All Access: Med School Admissions Episodes

Christian Essman

Episode 000:  Welcome!

April 20, 2019

Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Episode 1:  Medical School Admissions Lingo & Application Timeline (don't skip this)

April 27, 2019


  • AAMC - Association of American Medical Colleges  Bookmark this site now!
  • MSAR - Medical School Admissions Requirements
  • AMCAS - American Medical College Application Service
  • MCAT - Medical College Admission Test
  • Choose DO Explorer – online search tool created for prospective students interested in osteopathic medicine
  • Aspiring Docs - Provides resources and inspiration to help you get started on your path to medicine.
  • General application timeline 
  • AACOM - American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
  • AACOMAS – American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service
  • Pathways to Medicine

Flavia Nobay

Episode 2: Dr. Flavia Nobay and the University of Rochester School of Medicine; Listener Questions about Gap Years

May 31, 2019

Dr. Nobay is the Associate Dean of Admissions at Rochester and a physician in Emergency Medicine.  Dr. Nobay hits the first full episode out of the park!  We talk all about the University of Rochester with some excellent tips sprinkled throughout the interview.  The show wraps up with us answering listener questions about gap years.  


The University of Rochester School of Medicine

Dr. Nobay's Interests & Recommendations:

Podcasts & Blogs:


Joel Maurer

Episode 3: Dr. Joel Maurer and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; Listener Questions about Activities & Life Experiences

May 31, 2019

Dr. Maurer is the Assistant Dean of Admissions at MSU CHM and an OB/GYN physician.  Dr. Maurer gives us an entertaining and informative discussion about the curricular highlights at MSU and their admissions process.  We conclude the show answering listener questions about activities and life experiences. 



Jenn Steffen-Kimble

Episode 4: Jenn Steffen-Kimble and the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Listener Questions about Interview Days

May 31, 2019

Jenn Steffen-Kimble is the Director of Admissions at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.  She brings a unique perspective to the admissions world as a former pre-health advisor at Georgia Tech and Emory University.  Mrs. Steffen-Kimble gives us a comprehensive view of their admissions process and unique aspects of their curriculum.   We spend the final part of the show answering listener questions about medical school interview days, what to expect, and how to prepare for them.



Think Tank by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (   Artist:

Guest on The Undifferentiated Medical Student Podcast


June 3, 2019

Graduating CWRU medical student and host of "The Undifferentiated Medical Student" podcast, Dr. Ian Drummond, was kind enough to invite me to be on his show for a brief episode in conjunction with the launch of my podcast.  Have a listen and be sure to check out Ian's podcast to learn about the myriad of specialties in medicine!

The Undifferentiated Medical Student - Episode "Calling All Pre-Meds"

Episode 5: Bonus! Podcast Update & Thank You!

June 10, 2019

Paul White - JHU

Episode 6: Paul White and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Personal Statement Tips



June 17, 2019

In this episode we have a wonderful conversation with Paul White, JD, Assistant Dean for Admissions at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  Mr. White has a long career in admissions with roles in several undergraduate institutions to medical schools.  Mr. White provides us with interesting insight into the JHU admissions process and highlights of the Genes to Society curriculum.  Since Mr. White and I have read literally thousands of personal statements, we wrap up our conversation with some do's and don'ts of personal statements.   



David Neumeyer

Episode 7: Dr. David Neumeyer and the Tufts University School of Medicine; Listener Questions about Shadowing & Medically-related Experiences

July 3, 2019

Dr. Neumeyer is the Dean for Admissions at Tufts and a Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Specialist.  Tufts is unveiling a new curriculum with the entering class of 2019 which we talk about along with the usual tips and advice that are sprinkled throughout these interviews.  The show wraps up with us answering listener questions about how to go about finding opportunities to shadow physicians, what to expect when you are shadowing, types of medically-related experiences, and why they are important!  


