Q&A With Physician-Author Dr. Richard Friedman

richard friedman

Dr. Richard Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and a psychopharmacology clinic director at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he focuses on mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to his research, Dr. Friedman has interests in mental health policy and psychiatric practice, and is a classical pianist and long-distance swimmer. He graduated from Duke University in 1978 with a degree in physics before graduating from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1982. He has written for The New York Times science section since 2002, and recently became a contributing opinion writer in 2015. He has also written for The New England Journal of MedicineThe American Journal of Psychiatry, and The Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Friedman graciously agreed to talk with me over the phone. This interview has been edited and condensed.

Read more

Q&A with Physician-Author Dr. Matt McCarthy

Matt McCarthy

Dr. Matt McCarthy is an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and an assistant attending physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He graduated from Harvard Medical School and went on to complete his internal medicine residency at Columbia University Medical Center. Before that, Dr. McCarthy graduated from Yale University with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, and then spent a year in Minor League Baseball. He wrote about his stint in baseball in Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor League Misfit. The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year is his most recent book, and details the trials and tribulations of internship year. Dr. McCarthy has published in USA Today, Sports Illustrated, The Atlantic, Slate, Reuters, Deadspin, and Stat. I sat down with Dr. McCarthy at an Upper East Side café to pick his brain. This interview has been edited and condensed:

Read more

Fighting the Blank Page: Tips for Starting Your Personal Statement

I love writing but hate starting. The page is awfully white and it says, “You may have fooled some of the people some of the time but those days are over, giftless. I’m not your agent and I’m not your mommy. I’m a white piece of paper, you wanna dance with me?” And I really, really don’t.
—Aaron Sorkin
You’ve overcome so much to make it this far. From surviving OChem and taking your MCATs to finding volunteer opportunities that demonstrate your passion for medicine, you have accomplished a great deal to get to the point of being able to fill out that AMCAS application. And yet, writing your personal statement can feel like the most painful hurdle in your path. Like Aaron Sorkin, creator of works such as The West Wing, The Social Network, and Moneyball, you just really, really don’t want to dance with that blank page. Even if you love to write and going to med school is just a temporizing measure until you publish the next great American novel, getting a handle on your personal statement can be challenging. With so much riding on 5300 characters (counting spaces!), how to get started?

Read more