The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Standing Out in a Highly Competitive Medical Specialty with Dr. Chiamaka Okorie

In this episode, host Dr. Erkeda DeRouen chats with Dr. Chiamaka Okorie, a recent graduate of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Dr. Okorie brings a unique perspective as an international student who excelled in the US system, acing the MCAT and building an impressive portfolio.

Dr. Okorie shares practical advice for aspiring dermatologists, but her insights extend far beyond a single specialty. Tune in to learn about exploring career paths early, the power of networking, and the importance of self-advocacy. They’ll delve into crafting a standout application, the value of passion-driven research, and the importance of building your support system.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Depths of Dermatology: Dr. Chiamaka Okorie advises aspiring dermatologists to jump into the field early and seek guidance from professionals to build a competitive portfolio
  • Self-Advocacy is Key: Both Dr. Chiamaka Okorie and our host, Dr. Erkeda DeRouen, emphasize the importance of actively showcasing your achievements and interests.
  • Building Your Personal Board of Directors: Proactively reaching out to professionals and leveraging digital platforms can provide invaluable guidance and support in your medical journey, from medical school decisions to career development.

Jump into the Conversation:

[00:00] Introduction to the Prospective Doctor

[02:01] Introduction to Dr. Chiamaka Okorie

[02:43] Navigating getting into a US medical school for international students

[04:16] – Tips for building a competitive portfolio early on, including the power of mentorship and networking

[10:36] Dr. Okorie’s advice on fully committing to the desired specialty, including advocacy tips and strategies for standing out

[15:14] The importance of research in building your portfolio

[19:44] Building your network on LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media platforms

[21:00] The competitive specialty of dermatology

[28:37] Advocating for yourself in medical school

Where you can find Dr. Okorie: 

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @AmakaOkorieMed


To learn more about how MedSchoolCoach can help you along your medical school journey, visit us at

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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