The Truth About "Primary Care" Statistics

How to Think About Med Schools’ Primary Care Statistics

Listener Lavender BloodPoison (not their real name) sent us a message saying they were impressed by CCOM’s Primary Care residency match statistics. And while many schools that serve states like ours do love primary care, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics,” as the saying goes. How should one interpret match statistics in light of the fact that many who appear to match in primary care will go on to specialize after their first year residency? Lisa Wehr, Teneme Konne, Aline Sandouk, Amy Young, and Kaci McCleary are here to drop some truths about the so-called “Dean’s Lie” (less a lie as much as it is a truth that doesn’t tell the whole story). Continue reading “The Truth About "Primary Care" Statistics”

Q&A with Courtleigh Watson, DVM

Courtleigh Watson

By Tutor the People

Today we (Tutor the People) are interviewing Courtleigh Watson, a DVM associate veterinarian. Courtleigh studied veterinary medicine in Alabama, and she is going to tell us more about her background, the steps she took to become a veterinarian, and her current career.

TTP: Hi, Courtleigh. Thank you for speaking with us today. Not many people can say they were able to acquire their dream job. Did you always want to be a veterinarian? Please tell us more about your background and what drew you to this discipline—did you know during undergrad that you would continue to pursue veterinary medicine? This was a big decision to make at that time. Continue reading “Q&A with Courtleigh Watson, DVM”

Non-Academic Ideas to Boost Your Med School Chances

non-academic ideas

By Joel Butterly

At this point, you are probably already aware of how competitive medical school admissions are. For instance, you may already know that the most competitive med schools boast acceptance rates of nearly 3%—that’s almost half the acceptance rate of Harvard College. Pretty dire, right?

The truth, however, is that while medical school admissions are and will continue to be incredibly competitive, there are a number of steps you can take throughout college to distinguish yourself from the enormous pool of hyper-qualified candidates. Along with doing the typical extracurricular activities for med school like lab research, teaching experience, etc. the best candidates think outside of the box to make their extracurriculars stand out. Continue reading “Non-Academic Ideas to Boost Your Med School Chances”

How to Choose Your Dental School

dental school

By Abbey Trados

April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers into a summer of applications for dental student hopefuls. Preparation for dental school is overwhelming, and predental students work for years to mold themselves into ideal applicants. But when the time comes to send off these perfectly-polished applications, where should they go? Narrowing down a list of schools is its own unique hurdle. From hefty application fees to websites desolate of helpful information, picking which schools you should actually apply to can turn your dental school dreams into a downright nightmare. This article will help you build an arsenal of questions to ask and specifics to seek when searching for your perfect dental school home. Continue reading “How to Choose Your Dental School”

What’s causing this teenager’s vision loss?

A 14-year-old boy is brought to the pediatrician by his mother over concerns of difficulty walking and worsening clumsiness. He reports a gradual loss of night vision, and a long history of chronic diarrhea which is pale and foul-smelling. Examination reveals an ataxic gait, and loss of deep tendon reflexes. Bilateral retinitis pigmentosa is noted on fundoscopy and a peripheral blood smear reveals the findings seen here. Which additional laboratory finding is most likely? Continue reading “What’s causing this teenager’s vision loss?”

Should You Retake the MCAT? 3 Key Things to Consider

retake the mcat

By Andrew George

Studying your butt off for months, suffering through an anxiety-inducing test day, and then waiting an entire month just to get a lower-than-expected MCAT score is by no means a pleasant experience. It is so bad in fact that many students decide to quit trying to go to medical school altogether. But please don’t despair. You may still have a good chance without needing to take the MCAT again. Let’s consider three things that will help you decide on what steps to take next: Continue reading “Should You Retake the MCAT? 3 Key Things to Consider”

Putting the Anxiety Cart Before the Horse

Anxiety about your competitive specialty ambitions in your first year isn’t worth it.

Listener Luis wrote in expressing his anxiety that his med school–which he’ll begin attending this fall–doesn’t have the prestige or programs to support his desire for a competitive specialty like ophthalmology. If that’s the case, he wondered, what can he do to increase his chances of obtaining his dream career? Fortunately for Luis, Irisa Mahaparn, Gabe Conley, Brendan George, Jason Lewis, and new co-host Andres Dajles were on hand to give Luis the advice and encouragement he needs…and a tiny dose of tough love, too. Continue reading “Putting the Anxiety Cart Before the Horse”

How to Work with a Recruiter to Find a Job


By Monya De, MD MPH

In your second or third year of residency or fellowship, your smartphone will suddenly start buzzing at all hours of the work day. When you answer, a hyperactive-sounding millennial will chirp at warp speed: “HiDr[yourname]! IjustwantedtoknowyouravailabilitycauseIhaveanamazingopportunity60milesfromChattanooga….”

This has the potential to happen 20 times per day, while you are trying to study for your in-service exam, text-pologize to your partner [again] for missing his birthday party, and answer pages. It is not the most ideal way to job-hunt coherently, and worse, can distract you from your main job—being a trainee. Continue reading “How to Work with a Recruiter to Find a Job”

Changing Your Mind—And Your Specialty

changing your mind

By Brent Schnipke, SDN Staff Writer

I’ve written about choosing a medical specialty throughout the third and even fourth years of medical school, but further discussion is warranted regarding the students who don’t choose a specialty in this “typical” timeframe. It is worth mentioning first of all: many people change their minds for many different reasons. I continue to be impressed by the students, residents, and attendings I meet who took circuitous and sometimes truly fascinating routes to become physicians. The same is true for finding one’s niche as a certain type of physician. Many students feel like everyone else has things figured out, but the truth is the path is not always clear cut. Even when the majority achieve a certain stage (e.g. practicing physician) by the standard route, there are always exceptions, and students may be surprised and encouraged at the myriad ways they can reach their career goals. Continue reading “Changing Your Mind—And Your Specialty”

Q&A with Dr. James Dahle, Emergency Medicine, Founder of White Coat Investor

Dr. James Dahle is a practicing emergency physician and founder of White Coat Investor, a website in which he shares what he has learned about personal finance management and wealth building.
Dr. Dahle graduated in 1999 with a BS in molecular biology from Brigham Young University before obtaining his medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2003. Following this, he trained at the University of Arizona Emergency Medicine Residency Program and then served four years with the Air Force and the Navy, which took him across military bases on four different continents. Continue reading “Q&A with Dr. James Dahle, Emergency Medicine, Founder of White Coat Investor”