Why The Podcast
Many medical students feel lost when it comes to picking a medical specialty and planning their careers. There are many reasons for this:
- they are overwhelmed by the number of options;
- they don’t feel they know enough medicine yet to start the discussion;
- or, they don’t have a mentor, either because there isn’t an obvious candidate or they’re hesitant to reach out to one, embarrassed by their own cluelessness.
The Undifferentiated Medical Student was created to champion these overwhelmed medical students and to empower them to start thinking about their future on their own.
To accomplish this, The Undifferentiated Medical Student is doing interviews with one physician from each of the 120+ specialties and subspecialties listed on the AAMC’s Careers in Medicine website to enable med students to start the thought process in the privacy of their own ear buds. Moreover, each interview is broken into 3 sections each with a repeating set of questions
- about the nuts and bolts of the specialty in question,
- about the personal algorithm the physician guest used to determined this was the right specialty for them, and
- about advice for long-term career planning irrespective of the specialty the physician went into.
And because each guest is asked the same set of questions, the similarities and differences of each physician’s responses are more easily identified. To see the format these interviews will follow, click here, or listen to Episode 000 for a more thorough breakdown.
A note on the power of audio:
the truth is, there is probably is no shortage of resources medical students could use to learn about all the medical specialties that are out there. The Careers in Medicine website hosted by the AAMC is a wonderful example of this and is probably the most comprehensive, one-stop-shop resource available to help medical students with career planning. Better yet, the AAMC is *the* authority on medical education in the United States, adding to the reasons why medical students should be using the Careers in Medicine website (!!). However, audio interviews with physicians who would tell you about their specialties offers several advantages (enhancements, really) over text-based resources (which the Career in Medicine website is, as are most resources). First and foremost is that when one hears passionate and knowledgable people speak about their specialty and their career (e.g., hearing the excitement in their voice, hearing when they pause before answering or to introspect), the listener gets much more out of their words than if the listener had just read what was said. The other advantage is the efficiency with which an audio-based information product (i.e., a podcast) can be consumed. That is, it can be consumed while doing something else, like walking to class, driving to a clinical rotation, or making breakfast. Point being: podcasts make it easier for medical student to think about their future by capitalizing on those moments when their nose isn’t firmly wedged in Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, or when their eyes are crossed from reading for the last 8 hours and have lost the will to read anything at all.
In other words, podcasts tap into the power of the spoken word, as well as help medical students harness otherwise unproductive time.
I am a 4th year medical student at a US medical school.
I know I want to be a doctor, but I still don’t know what specialty is the best fit for me. Having seen many of my classmates, both above and below me, struggle with this same problem, I decided to make a podcast about how best to go about moving past being an undifferentiated medical student.
My opinions are my own.