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The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast provides essential information for applicants to medical school and those already in medical school. Featuring physicians with admissions committee experience, our shows will share important tips, strategies, and experiences to help you succeed in the process of becoming a doctor. In addition, our guest speakers will provide their own insight into different medical specialties and the process of applying to specific residencies. The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast is a one-stop-shop for anyone considering, or on the path to practicing medicine!

Prospective Doctor (from MedSchoolCoach) Renee Marinelli MD

    • Medicin

The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast provides essential information for applicants to medical school and those already in medical school. Featuring physicians with admissions committee experience, our shows will share important tips, strategies, and experiences to help you succeed in the process of becoming a doctor. In addition, our guest speakers will provide their own insight into different medical specialties and the process of applying to specific residencies. The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast is a one-stop-shop for anyone considering, or on the path to practicing medicine!

    The (Broken) American Healthcare System with Dr. Brad Spellberg

    The (Broken) American Healthcare System with Dr. Brad Spellberg

    Chase DiMarco talks with Dr. Brad Spellberg, an infectious disease specialist, Chief Medical Officer at the Los Angeles County and the University of Southern California Medical Center, and Director of Biosciences for Los Angeles County. They discuss Brad’s book Broken, Bankrupt, and Dying: How to Solve the Great American Healthcare Rip-off.
    [0:42] Introducing Dr. Brad Spellberg
    [3:35] Comparing American Healthcare to That in Other Countries
    [8:02] The Cost of American Healthcare
    [12:21] Origins of Unaffordable Health Insurance
    [16:05] Solutions to the American Healthcare Problem
    [20:28] How the Audience Can Inspire Better Healthcare
    [22:09] Further Resources
    Based on a study by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, the US ranks 11th out of 11 peer nations for healthcare. This includes ranking the worst for outcome — how well a nation prevents deaths that are amenable to treatment such as diabetes and pneumonia. This also includes being the most expensive — regardless of whether the metric is total cost, cost per capita, or cost as a percentage of GDP. Furthermore, based on a 2019 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average cost of premium alone for a family to purchase their own health insurance is $20,000 per year.
    The unjust and inhumane healthcare system was unplanned, and arose because during World War II, 1. to prevent inflation, employers were not permitted to raise salaries, but were still permitted to provide additional employee benefits like health insurance and 2. to fund military equipment, the IRS removed all income tax deductions except for the ones on insurance. For the system to change today, people must accept that the system is bad and have the will to change it. Besides this, partisanship around healthcare issues should be removed. To illustrate, Dr. Spellberg proposes a healthcare system that involves both multi-payer and single-payer options. Everyone would pay a tax, ensuring baseline healthcare under the single-payer option, but those who want private healthcare are permitted to pay extra. This reduces the polarization of the two options as associated with different parties. Single-payer, multi-payer and hybrid systems have all been shown to work in other countries, in terms of both cost and outcome.
    So what can you do about this? Besides educating yourself, take the time to increase awareness amongst your neighbors and friends. Representatives at Capitol Hill will listen and advocate for their constituents. So speak up and remember to vote!
    Here are further resources that you might enjoy:
    2019 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey of Primary Care Physicians
    Average Annual Family Premium per Enrolled Employee For Employer-Based Health Insurance
    Broken, Bankrupt, and Dying: How to Solve the Great American Healthcare Rip-off by Dr. Brad Spellberg
    You can find out more about Brad via his Website or contact him via Twitter!
    Sign up for a Free Coaching session with Chase DiMarco, sponsored by Prospective Doctor! You can also join the Med Student Mentor FB Group to ask questions and receive guidance related to clinical rotations and clinical knowledge!

