(hip hop instrumental) – What is up everybody? I’ve been reading the comments and I notice a trend
amongst those comments. A lot of you wanna know what
my pre-med journey was like. I’m incredibly happy that
you wanna know my story and I will be telling you everything from why I went into medicine, what college was like, what med school was like, and give you some tips along the way. (hip hop instrumental) So right now I’m 27 years old I’m fresh out of residency
a couple of months out but I think a good place to start would probably be
somewhere in high school. Maybe sophomore year of high school. Because I remember it was at that point I was pretty firm that I wanted to go into the field of medicine. And I’ll tell you how I got there. My dad is a doctor, he was
a doctor back in Russia before we even came to the states and when we came to the U.S., he decided to go through medical school for the second time in his life. And this is in a new language, he didn’t speak English, in his 40’s. I had a very unique perspective watching my dad go through medical school. Take all the classes
for the first two years, then go on his clinical
rotation the next two years, and then going into his residency. I mean when it was take
your kid to work day he brought me to the hospital in his residency. And that’s the good part about it. The bad was that I wasn’t able to complain and if I ever did, he’s like “Shut up, because I did it “in much harder circumstances.” and with that, I will not argue. Let me tell you how I went into medicine, or how I decided my heart was in medicine. First of all when I was in
high school I loved science. That was my number one class, I performed best in that class and I was always curious
about the human body. I wanted to know why
certain things happened. Why your stomach hurt, why your head hurt, but that’s not what made me
decide to go into medicine. When I saw my dad with his patients, and it happened quite frequently, I realized, medicine is
a field you can go into and not have a responsibility to a client, to a shareholder, to a board member, but it was to the person sitting
directly in front of you. And I started to look into the
different options there are to go into the field of medicine. You have M.D. schools,
you have D.O. schools, you have Caribbean M.D. schools. But after spending some
time watching my dad go through D.O. school and doing some of the manipulations and the hands on OMT
things that we do as D.O.s, on me after injuries in
TaeKwonDo and soccer, and seeing phenomenal results, I said “I wanna be a D.O.” and I became really passionate in finding a route that
will get me to be a doctor in the fastest way possible. In high school, I’m not gonna lie, I wasn’t the studious type, I didn’t spend hours studying, a lot of the information
pretty much came to me. I had a really good memory because when I was in middle school my dad actually, when he
came home from med school and he was exhausted, he would give me my
social studies textbook, ask me what my required
reading for that night was, and then tell me that I
have to memorize each page while he holds the book, and I have to rehearse and
tell him exactly word for word what’s on that page. To some people in society
they might see that as something horrible. “Oh you’re forcing your child to do this “when they don’t want to.” But he was very disciplined that way that he said “You wanna have fun? “You have to do this first.” I learned how to memorize, I almost got a photographic
memory at one point when I would read these pages and I would have to tell them back I could imagine the page in front of me and doing that practice in middle school really set me up for
success in high school I decided in my junior year to start applying to
combined B.S./D.O. programs. B.S. is Bachelor’s in Science, and D.O. is Doctor of
Osteopathic Medicine. And it’s basically a combined program, an accelerated program, where you do three years
of undergraduate studies and four years of medical school. And all you have to do is maintain a pretty significant GPA, I believe it was like 3.5, and then get a sort of,
a mediocre MCAT score, and continue. I believe it was like
27 or 28 at the time. And I remember I applied early decision to NYIT’s B.S./D.O. program. NYIT being New York
Institute of Technology, it’s in Old Westbury in
Long Island in New York. I believe they only
accepted like 90 applicants or something around there, so it’s very competitive. I did fairly well on my SAT, I didn’t get like a 1600
or anything like that, but it was like mid-1400’s. So you know, I did fairly well on that. My GPA was pretty solid, and I was lucky enough to get into the NYIT B.S./D.O. program. So college. (hip hop instrumental) I took all the necessary classes, I had to maintain a very high GPA of 3.5, couldn’t let it drop below that and that was obviously
tough because every class, your grade was very
important to your future. It wasn’t just “oh if
I get a B+ I’m fine.” like a B was not good! A B was a 3.0, so if you got a B, you were worried how
that affected your GPA. I’m finishing up my third year, which is my last year of
undergraduate studies, and I have to go in to take my MCAT. This is an incredibly
stressful time for everybody. Some people didn’t prep
enough for the MCAT, some people decided that