The Tufts University School of Medicine

The Maine Track

New Curriculum Overview

Dr. Neumeyer's Interests & Recommendations:



Guest on The PREMED Years Podcast

PreMed Years

July 11, 2019

Dr. Ryan Gray, host of the well-known podcast "The PREMED Years," invited me to be a guest on his show.  Dr. Gray and I have a lively conversation regarding a variety of topics about the medical school admissions process.  Have a listen here


Joel Daboub

Episode 8: Joel Daboub and the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School; TMDSAS Explained

July 15, 2019

Mr. Joel Daboub is the Director of Admissions and Records at the Dell Medical School.  Dell Medical School is a relatively new medical school coming on the scene in Austin, Texas.  Mr. Daboub provides listeners with an interesting history of how the Dell Medical School was established and how it has influenced their mission.  Not only does Mr. Daboub give us some detailed insight into their admissions process, including some innovative approaches, but he also provides an easy to understand breakdown of the TMDSAS application process.   While they accept primarily residents from Texas, much of the material discussed in this episode about the application process can be applicable to any medical school applicant.   


The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School 

The Leading EDGE Curriculum

TMDSAS - Texas Medical Dental (and Veterinary) School Application Service

Texas JAMP - Joint Admission Medical Program

Mr. Daboub's Interests & Recommendations:



Kathi Muhlenbruk

Episode 9: Kathi Muhlenbruck and the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; Listener Questions about Reapplying to Medical School

July 26, 2019

In this episode we talk with Kathi Muhlenbruck, Director of Admissions at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.  Since Kathi has been in admissions for nearly 22 years and was also a pre-health advisor, she is able to give us a 360 view of the admissions process.  She hits us with some "Pre-Med Gold" tips during our discussion that everyone should here.  She walks listeners through their curriculum and, most importantly, their admissions and interview process.  Kathi and I spend time at the end of the interview to answer listener questions from applicants with concerns about reapplying to medical school.  This is a must-listen if you may be in a similar situation. 


The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

CCOM Rural Iowa Scholars Program (CRISP)

Distinction Tracks

The Short Coat Podcast

AAMC FACTS Data about Applicants to Medical School 

Kathi's Recommendations:

You can't go wrong with the MSAR!


Christina Grabkowski

Episode 10: Dr. Christina Grabkowski and the University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine; Listener Questions about Choosing Medical Schools

August 2, 2019

All Access takes you down south for incredibly informative conversation with Dr. Christina Grabkowski, the Associate Dean for Admissions and Enrollment Management, and Assistant Professor of Education.  Dr. Grabkowski's entire career has been in admissions - from undergraduate, graduate, and now professional school admissions.  She is also active at the national level in helping to shape admissions policies and developing new initiatives.  We conclude this episode answering listener questions around the topic of things to consider when choosing medical schools in which to apply.  Dr. Grabkowski's experience should sound like ear candy to you the listener.  Sit back, sip some sweet tea, and get informed with Dr. Grabkowski.  


The University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine

Assessing your preparedness site (excellent PDF checklist)

Rural Medical Programs

Dr. Grabkowski's Recommendations:

All of the wonderfully curated resources found on the AAMC's Aspiring Docs site.  Aspiring Docs provides resources and inspiration to help you get started on your path to medicine.


Dr. Steven Gay

Episode 11: Dr. Steven Gay and the University of Michigan Medical School; Listener Questions about Non-traditional Applicants 

August 8, 2019

All Access is taking you back to the state of Michigan to get you inside the Office of Admissions at the University of Michigan Medical School with their Assistant Dean of Admissions, Dr. Steven Gay.  Among the many topics we discuss, you will get the insight into what they are looking for (and not looking for) in their applicants.  Dr. Gay and I also spend time answering listener questions from non-traditional applicants. 


University of Michigan Medical School 

Prerequisites and Core Competencies

U-M's Evaluation of an Applicant

The Michigan Curriculum


Lina Mehta

Episode 12: Dr. Lina Mehta and the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine; Interview Day Advice

August 15, 2019

All Access takes you inside the home of this podcast - The Office of Admissions at the CWRU School of Medicine with our Associate Dean for Admissions. As with other episodes, we discuss some of the unique curricular features and, most importantly, some of the things we value in our applicants.  Since we're on the cusp of another interview season, Dr. Mehta provides you with some of her tips for interviews and interview days. 


Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

CWRU Pathways

CWRU Interprofessional Education

Doc Opera

Dr. Mehta's Recommendations:

Read and understand what Imposter Syndrome is. Here is a research article from 2016 about Imposter Syndrome and burnout in medical students. The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article provides some advice for overcoming this topic.  

Mindfulness and Meditation -  Insight Timer

Medication Techniques -

Fitness - Sydney Cummings Workouts (get ready to sweat!)


