The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Launching into the First Year of Med School and MCATGo

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen welcomes back Sam Smith, the creator of the MCAT Basics podcast. Previously, he talked about how to successfully re-apply to medical school. Now in his first year of med school, Sam shares his personal experiences and reveals his newest project: MCATGo.

  • [01:12] Life as an M1 Student
  • [04:30] What Sam Wishes He Knew Before Med School
  • [09:27] What Study Techniques Should You Follow?
  • [14:04] USMLE Step 1 as Pass/Fail: Pros and Cons
  • [18:34] About MCAT Go
  • [21:15] Sam’s Advice to Pre-Meds and Medical Students

The First Year of Medical School

As a medical student, Sam finds it more challenging to absorb knowledge due to the larger volume of course material and the shorter study periods. But it’s not all bad. Medical students are given freedom to choose how to learn: it can be through lectures or personal study time. Try to figure out what learning method and techniques are most effective for you.

Learning from and Choosing Specialties

Sam expected to develop an inclination towards a specialty as he progressed through the year. However, it seems like he’s more uncertain than ever because he is enjoying all of his subjects. It’s normal to feel confused when you’re starting out. What’s important is that you keep an open mind about the different fields of medicine. You don’t have to fake enthusiasm, but just be present and learn what you can. There is always an insight you can apply to your own practice.

What is MCATGo?

Sam’s latest project, MCATGo, is almost like an expanded and more comprehensive version of The MCAT Basics Podcast. While the podcast had hour-long episodes on broad topics, MCATGo’s platform will have condensed audio lessons that are easily customized. Students can expect more engaging material and quizzes to help track and reinforce their learning.

Learn more about MCATGo by visiting its website:

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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