medical school wasn’t for them, and my program suddenly shrunk from like 90 or 88 or whatever
it was that it started with, to like 20. But there are certain things you can do to succeed with your MCAT. Number one, it’s a predictable test. There are Kaplan courses,
there are free courses online, there are boot camps that
you can go to and study for a couple of weeks at a time. And I know some of these things cost money and maybe you don’t need the
boot camp that costs the most, but you can sign up for a Kaplan
class and put in the time. To hear people say “I
can’t do well in this test “no matter what I do.” If you find a tutor, if you
find an online study program there is no reason why you
shouldn’t get the score that you need to, to get
into a medical school. People say “Well how do I know
if medicine is right for me?” That’s a very common question. And it’s a question that you
need to answer for yourself. I didn’t know if medicine was right for me so I watched my dad do it. I experienced it, I worked
in a medical setting, I knew what it felt like, at least a rough concept, of what it’s like to work as a doctor. Now there are some of you,
who’s parents are doctors. There are some of you have
heard from your friends that being a doctor gets you rich. These are not good reasons
to go into medicine. Now I’m not saying that to discourage you, I’m just saying medicine
is a long term commitment. Residency hours are brutal. Med school is a lot of studying. Undergrad pre-med studying
is a lot of studying. And if you don’t wanna be
there for the right reasons, “My dad’s a doctor, my mom’s a
doctor, my sister’s a doctor, “Grey’s Anatomy looks
awesome, Dr. Oz looks cool.” Good reasons to go into medicine: You can’t see yourself
doing anything else, you have an insatiable curiosity
for the field of medicine, you wanna make a difference in the world, and science falls within your skillset. Those are good reasons. A big thing I have to tell you about. This maybe applies more to medical school, but I think it applies to college as well. There will always be another test, there will always be another exam, there will always be something
else you’re preparing for. If you start to stress out
about every single test, you won’t make it through the process. Or you’ll make it through the
process and be really unhappy, Or you’ll make it through the process and be really unhealthy, because stress really sucks long term. So you shouldn’t expose yourself to that. If you as an undergraduate student who’s looking to go into medicine start worrying about the
test you have next Thursday, and then start thinking
about the test you have the following month, and then the following month, and then your MCATs, and then your boards, and then this and then that, you’ll go crazy. Approach each test as an obstacle that’s immediately in front of you
that you need to surpass. Now, you’ve taken the MCAT,
you’ve gotten your scores, and it’s time for you to do interviews. My journey through interviews was I had an interview in NYIT, in med school, which is more of a formality. And yes, they ask you
some difficult questions, but again, as long as you
don’t say anything too wild you’re guaranteed a spot in the program because of the seven year contract that you went into in the program. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t know what questions med
schools traditionally ask. All of that information
is available to you on the internet. Scour Student Doctor Network, look on different forums. If you’re going into an interview, you have to know how
to answer the question “Why do you wanna be a doctor?” I mean you have to know. If you don’t know the answer to that, or your answer’s that “My dad’s a doctor.” I mean, that’s awful. There’s no way around it, you
have to know why you’re there. And you have to be a person first. What does that mean? That means, when I ask you a question, whether that’s as an interviewer, I ask you a question like why
you wanna go into medicine, or “Why this medical school?” I don’t expect you to
have a brilliant answer, but I expect you to have
an answer that’s based on your experiences, based on something that you did, based on something you felt, because if you tell me a generic answer, I’ll know it’s generic, because I hear those answers all the time. But if you tell me a unique answer, that might not even blow my mind, but it’s unique to you, I know I’m getting a human
applicant in front of me. Someone that can feel empathy, who can verbalize what they’re feeling. Be human, be appropriate, at times of sadness, be sad, when it’s time to be angry, be angry. You know, experience all your emotions don’t feel like you
need to put on a front. Am I saying don’t be professional,
use profanity and slang? No, be professional. I’m saying be you, in a sense that you
should tell your story. It’s not enough to just practice having read questions and
practiced answers in your mind, You have to verbalize it. And that goes for public speaking too. Visualize a person in front of you asking you a question, and answer it. You’ll stutter, you’ll no doubt stutter. But that’s a good thing,
get the stuttering out now, create your story so it flows. Once you verbalize and your
brain has heard you say it, it forms that pattern, those neurons link