Melissa Friedman

Episode 13: Melissa  Friedman and Harvard Medical School; Listener Questions about Personal Statements & Interview Day Tips

August 29, 2019

All Access is taking you back to Boston to get you inside Harvard Medical School.  That's right - the Office of Admissions at Harvard Medical School with their Director of Admissions, Melissa Friedman.  We take you through some of the unique aspects of their curriculum and, most importantly, what their screening and interview process is like.  Melissa Friedman and I end the show answering listener questions about personal statements and interview day tips.


Harvard Medical School 

HMS Admissions

Pathways Program & HST (Health, Science & Technology) Program

Pathways Curriculum Video by Dr. Hundert

Melissa's Recommendations:

If you don't have a pre-health advisor, you may request one from the members of the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP). 


Joni Krapec

Episode 14:  Back to School with Joni Krapec, Pre-Med Advisor and former Med School Director of Admissions

September 9, 2019

All Access is deviating from our regular show style and med school guests and taking you "Back to School" with a Pre-Med Advisor from the University of Chicago, Joni Krapec. Joni has a unique career background as a former Director of Admissions at a top medical school.  Dr. Mehta, CaseMed Dean of Admissions, also joins me on this episode where Joni provides us helpful insight for pre-meds and how advisors can help them through this process. 

Joni's Recommendations:

Very much like Melissa Friedman's recommendation, Joni would recommend the "Find an Advisor" resource through the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP).  This site can help you identify the pre-health advisor on your campus (if you don't know who they are) or find a volunteer advisor if you do not have one at our school.  

Keme Carter
Emily Sharp-Kellar
Balaji Jothishankar





Episode 15: Dr. Keme Carter, Emily Sharp-Kellar, & Balaji Jothishankar and the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

September 23, 2019

I'm bringing you multiple guests - the Admissions Team from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine!  The Dean AND Director of Admissions get in on the conversation along with a current medical student.  You will hear the student perspective about Pritzker along with some insight into the value that medical students bring to the admissions process. 


University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Scholarship & Discovery

Student-Run Free Clinics

Their Recommendations:

Dr. Carter's:  Read books about the patients they are serving in their communities!

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

Emily's: The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee  

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer.

Balaji's:  Educated by Tara Westover

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties.

Podcast:  Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell.  


Darrell Nabers

Episode 16: Mr. Darrell Nabers and the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine; Listener Questions about Masters vs. Post-bacc Programs

October 3, 2019

All Access is talking with another med school in Chicago and is bringing you the Assistant Dean for Admissions from the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.  We go pretty deep into everything Loyola offers and what they are looking for in their applicants within a Jesuit value-based institution.  We wrap up the show answering listener questions about masters vs. post-bacc programs which is a popular topic.


Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine

Stritch Visits

ASPIRE Program - Academic Summer Program Integrating Resources for Excellence

STAR Program - The Student Training in Approaches to Research Program

Ignatian Service Immersion

AAMC Resource On Post-Bacc Programs

Post-Bacc Program Search



Megan Cavataio

Episode 17: Preparing for Interviews & Tips from a Med Student




October 17, 2019

All Access is deviating slightly from our regular show format and are bringing you a bonus episode!  Since we are in the thick of interview season, I thought you'd like to hear some insight from a current medical student, Megan Cavataio, about how she prepared for interviews, reflections/lessons learned, & some travel tips.  So, if you have interviews coming up or you just want to hear what the interview process entails, then listen up! 


AAMC - 35 Questions I Wish I Had Asked

Medical School Admissions Requirements Guide (MSAR)

The Pre-Med Years Podcast by Dr. Ryan Gray

The Undifferentiated Medical Student Podcast by Dr. Ian Drummond

Khan Academy MCAT Prep

Prerak YouTube Channel

Kaur Beauty YouTube Channel

TSA Pre-Check



Leila Harrison

Episode 18: Dr. Leila Harrison and the Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine; A Discussion on how Holistic Review works in Admissions

October 24, 2019

This episode finally gets us to a medical school out West, in particular, the Pacific Northwest with Dr. Leila Harrison, the Interim Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs, Admissions, and Recruitment.  She has an extensive background in admissions and education which really comes through in our conversation.  WSU Elson S. Floyd is a relatively new medical school (2015) which is exciting to hear how they have created a unique mission-based and community-based medical school as the second allopathic medical school in the State of Washington.  We conclude our conversation discussing how Holistic Review works in Admissions.  


Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Class Demographics and Statistics

What are OSCEs? 

Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships (LIC) - link to the CLIC Consortium for more information.

WSU ESF Applicant Eligibility Requirements (see Requirements to Receive a Secondary Application section)

WSU ESF Applicant MCAT/GPA combinations to receive a secondary applications (see Academic Requirements section)

WSU ESF - What are we looking for?  (see Holistic Review section)

Who is the LCME? 

Holistic Review Explained

AAMC Minority Student Medical Career Fair, Phoenix, AZ, 11/9/19

Cleveland Clinic Medical Innovation Summit Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2020 - 10/23/2019

Dr. Harrison's Recommendations

Carol Dweck and Growth Mindset

Topics in:

Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Management

Impostor Syndrome

Wellness & Coping with Stress (a nice resource found on Purdue’s website)


Stella Yee

Episode 19: Stella Yee and the University of Washington School of Medicine


November 18, 2019


We stay in the state of Washington to bring you the University of Washington School of Medicine with their Director of Admisions, Stella Yee.  Since they are the medical school for five, yes five, states, we discuss not only how they train students throughout these states but also how their unique admissions process works. 



University of Washington School of Medicine

What is WWAMI and their Mission? 

Have you met their pre-requisite requirements?

Must-read shadowing advice

Targeted Rural Underserved Track (TRUST)

UW Interview Resources 

UW Curriculum and Rural Programs

Stella’s Recommendations:


What Patients Taught Me: A Medical Student’s Journey” by Dr. Audrey Young

When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures” by Anne Fadiman


This American Life

How I Built This


Dirty John

Code Switch

Christian Essman

Episode 20:  Your Host!  Mr. Christian Essman, Holiday Homework & Personal Statement Tips


December 6, 2019

Bonus Episode!  Christian Essman does a solo episode discussing "homework" to do over the holidays for those that are planning to apply to medical school next spring.  There are also a few embedded pieces of advice for current applicants with acceptances to med schools (FAFSA & Choose Your Medical School Tool).  Finally, Mr. Essman provides you with his tips on writing personal statements along with an excerpted portion of his conversation with Mr. Paul White from Johns Hopkins discussing personal statements (episode #6). 

Have a question for the show? Send it to

Visit for more information on this episode and others.

If you haven been digging what you have been hearing, kindly head over to ApplePodcasts and leave us a rating, a review and subscribe!


Megan Osborn

Episode 21:  Dr. Megan Osborn  and The University of California-Irvine School of Medicine 

December 22, 2019

California dreamin? No, you're not dreaming!  This is our first medical school interview from the great state of California... introducing the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine.  Dr. Megan Osborn, a proud graduate of UC-Irvine SOM, the Dean of Admissions, the Dean of Student Affairs, an ER physician, a mom, a spouse, a golfer, a tennis player, an awesome podcast guest.... (big inhale) walks us through the highlights of their curriculum, and most importantly, how their admissions process works!


UC-Irvine School of Medicine

Mission-based Programs - HEAL-IM, LEAD-ABC, PRIME-LC


Medical Student Research Program

Dr. Osborn’s Recommendations:

True Crime Podcasts like Moms & Murder

Escape Rooms


Cynthia Bonetti

Episode 22:  Cynthia Bonetti and The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Debunking Admissions Myths

January 9, 2020

We're featuring the medical school in our neighboring city of Pittsburgh - The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with their Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Cynthia Bonetti.  I've known Cynthia for a long time and she is a total admissions and financial aid pro!  Join us for a lively conversation about what an education at Pitt Med has to offer along with some of the insight into student life in Pittsburgh.  Cynthia and I wrap up our conversation by debunking common med school admissions myths.  You won't want to miss this!



AAMC Virtual Fair - Thursday, February 20, 2020 - Registration info coming soon

AAMC Recruitment Fair - Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel, Saturday, March 28, 2020 - Registration Here

NAAHP Recruitment Fair - Hilton New Orleans Riverside, June 27, 2020 -- Registration info coming soon

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine


Longitudinal Research Project

PittMed Students Facebook Page

PittMed Students Instagram Page

The Oakland Neighborhood of Pittsburgh

Cynthia's Recommendations:

All of the AAMC's Resources for Premeds


Gina Moses

Episode 23:  Gina Moses and The New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine; How to apply to DO schools - similarities/differences

January 16, 2020

This episode features our first osteopathic medical school, the New York Institute of Technology College of Medicine (NYITCOM).  I'm joined by Gina Moses, their Director of Admissions & Recruitment, who has a long history of being involved in pre-med advising and work at the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM).  She is the perfect guest to introduce this audience to the osteopathic application process along with some of the similarities and differences between allopathic and osteopathic medicine.  She also answers a commonly asked question - Should I or can I apply to both allopathic and osteopathic medical schools?



