The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Application Tips from a Harvard Med Student

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Olivia Brumfield who is currently a third year student at Harvard Medical School. They talk about applying to medical schools with intention and personalizing medical education.

  • [00:39] Introducing Olivia Brumfield
  • [02:20] Medical School Application Tips
  • [10:55] Learning American Sign Language
  • [15:06] Transition into Medical School
  • [18:13] What Olivia Would Change About Healthcare
  • [21:23] What Olivia Would Change About Medical Education

Apply to Medical Schools with Intention

Having gone through medical school applications herself, Olivia reminds students to be mindful of their mental health. Take breaks and stay connected to your why so you don’t lose yourself in the process. Your passion for medicine will help you power through difficult moments.

Be selective about the med schools you’re considering. Will this institution help you serve the population you want to care for? Do their values align with the kind of doctor you want to become? Save yourself the time, expense, and mental bandwidth by applying to schools that will help you reach your goals.

It’s okay to take your time before you start med school applications. Be honest and evaluate if you’re ready to commit to the process. Pursuing other opportunities is not a bad thing. Contrary to what other people may think, you can gain other skills that can help improve your future practice as a physician.

Reducing Barriers in Healthcare

As a clerk, Olivia has seen firsthand how limited resources can affect healthcare. Patients are not able to access the care they need because of a variety of factors. Olivia wishes we can have better medical infrastructure to support patients and to reduce the financial costs of medicine to make it accessible to everyone. She also wishes to see more diversity in all areas of healthcare. If groups feel represented in medicine, it will be easier to connect and provide care for different populations.

A Well-Rounded Medical Education

Olivia proposes that medical education should be a more personalized experience. If schools can tailor a program for students based on their unique values, deciding which field to go into may become easier. It would also be helpful if students can learn about the business of medicine early on so they can navigate the healthcare system with more ease. 

You can reach Olivia Brumfield through her Instagram.


To learn more about how MedSchoolCoach can help you along your medical school journey, visit us at Prospective Doctor. You can also reach us through our social media:


Dr. Erkeda’s Instagram:


Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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