together within your brain, and you will have a much easier time verbalizing all those things
at the time of the interview. (hip hop instrumental) Now it was time to get serious because noone’s holding
your hand in medical school. If you start flunking, bye, you left. If you don’t pass your boards, bye. I came into medical
school with the philosophy that I will overstudy, and then sort of decrease
the amount of time necessary to study for my exams, so I can find the best amount of time that I need to dedicate
to do well on the exams but also to have a substantial life, a healthy life, outside
of medicine as well, because that’s important. You can’t just bury your
head in a book for four years and forget society exists. There were a lot of people who were into what you would call like
performance enhancing pills, some people were taking caffeine pills to increase their ability to study longer, some people were taking
illegal things like Adderall without even a prescription they were buying it on the street. I urge you, do not fall into this trap of starting to take pharmaceuticals in order to improve your
performance in med school. It’s gonna make you unhappy, you’re gonna build a dependence on them, you’re gonna change the
way you view your success, and you feel like it’s
not rightfully earned. Don’t do that, you will
regret your decision, I’ve seen people do it, seen people get sick from it, it’s not a smart choice. So let me talk about my
med school experience, and a lot of medical schools
work in a similar fashion but not all. The first two years are
learning in the classroom, lecture based learning. And then the second two
years are clinical rotations that you spend in the hospital. And those hospitals are ones that carry an affiliation with your med school. NYIT luckily had a lot of
great clinical affiliation, so I was able to do rotations at a lot of sites. My school was great in the sense that it streamed all of the
lectures in addition to going and viewing the lecture. I wasn’t a fan of studying the packets that they gave. So I watched the lectures
on accelerated speed. And a lot of people were like “Mike are you crazy I
don’t even understand “what they’re saying when you put it on “1.5 speed or two speed.” But look it worked for me. I was able to watch the lectures two times over, in the
time that most people watched them in a single session. If you have a dream school, great. I’m happy that you’re dreaming, I’m happy that you have a goal. But if you don’t get into your number one, or even your number two
or number three school, it’s not the end of the world. It really almost doesn’t
make a difference. If you wanna learn, in this day and age, all the material’s there for you. Yes you should go to the
best school that you can for your circumstances. You know, what your abilities are, what your surroundings are like, where your physical location is, unfortunately to say, how much
financial ability you have. But if you don’t get
your number one school, don’t panic. Work hard, work harder, but don’t think it’s the end of the world, I promise you it’s not. So you finish your first
two years of learning, and now comes my favorite part: Step 1 Boards. This a tough phase because not only are you studying for your current classes and trying to do well there, but you also have to study for your boards and your Step 1 exam is probably the most important exam that is gonna decide
which residency you get which residency you go into in the future. It’s not the only thing that matters, but it’s one of the most important things. So it’s one of those tests, similar to the MCAT, that
people freak out about, and it’s important to not do that, it’s important to prepare. The more questions you do, the more preparations you get, the better you’re gonna do on the test. That’s the bottom line. Especially if you’re already doing well in your current classes. The number one advice I can give you is do questions, questions, questions, because it’s been proven
in scientific trials that recognition and fetching that idea from your mind, retrieving it, bringing it back to
paper in a question form, is the best way of memorizing material. So don’t be afraid to
do two question banks even if you need to. In your third year you
start something known as clinical rotations. Where you’ll get a schedule
of either one hospital or multiple hospitals, and different departments
that you can be rotating in. This was my favorite
part of medical school, because I love experiencing stuff, I love getting stuff done. My first rotation was internal medicine, where you’re treating
hospitalized patients for all sorts of illnesses. I didn’t come in pretending
I knew everything or I didn’t come in with an attitude. I’m eager to learn, and what I don’t know I promised I’ll learn in the future. The residents really liked that about me, because when they needed help, I would volunteer my
services as much as I could without obviously being annoying or overstepping bounds or pushing other student’s
learning after mine. I always try to make it fair. But any time that I
could help somebody out, stay late, do an extra procedure, I would do it so I could learn it. Or if I didn’t know how to do it, I asked if I could watch someone do it. And that old mantra of “See one, do one, teach