AAMC Virtual Fair - Thursday, February 20, 2020 - Registration Here

AAMC Recruitment Fair - Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel Saturday, March 28, 2020 - Registration Here

NAAHP Recruitment Fair - Hilton New Orleans Riverside, June 27, 2020 - Registration info coming soon

CWRU/LECOM MD & DO Presentation Slides 

NYITCOM website

AACOM - American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine

AACOM’s Choose DO website

AACOMAS - Application Service

COMLEX - the DO Licensing Exam

NYITCOM Dual Degrees

Research at NYITCOM

Émigré Physicians Program (EPP) 

Gina’s Recommendations:

Osteopathic State Associations

Your local AHEC -  Area Health Education Center

Financing Medical School Options: Indian Health Service, National Health Service Corps, & NIH Post-Bacc Programs

NYITCOM Contact Information 

Dr. Leila Amiri

Episode 24: The University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine; Listener Questions about Letters of Recommendation

February 5, 2020

Oh baby don't you wanna go, Back to that same old place, Sweet home Chicago” - Like The Blues Brothers, we’re on a mission. Our mission is to bring you more med admissions insight.  In this episode, I’m joined by my very special guest, Dr. Leila Amiri, the Assistant Dean of Admissions & Recruitment at the UIC College of Medicine.  Dr. Amiri is an absolute expert in admissions. Not only do we discuss all things UIC COM, including some of their unique features in having multiple campuses and their Rural Medicine programs but also we answer listener questions about Letters of Recommendation. 

Have a question for the show, school suggestion, or just want to say hi? Send it to

Visit for more information on this episode and others.


AAMC Virtual Fair - Thursday, February 20, 2020 - Registration Here

AAMC Recruitment Fair - Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel Saturday, March 28, 2020 - Registration Here

NAAHP Recruitment Fair - Hilton New Orleans Riverside, June 27, 2020 - Registration info coming soon


AAMC’s Letter Writer Guidelines & A Printable Version to Give to Letter Writers


Press Release 1/17/2020: UICCOM Reduces Tuition

Curriculum and Campus Sites

Curricular Programs

Research/Scholarly Opportunities

Dr. Amiri’s Recommendations:

Charlatan by Pope Brock

A marvelous portrait of a boundlessly audacious rogue on the loose in an America that was ripe for the bamboozling. 

The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro

Thirteen works of art worth today over $500 million were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. It remains the largest unsolved art heist in history, and Claire Roth, a struggling young artist, is about to discover that there’s more to this crime than meets the eye.

The Double Helix by James D. Watson

Francis Crick and James Watson revolutionized biochemistry & won themselves a Nobel Prize.


Dr. Robert Liotta

Episode 25: The Uniformed Services University F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine


Photo Credit: USU

February 12, 2020

I am joined by Navy Commander Dr. Robert Liotta, the Associate Dean for Recruitment & Admissions for the Uniformed Services University F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine.  This is a uniquely informative conversation as we discuss military medicine, the benefits of serving in the armed forces, the commitment that is required, some of the unique training opportunities and much more.  Most importantly, we hear about some of the special qualities and characteristics that they value in their admissions process and how their admissions process works.  


AAMC Virtual Fair - Thursday, February 20, 2020 - Registration Here

AAMC Recruitment Fair - Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel Saturday, March 28, 2020 - Registration Here

NAAHP Recruitment Fair - Hilton New Orleans Riverside, June 27, 2020 - Registration info coming soon


Uniformed Services University

USU Commissioning

Health Professions Scholarship Programs

Curriculum: Molecules to Military

Dr. Liotta’s Recommendations:

Perfectly Yourself: 9 Lessons for Enduring Life Happiness by Matthew Kelly

Podcasts by Jordan Peterson

Out of the Crucible by Dr. Arthur L. Kellermann, Dean for the School of Medicine

Lina Mehta

Episode 26: Bonus Episode! Comments About Changes To USMLE



February 18, 2020

Surprise! A short bonus episode for you! In light of last week's big news about USMLE Step 1 going to Pass/Fail in the next couple of years, I wanted to get you some brief comments from an admissions office on this with Dr. Lina Mehta, Associate Dean for Admissions at CWRU School of Medicine.  We have already received several emails from prospective applicants and currently accepted students so it seemed appropriate to bring you some early commentary.  

