The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

How to Align with your Mission in Medicine while Mastering Virtual Medical School Interviews

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Natasha Bray, a board-certified internal medicine physician in addiction medicine and Interim Dean of the Cherokee Nation Campus of Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. She gives valuable advice on how to ace your medical school interview as application season approaches.

  • [00:26] Introducing Dr. Natasha Bray
  • [03:23] How Dr. Trina went into Addiction Medicine
  • [07:35] The Importance of the Nation’s First College of Medicine Affiliated with a Tribe
  • [13:37] The Impact of a Mission-Driven School in a Rural Environment
  • [15:20] Features that Make a Great Medical School Candidate
  • [19:35] How to Best Prepare for Virtual Interviews
  • [23:38] The Best Piece of Advice
  • [25:42] Where to Find Dr. Natasha Bray

What Made Dr. Natasha Bray Head into Addiction Medicine

 When you work in the primary care field, you begin to see a lot of challenges that face different populations and it’s rare to find a patient that isn’t affected by their socioeconomic status, the environment in which they live, and underlying health and mental health challenges. In looking for ways to support patients in their journey towards health, addiction kept coming up and impacts not only them but their family, their ability to earn a living, how they interact with other members of their community. As she worked during the Opioid Epidemic in Florida back in 2006-2010, she believed that she did not have the knowledge that she needed to help them.

What Makes a Great Medical School Candidate

Dr. Natasha looks at experience, requirements, and impact performance. She believes that the reason why the MCAT is relied on so much is because a student’s ability to take a test predicts their ability to take a test especially in medical school. A lot of people check those boxes, but the question now is what makes a potential medical student unique and how they tell their story. She advises having a good sense of your mission even if it changes over time, understanding what motivates you, looking for schools that match your mission and be aggressive in pursuing your dreams.

Given the challenges of COVID and the shift to virtual interviews, Dr. Natasha advises students to get used to talking on a camera. The Number 1 mistake that Dr. Natasha notices is people not being aware of their surroundings, roommates walking around in the background and students not noticing that their camera is on. The next thing is to do things that minimize stress to be able to connect with the interviewer. She also encourages to hide the camera view to avoid worrying about how you look during the interview and to lastly be yourself; let your stories and passion shine through. Just enjoy your experience, be present in the moment, and don’t be afraid of the process.

You can find Dr. Natasha Bray through her Twitter and her email.

Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’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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