one” really applies here. When I saw a resident do
it, I learned how to do it, then the resident would watch me do it, approve of how I did it, and next time I would teach
another student how to do it. And really that’s the
ultimate way to learn by repeating that process
over and over again. Enjoy the process man, that’s the thing I have to tell you. I would hear some people say “Ah I just wanna get out of here, “I wanna get out of here early.” or “I don’t wanna come in so early, “this rotation sucks.” You chose this career,
you wanted to be here, this is what you wanna do, this is what you’re gonna
be doing your whole life. How can you be complaining
about being here when you said you wanted to be here? A topic that I need to touch on, and I wanted you to pay
attention to me very carefully, is do not be a gunner. Let me define what a gunner is. A gunner is a person, a
medical student usually, who will do anything to succeed, will throw their fellow
students underneath the bus. Underneath the bus. Will throw their fellow
students under the bus, they’ll speak out of turn
to make residents look bad, they’ll tell somebody something
negative about somebody in order to get ahead. Don’t be that person. Medicine is a community. Build each other up, if you
see a weakness in somebody help them fix it. And for God’s sakes I
see this happen a lot, somebody will read some
chapter in a textbook, think they’re experts on a subject, and then start critiquing
residents, attendings, lecturers, about something they just read and they think they are an expert on, when someone that has 20
years of clinical experience is telling them otherwise. Look, don’t get me wrong, you can get really knowledgeable by reading a textbook, but it doesn’t replace
real life knowledge. Plus, don’t make someone feel stupid just because you know something when you looked at it the day before. So don’t try and show somebody up. That’s a gunner, don’t be a gunner. So during your third year, you’ll have some time for electives, and going on these different rotations where you can sort of figure out what career trajectory you want. At this point you’ll
know your Step 1 score, you’ll know what that
Step 1 score can get you, residency wise. This is where it’s really important that when you go to all these hospitals, you go to all these clinical sites, is that you leave a good impression. You leave the impression
that you’re eager to learn, that you’re eager to get better. Some people call these showcase electives where if you want to do a
certain residency in a hospital, you go do your clinical rotation there and you show them your abilities, your skills, your ability to lead, your ability to do hands-on things. That’s a good time to make connections, that’s a good time to
show off your personality, that’s a good time to see if you’re a good fit at the program. Remember, you’re still
learning about yourself, even though the program’s equally learning about you at the same time. I did my family medicine rotation and I fell in love. I said that, you know, I love the ability to influence someone’s life outside of just talking
about their disease. I fell in love with the field, I fell in love with my ability to communicate with patients, to grow older alongside with my patients. I made a lot of the
electives that I had planned to be family medicine. And I did those electives in a bunch of different hospitals, just so I could see how
family medicine is practiced in different areas in New York. I even did a rotation in Florida, and that’s when time comes and you have to do your
showcase electives, where you show your abilities to the programs for that month, that you essentially
wanna do residency in, and the last part of that would be filling out the Match paperwork. So I went into the Match, ranked some of these programs, it’s a time where you have
to do some soul searching, you have to get ready for your interviews all over again. Get used to talking about yourself, get used to talking about
your accomplishments again, like I said before, verbalize. So I went on these interviews, went to interviews in Florida, went to interviews in
New York, New Jersey. Picked Overlook, couldn’t be happier now, looking back four years later. Best choice I made. I was so happy with my training there. I’d love to tell you
more about my residency and my social media and
how all that came together but I feel like that
warrants it’s own video. If you’re curious to see that, leave a comment down below. As you can tell, I’m very
active in the comments section. I try to answer all serious questions, I know I get a lot of you jokers out there but I even answer those, so. I really hope that you
enjoyed this long video, I know it’s longer than
most of my other videos, but it was an opportunity
for me to tell you my story. So thank you for listening, hope you got some great tips and points from this video that you
can use in your own life and do even a better job
in med school than I did. So, stay happy, stay
healthy, see ya next week. (static)
Med school is not for the weak. This is what med school does to you kids. (static)
J-Point elevations can be a normal variant in an EKG in a young adult, but it could also mean that you’re more susceptible
to a sudden cardiac death. Talk to your doctor. (coughs)
(static) (hip hop instrumental)