Here is the press release and information from USMLE regarding this change.

Christine McDonough
Christine McDonough
Michael Sabara

Episode 27: Financial Aid & Paying For Medical School




February 19, 2020

In recognition of National Financial Aid Awareness month, I’ve asked two of my friends in financial aid to come on the show to discuss financial aid-related topics primarily discussing how you pay for medical school.  We also discuss topics such as needs-based aid, loans, scholarships, and the importance of financial literacy and budgeting. We also spend a bit of time breaking down what the term “Cost of Attendance” means and why it is an important component of this process. 

Contact information for Christine McDonough, Director of Student Financial Services at the Ohio State University College of Medicine:

Contact information for Michael Sabara, Director of Financial Services at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine:

Show Notes

Paying for Medical School 

Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Fact Card 2019


FIRST Financial Aid Facts Sheets

AAMC Education Debt Manager - Matriculating / Current Students

How to set up a budget

Budget Sheet

What is Financial Wellness?

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct Plus Loans for Graduate/Professional Students

Scholarship Sites:

Dr. Karen Johnson
Dr. Jesus Vallejo

Episode 28: Baylor College of Medicine

February 25, 2020

It’s back to the Lone Star state to talk with the Admissions Deans at Baylor College of Medicine located in Houston, Texas.  You’ve likely heard the phrase that “Everything is bigger in Texas” and this is definitely a big episode. We don’t hear from one admissions dean - we talk with two. Baylor COM is located in the 4th largest city in the US - Houston, Texas.  Did you know that the Texas Medical Center is the largest medical complex in the world? In the world! We touch on some of these topics and, of course, their admissions process and what they look for in their applicants that rise to the top.


AAMC Recruitment Fair - Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel Saturday, March 28, 2020 - Registration Here

NAAHP Recruitment Fair - Hilton New Orleans Riverside, June 27, 2020 - Registration info coming soon


Baylor College of Medicine


Peer Resource Network & Student Organizations

Dr. Johnson’s Recommendations:

A lot of Masterpiece Theater on PBS shows

Call the Midwife

Sapiens: A Brief History Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Dr. Vallejo’s Recommendations:

He loves collecting watches, pins, and enjoys homebrewing beer



Jessie Metcalfe & Dr. Latter

Episode 29: University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

March 6, 2020

Oh Canada!  Hear from the admissions team from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine on how the application process works in Ontario and Canada.  *Psst* They also accept applications from US citizens. U of T has quite a reputation and is located in one of the largest cities in North America.  Not only do we discuss the unique opportunities at U of T but we also discuss the intricacies and tips for the application process in Canada. This is a must-listen episode for anyone applying to medical schools in Canada.  


AAMC Recruitment Fair - Sheraton Grand Chicago Hotel Saturday, March 28, 2020 - CANCELLED

NAAHP Recruitment Fair - Hilton New Orleans Riverside, June 27, 2020 - Registration info coming soon


University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine

OMSAS - Ontario Medical School Application Service

CanMEDS - Better standards, better physicians, better care


Glenn Cummings
Elizabeth Fogt

Episode 30: What Are Post-Bac Programs? Hear Experts from Bryn Mawr and WashU in St. Louis

March 16, 2020

Let’s talk about Post-Bac programs.  Who are they for and why would somebody need one? What are the different types of Post-Bac programs?  Well, this episode is going to get to the bottom of these questions with two veteran Post-Bac Directors, Dr. Glenn Cummings from Bryn Mawr College and Elizabeth Fogt from Washington University in St. Louis.  These two are not only program directors but also act in an admissions role as evaluators of applicants to their programs. This makes for a very interesting conversation and you will learn what it means to be an “Unconditional Applicant.” 


