me alone.”

David: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright. Alright. Jean Baby.

Jean: Yes.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Hi.

Jean: Hello!

Dr. Ryan Gray: Oh there's two of them.

Jean2: Who is that?

Jean: It's Ryan Gray, he's the one I listen to all the time [Inaudible 00:47:32].

Dr. Ryan Gray: How are you?

Jean: Well I'm good, how are ya'll?

Dr. Ryan Gray: I'm good. Where are you calling from? Where are you joining us from?

Jean: I'm actually in Angelo State University right now.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Where?

Jean: Angelo State University, it is a college in San Angelo, Texas.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright, awesome. Welcome. Do you have a question?

Jean: [Inaudible 00:48:01].

Dr. Ryan Gray: We lost her. Alright, her friend didn't seem too excited to be on. That's okay. Alexis Sim said, ‘Would it be wise to complete an MPH program?' I don't know, I need more information. So if you're still there, come join us and we can talk. Don't be shy.

David: From what I know about the LSU program, I don't know if re-takes would work. But actually I think it would because yeah, it's like a whole entire replacement program it seems.

Dr. Ryan Gray: It would seem like that's the point of it.

David: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Without digging into it at all. Look at it. 32 hour policy. Wow, that's a pretty awesome policy.

David: It really impressed me when I found out about it.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah. Okay. Very cool. Yeah it doesn't necessarily say if it has to be done at LSU, or it doesn't say anything about re-takes, it just says 32 hours of post-bacc coursework in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Math. So if you suck at Physics, you could do 32 hours of Biology and Chemistry and Math and stay away from Physics. It's pretty cool.

David: The one negative thing I found is at LSU, since I already have a degree, I'm considered a non-matriculating student.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

David: So I cannot get FAFSA. But they have this exception with a non-matriculating form if you're studying towards a degree later on, not just taking classes for the fun of it. They'll let you get the FAFSA. But LSU says for studying for premed, you have to take the MCAT first, then you can take all the classes with FAFSA. So I spoke to them about it and I said, “That's backwards because I need the classes for MCAT.” That's my daughter.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Hello, hello. So Jean that just called in said, “I'm sixteen premed, what's a good thing to do during the summer?” Enjoy your summers. There's nothing to do at this point.

David: Wow, sixteen.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Go shadow, go volunteer in a hospital somewhere, but beyond that just enjoy yourself. Go get your EMT I guess. Alright, anybody else want to join us? Matthew's still thinking.

Listing Quality Experience on Application

Matthew: Yeah I've got more questions I just don't want to take all the time. Because I could probably be here all day, just going off questions. I guess one question is- you know I haven't seen, I don't know exactly what the application looks like. But how far back do you put things on there, you know? Because do I put volunteer experiences from high school? Or do I kind of keep it at undergrad, or what?

Dr. Ryan Gray: If it is- it's a common question. If it's a life-changing kind of experience, put it on there. If it's just another kind of ho-hum thing, and not very memorable, I probably wouldn't put it on there. I had one experience that I put on my application, I went to Africa for three weeks after I graduated high school, and volunteered at an HIV orphanage and did some other stuff. So that I put on there, because that was a pretty amazing three weeks. But yeah, just remember that you have fifteen spots in your application for extracurricular activities. It doesn't mean you have to fill it up with fifteen things. The admissions committee, they can sniff out fluff from a mile away.

Matthew: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So if you're putting just random one or two hours here or there, it's probably not worth it. So I wouldn't worry about it. David, the ninth grade high schooler who's now in eleventh grade, hi David. Welcome. “How much Physics do I need?” For what? For undergrad you typically need a year of Physics and Lab, for most schools. Again, every school is a little bit different so just always keep an eye out on that College Information Book for the DO schools, and the MSAR for the allopathic schools. David says you have to be eighteen to start in EMT for his EMT stuff. I don't know if that's a nationwide rule or what. What else?

“What is a good way of highlighting eight years as an EMT with increasing levels of leadership?” So as you fill out your application, and you're filling out these extracurricular activities, what you're trying to show is the impact that you've had on whatever you're doing. So instead of saying that you just worked eight years as an EMT, try to- you're trying to show what you did and the impact that it had. What changes did you make? What impact did it make? That's how you want to write everything. So keep that in mind. Obviously increasing levels of leadership, you're- as you're more in a leadership role, then you are managing other people possibly, and kind of exponentially reaching out and touching more patients. So think of it in that way as you're creating these extracurricular activities.

David: On the application is there a previous job experience part? Or is it only academic?

Dr. Ryan Gray: No, it's- so the extracurricular activities is everything. It's paid work, nonpaid work, hospital work, non-hospital, and non-healthcare related. Everything. So one of those fifteen will be job experience.

Matthew: Where would an EMT follow- or fall?

Dr. Ryan Gray: It would be paid healthcare.

Matthew: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: If you're getting paid for it.

Matthew: What about something like caregiving? You know?

Dr. Ryan Gray: As far as like caregiving for a family member or something like that?

Matthew: No, like in a skilled nursing facility?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Are you getting paid for it?

Matthew: Mm hmm.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah so again, paid healthcare work.

Matthew: That would be considered- okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

Matthew: Because I've seen weird- I mean Student Doctor Network, so who knows, weird stuff about people saying, “Oh no, it's not true healthcare, clinical,” or whatever. So I just wanted clarification on that.

Dr. Ryan Gray: My advice is always number one stay off of Student Doctor Network. But number two, is read the application instructions, because they'll break down specifically what each section is. And from my recollection, last time I read it was two years ago, the working in a healthcare facility like that is still considered healthcare related.

Matthew: Okay.

Job Opportunity – Patient Service Representative

David: Something besides EMT which I just remembered, is I worked for a company called Zoll Life Corps in Pittsburgh for a couple years.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Like Zoll defibrillators, Zoll?

David: Yeah, yeah that's it. Which they have- do you know about the life vest? External wearable defibrillators?

Dr. Ryan Gray: No.

David: It's- shoot it's for patients that are post-[Inaudible 00:57:14] I think it is. And I think you have to have an EF less than 24 or something like that. But instead of having surgery you can wear an AED 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And they need people to go out and- so learn about the device, and then go out and actually fit a patient, and train them how to use it. You don't really work with a nurse or a doctor or anything like that, but you could get patient training experience. I tried to do it again here in Baton Rouge but they don't need anybody. But it is all throughout the US. And they paid $150.00 to go fit a patient, and it only took like thirty minutes. So it was really good money, I wish I could still be doing it. But that's another one that gets you in a hospital, you talk to a nurse- or maybe a cardiologist, and you do patient training, it's interaction. It'd be great if you're in school and they have an opening. I know one person in Miami, they had so many patients being fitted in one area there, she quit her job and was making six figures. Just training patients on using this device. But that was only in Miami, that was like a rare cardiologist that loved the thing and prescribed it like crazy.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Wow.

Matthew: So what is it?

David: It's an external defibrillator you can wear, and it will monitor- it monitors your heart the whole time, and if you have- was it VFib? Is that the shockable one or is it- not AFib is it?

Dr. Ryan Gray: AFib you don't want a shock unless you're unstable.

David: That's right. So if you have VFib it will actually shock- it will treat you and convert your heart back. It's pretty incredible. So I'll throw it in the comment, there's a link to the company. But it's called a Patient Service Representative, PSR, and that's the people they need to go out and do it. It's all contract labor, it's not like a full time job or anything like that.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Cool.

David: So you just get called up if they need you.

Dr. Ryan Gray: So how did that come up? Are you asking if that's healthcare related?

David: No I was just saying in addition to EMT, that's something.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Oh something else somebody could do.

David: It's something else you could do. But I mean I wish I could be doing, because it was so easy, and it got you in there, and it paid a lot of money, it's perfect for college.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah, cool.

Are Some Experiences too ‘Traditional’?

Matthew: So kind of back to my previous question about finding a job, you know in a year or two- or however off before medical school. Again, you know my local medical school is OHSU and Portland is a town of hipsters and people who are different. And everybody- you know they love the people who are different. And I guess in a weird way is it- should I try- is being an EMT or doing CNA, or phlebotomy; is that looked on kind of like too traditional? Or is this even something I should be asking, and I should just do whatever? What do you see? Like should I just try to find a job? You know, a job with experience? Or try to do something different? Or- I don't know, not really a straightforward question.

Dr. Ryan Gray: I think you need to do whatever it is that you feel drawn to do. It's hard. Like I said before, you need to pay the bills if paying bills is important. And you need to do something that you're going to enjoy going to work every day doing. If you can get a great letter of recommendation out of it, that's awesome. But if it's something that you're doing and not really enjoying, then when it comes to writing about it, or talking about it during an interview, that it's just not going to be very exciting for you or the person interviewing you.

Matthew: So you don't think admissions committees will look at something like EMT as traditional? Or not being unique enough.

Dr. Ryan Gray: No.

Matthew: Okay.

David: When you said to go out and actually create a program?

Dr. Ryan Gray: Mm hmm.

David: How- I did email a hospital asking, trying to find the volunteer coordinator, asking them if they had any kind of tutoring needs for I guess children with extended stays. But I never heard back. How would be the best way to kind of create something like that?

Dr. Ryan Gray: So I could put you in contact if you want to email me, I could put you in contact with- oh what's his name? The student at University of Florida who put together a program.

David: Oh yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: For Shands Hospital there.

David: I remember hearing about that one.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah.

David: Okay.

Dr. Ryan Gray: The Dream Team I think he calls it.

David: Okay, that's it. That's about the same thing I want to do, yeah.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Yeah so I can put you in contact with him, and he can give you some advice on how to start it up.

David: That would be great, thanks.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Just shoot me an email.

David: Okay. I'm going to head on out, my kids are wanting to eat.

Dr. Ryan Gray: And the batteries are dying, quick! Need an external defibrillator on that thing.

David: There you go. Alright thanks, this was really neat.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright David.

David: See you later.

Matthew: See you David.

David: See you Matthew.

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright, anybody want to join us? We've got eleven people snooping, snooping away. If not, why don't we end it there? Matthew it's been fun, thanks for hanging out.

Matthew: Thank you Ryan, appreciate it.

Final Thoughts

Dr. Ryan Gray: Alright, again very different podcast today, I hope that was worthwhile for you. That there was a ton of great information, a ton of great questions that were asked. Lots of gap year stuff, lots of work and volunteer questions. So I hope you got a ton of great information out of it today.

You heard at one point, Sam talking about leaving an awesome rating and review, I would love it if you would leave us a rating and review, I would truly, truly enjoy it. You can do that at You can leave a rating and review there. We have a bunch of ratings and reviews to catch up on.

We have one from Jenni Lopez that says ‘Amazing. 27-year-old nurse and nontraditional student going back down the path into medical school.' And we've helped with anxiety and all of the amazing information and stories. So that's awesome, thank you Jenni for that rating and review.

Chiefo21 says, ‘Love it, thank you for the advice and the informative nature of your work.'

We have bnt220, ‘So grateful to have found this podcast.' They end it by saying, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.' That's awesome, thank you for that rating and review.

And Ajlaarman, I think I'm pronouncing that probably wrong, says ‘Perfect. This podcast is really helping me make my decision on whether to pursue a career in medicine or not. Instead of asking whether I can or can't, I am constantly reminded to ask if this is the career for me, and given tools to find that answer. Great podcast.' So that was a great review and exactly the kind of rating and review that I like to see. So thank you for that rating and review.

Again, where you can leave us one. If you've left us one recently, and I haven't talked about it on this podcast, don't worry there are still about eight or so that we- I need to catch up on. But I don't want to read them all at once because then that would bore you as I'm reading them.

Alright again, go check out, go check out And yeah, stay tuned for a couple new podcasts that are coming out in a little while. Not right around the corner, but soon enough. Close enough that I was working with some artwork for them. And yeah, I'm excited. And I hope you are too. I'll have a link soon, maybe in the next week or two, that you can go to and stay in touch for when we release those new podcasts.

If you want to get on our mailing list now, you can just go to and yeah, sign up for the MCAT, and you can get on our mailing list there. The MCAT thirty page review book, you'll get on our mailing list and stay up to date with what we do.

Alright, I hope you enjoyed everything that we talked about today, I hope it wasn't too distracting, and as always I hope you join us next time here at the Medical School Headquarters.


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