    • 23 min
    Student Loan Planning with Travis Hornsby

    Student Loan Planning with Travis Hornsby

    In this episode, Chase DiMarco talks with Travis Hornby from Student Loan Planner about how to navigate and plan for student loans. Travis’ advice comprises common but costly mistakes that debtors make, the kinds of resources that you should or should not trust, and how to avoid negative psychological consequences such as the guilt surrounding student loans.
    [01:05] Common Student Loan Anxieties
    [03:20] Federal vs Private Loans
    [05:53] Choosing Medical Schools Based on Specialty
    [09:30] The Types of Consultations Provided by Student Loan Planner
    [11:30] Media Sensationalism & Poor Resources
    [16:36] Student Loan Planner vs Other Resources
    [19:55] Common but Costly Mistakes
    Travis starts off with two specific tips: 1. opt for federal loans where possible and 2. opt for a school that maximizes your chances of placement in your desired specialty, even if that school is more expensive. Pertaining to the first piece of advice, private loans are likely to require full payment, whereas federal loans may qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLR). Pertaining to the second piece of advice, due to programs like PSLR and others, attending two schools of vastly different prices are quite likely to end up costing the same amount.
    Transitioning to more general advice, Travis urges us to be cautious about the quality of the resources that we use when making decisions about student loans. Student loans are a complex issue and often require expertise beyond social media posts and sensational media that prioritize ad revenue. To illustrate, Travis talks about a woman who refinanced her federal loans out of anxiety instigated by social media, costing her a six-figure sum. Whilst we should maintain agency over our personal finances, issues surrounding student loans require vigilance, caution and trustworthy resources.
    If you are a medical student looking for quality resources on student loans, head on over to Student Loan Planner where you will have access to a podcast, a student loan calculator and if you want, personalized pre-debt or post-debt consultations. As Travis told us, we should not remain anxious over student loans, but instead confidently but cautiously seek out the best long-term options!

    • 27 min
    Traditional Interview - Tips from a Recent Applicant

    Traditional Interview - Tips from a Recent Applicant

    Dr. Ziggy Yoediono is joined today by Jane, a recent med school applicant. They will be discussing Jane’s experience with the traditional interview process and her tips for success.
    [1.00] What surprised you about the process?
    Jane found the interview days to be longer than expected. You need constant, full engagement.
    [3.05] What did you do to keep your energy up?
    Jane took time to disengage somewhere quiet. She also recommends caffeinating beforehand instead of throughout.
    [4.15] What advice do you have for time management and scheduling for the interviews?
    She front-loaded her medical courses, allowing for lighter class load later. She also tried to find flexible courses. Schools had no real flexibility for scheduling; the windows were often only a few days, so it was integral to have flexibility.
    [8.00] How did you prepare? What worked and what didn’t?
    Jane researched the most common questions, prepping answers to be succinct in advance and considered what interviewers were trying to gain. She found her answers sounding too rehearsed and overcame this by taking mock interviews with a variety of different interviewers.
    [15.10] What did you find to be the most challenging questions?
    Being asked ‘Why medicine?’ as it was sometimes phrased in an unexpected way. Typical questions were often asked atypically and would catch her off guard.
    [18.00] What is your advice for asking quality questions?
    Be prepared and aim for more open-ended questions. Tailor your questions to the interviewer.
    [21.10] What advice would you give regarding an interview with a student over a faculty member?
    Jane felt more comfortable with a student but you should always remember to be as respectful as you would with a physician. They are still evaluating you and looking at how you would interact with future classmates.
    [23.40] How did you deal with anxiety during interviews?
    Remember that it is normal. Preparation is the key to overcoming your nerves. Interviewers are there to help you and want to bring out the best in you.
    [27.55] What do you do if your mind goes blank?
    Jane recommends honesty and letting your interviewer know that you would like a second to consider your answer. Thoughtful answers are better than blurting out the first thing you think of.
    [31.20] What advice would you give regarding an unfriendly or unresponsive interviewer?
    You can’t control who you are paired with, and they most likely behave that way with everyone. It is possible they are instructed to act a certain way.
    [34.07] What final advice would you give?
    Jane recommends practicing active listening to better answer questions, and to relate answers to the interviewer. Write thank you notes right away, and if that isn’t possible, make notes about what you talked about in order to personalize them later.

    • 38 min
    Warning to Incoming MS1's - Your Classmates Are Going to Be Very Smart!

    Warning to Incoming MS1's - Your Classmates Are Going to Be Very Smart!

    Spencer Evans, a first-year medical student at the University of Colorado, is talking about an adjustment he has had to make in medical school. That is, getting used to the fact that you are unlikely to be the smartest among your peers.
    [2:24] What it’s like to be surrounded by the top students.
    It’s completely natural to feel like you’re surrounded by people who are smarter than you. Sometimes, that’s indeed the way it is. Remember in your pre-med classes how some students struggled, some did okay, and some people performed unbelievably well? If you’re going to med school, you’re likely in that last group and so are your classmates.
    Before med school, you’ll likely never have been in a position where you weren’t superior academically. It can be a hard adjustment because you might feel inferior for the first time.
    [6:37] Figure out what type of learner you are.
    For example, Spencer says that it’s a waste of time for him to study with a group. You need to try several different learning strategies and then see how you perform on tests. Once Spencer figured out what was best for him, he began performing much better.
    [8:27] Use study groups sparingly.
    Spencer has found that it’s much more efficient to do practice questions individually. Also, think how much you are giving to your group versus taking in terms of value. You might have a poor ratio that can really emphasize how much time you are wasting with group study. Also remember that group study and hanging out should be kept separate.
    [11:27] Be kind to yourself.
    While your classmates are going to be studs, you are 100% going to be a stud yourself. You wouldn’t have been offered a spot if the admissions committee didn’t know that you could handle the course load. Be your biggest fan.
    It will make things a lot easier if you can watch your classmates and your own competitiveness through a lens of humor. It’s funny that you can be smart enough to end up in medical school, yet your thoughts mostly consist of how not smart you are!