Bryn Mawr Post-Baccalaureate Premedical Program

Washington University in St. Louis Post-Baccalaureate Program

AAMC Post-bac Program Information Site

AAMC Post-bac Index of Programs

Post-Bac CAS Application Site

AAMC GPA Conversion Guide

Find An Advisor on NAAHP


Bryn Marw:


Cary Jewkes

Episode 31: University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

March 31, 2020

We’re off to The Green Mountain State of Vermont to talk with Cary Jewkes, the Director of Admissions at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine (UVM).  While UVM is a public institution, the majority of their classes are out of state students! UVM is a very interesting school - unique curriculum, two campuses - Vermont and Connecticut, a teaching/scholarly project, among others. We discuss what they value in their applicants, of course!  


University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

Vermont Integrated Curriculum

Teaching/Scholarly Project

AAMC 15 Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students

Cary’s Recommendations (she looooves books):

Powell’s Books - Portland, OR - Book club

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Less by Andrew Sean Greer


Lina Mehta

Episode 32: Pandemic Pre-Med Disruptions



April 2, 2020

Listen in as Christian Essman, Senior Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, and Dr. Lina Mehta, Associate Dean for Admissions at CWRU School of Medicine, discuss the uncertainty and disruptions caused by COVID-19 for pre-medical students and medical school admissions.  We know that pre-med students have many questions about coursework that is now Pass/No Pass, MCAT administrations have been cancelled, shadowing and volunteering that is on hold, and summer internships and research that could be in jeopardy. This conversation attempts to bring some reassurance to listeners to that medical schools are aware of these new challenges and that we’re all in this together.  




Med School Admissions poll on the handling of Pass/No Pass Coursework

AAMC COVID-19 Resource Hub

AACOMAS COVID-19 Resource Hub

Lina Mehta

Episode 33: Admissions Updates Related to COVID Disruptions & FAQs


May 7, 2020

As we continue to move closer to the upcoming 2020-2021 application cycle we suspect that you have many questions about novel Coronavirus-related medical school admissions changes. 

As such, listen in as Christian Essman is joined by Dr. Lina Mehta, our Associate Dean for Admissions, Professor of Radiology and Chair of the AAMC Committee on Admissions (COA), who will discuss the changes we are making at CWRU in light of these COVID-related disruptions, both for applicants and for current students.  Additionally, we will provide some perspective of what is taking place on the national level.  We also answer COVID-related FAQs.   

Follow along in the Google slides contained in the show notes!



FOLLOW ALONG TO THE AUDIO! Google Slides Presentation

COVID-related Admissions Policies for All Med Schools

CWRU Health Education Campus:

CWRU & Cleveland Clinic partnered to build a state-of-the-art Health Education Campus that opened in spring 2019. Take a look inside 



Local News Story about the Hope Hospital in the HEC

Microsoft Hololens - HoloAnatomy


HoloAnatomy goes remote, learning goes on during pandemic:


Dr. Geoffrey Young
Patrick Fritz

 Episode 34: Exclusive Interview with Leadership at the AAMC


May 8, 2020

I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring you the voices of some of the leadership members at the AAMC.  You will hear from Dr. Geoffrey Young, the Senior Director of Student Affairs and Programs, and Mr. Patrick Fritz, the Senior Director of AMCAS.  This conversation brings you into how the AAMC has been working to adapt to the changes and disruptions brought by the Coronavirus pandemic.  They also provide us with tips and advice about the AMCAS application, including common pitfalls that can cause delays in the processing of applications.  We reference a lot of resources and opportunities so be sure to check out the links in the show notes. I hope this conversation brings you some reassurance that we all care and are thinking about our applicants during all of this uncertainty.      


Understanding the Application Process

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and AMCAS

AMCAS Application

AMCAS Student Services 

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. ET

Closed Wednesday, 3-5 p.m. ET


AMCAS Tools and Tutorials - includes some recently recorded AMCAS webinars

Alternative Grading Resource

Medical School Admissions Requirements Guide (MSAR)

AAMC Fee Assistance Program Benefits:

  • Reduced registration fee, from $320 to $130, for MCAT exams.
  • Consideration for financial assistance to obtain an updated evaluation to support an application for MCAT exam accommodations
  • Complimentary subscription to the MSAR
  • Waiver for all AMCAS fees for one (1) application submission with up to 20 medical school designations ($970 value), submitted by December 31, 2021.

