The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Building Your Pre-Med Network

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Alexia Childress, the CEO and co-founder of the National Pre-Health Community. They talk about the founding story of the NPHC, building connections in healthcare, and  pre-med admissions.

  • [00:37] Introducing Alexia Childress
  • [03:20] Forming the National Pre-Health Community
  • [07:53] NPHC 2023 Annual Conference
  • [11:38] How to Network Online
  • [14:45] What Alexia Would Change About Med School Applications
  • [21:09] What Alexia Would Change About Healthcare

The National Pre-Health Community

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of opportunities for pre-meds were canceled. There was a lot of change and uncertainty, making it tough for students to prepare for med school applications. As a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, Alexia Childress and Alejandra Bahena formed the National Pre-Health Community. Within two months, they organized a free virtual event for students interested in healthcare careers. Since its inaugural conference, the NPHC holds an annual symposium that connects aspiring healthcare professionals and provides resources to help them succeed.

Building an Online Network in Healthcare

Networking is not limited to face to face interactions, it can also be done virtually. One of the ways to build connection is through participating in online events. Be engaged and ask questions to resource speakers. Send them emails about what you liked in their presentation. Once you’ve built some rapport, you can try to request to shadow them if you are ever in their area. Another way to expand your network is by joining online communities. The NPHC has a Discord channel, free resources, and scholarships that you can benefit from.  

Sign up for the National Pre-Health Community’s free annual conference on their website. Join their Discord community through this invite link. You can reach Alexia Childress through her LinkedIn.

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:


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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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