    • 14 min


    Join Dr. Marinelli as she discusses the ins and outs of scribing with two members of the ProScribe team!
    [1.05] Introductions
    Shannon has been with the company for 5 years and is Talent Acquisition Manager, while Rachel has been in the industry for 10 years and serves as Director of Clinical Programs.
    [2.10] What is a medical scribe and what do they do?
    A scribe is essentially a productivity assistant but offers more than just documentation, allowing a physician to free up their days by speeding up work flow.
    [4.15] A day in the life
    Rachel discusses a typical day which involves arriving at the ER and accompanying the physician to all their patients. The scribe will document initial symptoms and history, to diagnosis, to follow up care. All interactions with the patient are documented.
    [6.35] Where do scribes typically work?
    Scribes are not only found in the ER. They can also typically be found in around 35 other branches of specialty from management to dermatology. Initially the role began in the ER but demand has led to expansion.
    [7.45] Training required to become a scribe
    Shannon discusses ProScribe training which initially involves didactic web-based learning, which has 8 modules. This is followed by reviewing physician recordings and creating mock charts. Then, pairing with a trainer and physician, shadowing for 4 shifts followed by 4 shifts where the trainee is responsible for charting.
    [11.16] The benefits of scribing as a pre-med student
    Scribing can offer great in-field experience and allow students to work in a team, more so than other volunteering positions. Scribing is also a paid position which can help to ease some of the financial burden of being a student.
    [14.20] Requirements and application process
    It is preferred that applicants be in at least sophomore year, with their schedule set. A typing speed of 60 words per minute is required due to the fast pace of the position. After applying expect a virtual interview, a follow up, and in-depth job description discussion before a final hiring decision is made.
    [21.15] Final thoughts on the benefits of scribing
    Shannon and Rachel both agree that scribing is an excellent way to supplement pre-med learning with real world experience and income.
    ProScribe: https://proscribemd.com/

    • 23 min
    Primary and Secondary Applications - Tips from a Recent Applicant

    Primary and Secondary Applications - Tips from a Recent Applicant

    Dr. Ziggy Yoediono is joined by one of his coaching clients, Michael, a recent med school applicant about to start his first year. Today, they’ll be discussing the application process and the hurdles that Michael faced.
    [1.15] Surprises in the process
    Michael discovered some surprises when he began his application. The range of experiences of other applicants was not what he had expected, and he learned to challenge assumptions about other applicants and the process.
    [2.45] The importance of time management
    Michael found that time management was key. The process is long, and splitting large tasks into smaller sections helped him to get through them without burnout. He also set attainable goals to avoid feelings of failure.
    [4.45] Tailoring the application process to your experiences
    Michael and Dr. Yoediono discuss making applications personal and what helps you to stand out, including personal statements, work and activities, and letters of recommendation.
    Michael found answer two questions, ‘What led you to medicine?’ and ‘Why are you a good fit for the school you are applying for?’ by including specific qualities he has beneficial.
    [6.40] Work and activities section
    Regarding filling out the work and activities section of the application, space is limited and there is a necessity to be concise and specific. Relating work and activities experience to the impact they had on the skills he has acquired was key.
    [8.50] Letters of recommendation
    A reference you have had a meaningful relationship with can write a more personal letter. Michael also recommends looking outside of the sciences in order to give the school a fuller picture of who you are.
    [11.50] Deciding your school list
    Several different factors to consider when compiling your list are location, facilities and the school’s acceptance policies. Some only accept a certain number of students each year and this could impact your chances.
    [16.05] Applying to secondary schools
    Applying early to his secondary choices helped avoid becoming overwhelmed. He looked into previous years prompts ahead of time to get an idea of topics. Michael also envisioned himself at the school thinking about how he, specifically, would use the facilities to be helpful.
    [21.35] Additional thoughts
    He had fun with the process; meeting a variety of people and having the opportunity for self-reflection were bonus parts of the journey. He found his biggest challenge was patience and recommends working on other projects while awaiting decisions.

    • 25 min

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