COVID-related Admissions Policies for All Med Schools - Advisor Reports now available to applicants

Pre-Health Advisor Reports Page

Jennifer Antonio
Leslie de Leon

Episode 35: Exclusive Interview with MCAT Team Members

May 15, 2020

I’m excited to bring you some more people from the AAMC. In this episode we hear from members of the MCAT Team, Jennifer Antonio, the Senior Director of MCAT Business Operations,& Leslie de Leon, the Director of MCAT Preparation Products.  We primarily discuss the changes that have come to the MCAT for this summer due to Coronavirus-related disruptions but we also discuss the test prep resources that are available. Be sure to check the links in the show notes to the resources and additional information. 


Twitter: @AAMC_MCAT

Changes to the MCAT 

MCAT Resource Site contains the following resources:

  • MCAT Prep Hub - Access using your AAMC username and password
    • Free Study Plan Guide
    • Roadmap to the MCAT
    • Practice with Exam features that you will encounter on the exam day
    • Khan Academy MCAT videos
    • The MCAT Content Outline
  • What’s on the Exam
  • Create a Study Plan
  • Planning and Study Resources
  • And more!

Pre-Med Resource Site

AAMC Fee Assistance Program - Income eligibility requirements have been expanded

Pearson Vue Testing COVID-19 Page

  • Health and Safety Requirements

Dr. Christine Warren
Dan Milner@CWRU

Episode 36: Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of CWRU





July 12, 2020

The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine is our "sister" program at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. This conversation is with my colleague and friend, Dr. Christine Warren, Associate Dean for Admissions & Student Affairs.  CCLCM is a very unique pathway to a medical degree as it is a very research-focused program. 


Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine


Dr. Rona Woldenburg

Episode 37: Douglas & Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell


August 2, 2020

In this episode we're visiting with the Dean of Admissions from the Douglas & Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. She’s really candid and provides some helpful advice in addition to talking about all things Zucker.  Additionally, we talk a little bit about the AAMC's new VITA interview when discussing their admissions process.

CORRECTION 8/4/2020:  For the entering class of 2020, the Zucker School of Medicine had 95 MD students and 4 MD/PhD students. Not 99 MD students and 4 MD/PhD students as was stated in the intro.  


AAMC VITA Interview

Participating Schools

Zucker School of Medicine


Summer Research

Distinction in Research

Clinical Training Sites

International Opportunities

Netflix: Lenox Hill



Zucker SOM Admissions Team


The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert by Jeff Hobbs

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation by Sanjeep Jauhar

Dr. Linton Yee

Episode 38: Duke University School of Medicine



September 13, 2020

Listen in as we hear Dr. Linton Yee, the Associate Dean for Admissions, share with us curricular highlights and insight into the admissions process at Duke University School of Medicine


Duke Medical School


Primary Care Leadership Track



The Duke Med Admissions Team



The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa


Weathering with You

Your Name

Dr. Katherine Murray, UMMS
Dimple Patel, UMMS

Episode 39: University of Minnesota Medical School 
October 19, 2020

In this episode we have not one but TWO guests from the University of Minnesota Medical School where they share with us interesting and innovative highlights of their curriculum and admissions processes.  We hear from the Associate Dean for Admissions, Dimple Patel, and the Assistant Dean for Curriculum, Dr. Katherine Murray, as they walk us through all of the interesting aspects of this medical school.  UMMS is making some bold advances in admissions and training of medical students.

Like what you're hearing on this show? Be sure to hit 'Subscribe' so that you get future episodes as soon as they drop.  Leave a comment too!

Have a question for the show, school suggestion, or just want to say hi? Send it to:


University of Minnesota Medical School

AAMC’s Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students

University of Minnesota Essential and Desired Qualities

MCAT Optional FAQS and Advising Guidance

Longitudinal Integrated Pathways

Flex MD Program

Research at Minnesota

White Coats for Black Lives


Dr. Murray:

Poetry Unbound by Pádraig Ó Tuama 

Dean Patel:

The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary


The University of Minnesota Admissions Team

More schools coming soon!

Send Me Your Questions!

If you're reading this, it is highly likely that you are a pre-med student, and we know that pre-meds always have questions for admissions people.

Your questions will help tailor the show content. Brag to your friends when we reference your question on a show!

Tell us your:

  • Name
  • What college or university you attend(ed)
  • A (concise) question

Email your questions to: