The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Podcast Episode 41: The Man Behind FutureMDLife on Instagram

Dr. Sahil Mehta and Dr. Renee Marinelli from @medschoolcoach are joined by Dan, also known on Instagram as FutureMDLife. Dan talks about how he got into medicine and his opinion on the types of exposure that future med school students should pursue. We also hear about how his Instagram account became so successful and the interactions he has with his followers.

[1:22] What Dan’s current life is like.

He is a second-year medical student and just started his final course of the year. Dan will soon be preparing for his USMLE Step 1 and is experiencing a very exciting and nerve-wracking time right now. He is looking forward to his third and fourth years because they will be more hospital-based.

[4:29] What Dan eventually wants to do.

He is not yet totally sure. Dan still has a few more years to see things in a hospital and decide. He is leaning towards internal medicine and subspecialities. One of the specialties he has enjoyed the most is GI, having done a lot of shadowing and research related to this. Dan is well aware that things can change and will see what happens from here.

[6:18] Advice that Dan gives to his followers who struggle to figure out what to go into.

Dan has learned that a lot of people switch what they are interested in while in medical school. The medical students he currently sees do this because they are exposed to so many different fields.

There are things that get people interested in medicine, but the reality is that medicine can be very different on a day-to-day basis depending on what you choose. Dan believes that the most important aspect in deciding to be a doctor is liking people.

[9:53] Dan’s pathway to medicine.

In middle school and high school, Dan initially had absolutely no interest in medicine. He was always interested in business but began taking some science courses in high school, and it all started to click in his junior year. At age sixteen, he began volunteering on his town’s first aid squad and decided to join an EMT school during his senior year. This was the main thing that allowed Dan to see what it was like to deal with patients and interact with people who are vulnerable. He made the decision to be a pre-med during college and gain more experience that would help him figure out if he wanted to be a doctor.

[13:25] What Dan would tell himself if he were in high school again.

He would have told himself to make sure that this is really what he wants to do. Dan says that you have to get a broad picture of the medical field before committing the rest of your life to it. He realizes that it’s hard to find shadowing opportunities, but he wishes he did more of that in high school.

[14:33] Exposure to gain in college before applying to med school.

It’s important to get good grades and have leadership experience. Later, in interviews, you must show that you thoroughly know what medicine is. If you go into an interview and have only shadowed once or twice, the interviewer may be skeptical about if you truly know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s also important to get some sort of clinical experience.

[20:26] How Dan likes to spend his time outside of medicine.

He really enjoys golfing. Dan picked it up as a random hobby in high school though he didn’t even make his school’s team. He also enjoys swimming and being active in general.

[25:42] Memorization tips from Dan.

Dan says that he doesn’t have perfect study skills by any stretch of the imagination. However, he would always allot a certain amount of time for studying. He knew that, for the way he learns, he needs to review things over and over again until he actually understands them. Through pure repetition, he was able to learn everything he need to during undergrad and it’s helping him in medical school as well.

[29:37] How FutureMDLife got started.

One of Dan’s friends in medical school had a similar page, and Dan thought it was really cool that he was posting what he was doing. Dan wanted to begin tracking his own journey so that he could look back several years later and reflect on what his life was like. From there, Dan posted consistently, and the account gained traction. People began messaging him and asking for advice, which he welcomed. He’s happy to be able to talk about what he did and help some people along the way.

[33:08] Where Dan wants to be thirty years from now.

Dan just knows that in the near future, he wants to get better at what he’s doing. He wants to learn the ins-and-outs of medicine, practice it inside a hospital, and get better at interacting with people. Dan remarks that balance is important, but you also must realize how important it is to focus at times.

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