Super Star Blogs!

5 Reasons to Consider Conducting Research

Week 26 of the PreMed Mondays book covers 5 reasons to consider undergraduate research. During my undergraduate and medical school years, I did quite a bit of research. The benefits were intangible. My advice to students is to give it a shot. You won’t know if you like research until you try it. if you don’t like it….well…then stop doing it.

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Having a Premed Timeline

Happy Wednesday PreMed Star! Today on The PreMed Voice we have Curtis Mensah sharing some encouragement about not being phased when our “timeline” has moved off course. I personally really enjoyed this episode, and it was exactly what I needed to hear to remind myself to simply roll with the punches.

If you’re a premed, we’d love to have you on our show. Send us an email at Voice@PreMedSTAR.comwith your name, the link to your profile page, and the topic you’ll be discussing. We’re looking for personal stories (struggles, humor, and successes), premed tips, and anything else you think is worthwhile!

Please remember to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Google.

**Premeds, join our online community of thousands of future doctors at

Virtual Medical Scribe 101: What Is It and Why Does It Matter to Me As a Pre-Med?

Imagine having a chance to step into a position that allows you to understand what it takes to become a doctor, working one-on-one with a physician during patient encounters. As one of M*Modal’s Virtual Medical Scribes, you have the opportunity to do just that.

What is a Virtual Medical Scribe?

A virtual medical scribe is a healthcare charting professional who remotely accompanies a physician in real time during doctor-patient visits, handling all patient notes and charting for each doctor-patient encounter. You are trained in clinical charting, drafting SOAP notes, and navigating through electronic health records.

Not only do you work one-on-one with a physician where you can truly learn how to diagnose a patient, you are also introduced to the next step and evolution in clinical charting!

Over the last 25 years, M*Modal has been a global leader in assisting physicians and hospital systems with patient documentation using our many services and software applications. We work with the largest hospital systems across the US!

Why does this matter to me as a pre-med student?

Every day as you work alongside a physician, you will get to experience much of the following:

  • Daily real-time discussions directly with physicians
  • Paid experience in the medical field
  • Cross training in 30 different healthcare specialties
  • Working anywhere in the US from the comfort of your own home
  • Gaining working knowledge of medical terms, abbreviations, pathophysiology, anatomy, medications, diagnoses, physician assessments, procedures, and testing
  • Training in clinical documentation, charting, bedside communication, and diagnosing
  • Drafting HPIs, ROSs, assessments, and plans
  • Potential letters of recommendation
  • Stronger work-life balance with no commute
  • Experiencing where healthcare software platforms are going in the next 5-10 years

If you are interested in learning more, we would love to hear from you on PreMed STAR, or come and learn more about us here:

Invest in Yourself & Help Others!

For years, I’ve studied the difference between people who are said to successful vs others. What’s the difference? These individuals have learned the importance of investing in themselves. To be successful, it is critical you take time to make yourself better. How you decide to use your time is one of the most important decisions of your life.

Join PreMed STAR as we have Dean Quinn Capers on for our next webinar. He will be discussing the medical school interview process. Register at the link below

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The 5 Types of Premeds

Every so often, I like to share my personal opinions in order for you to get a physician’s perspective. It is good to know what the doctor you are shadowing may be thinking about you or expecting from you. It may help those of you meeting that physician at a conference, when asking for a letter of recommendation or when preparing for that big interview day. As a premed, I had a sense of some of my weaknesses and my strengths but I was oblivious to how physicians really viewed me. Below are 5 different types of premeds I come across.

1. The “Save the World” Premed:

I personally love being around this type of student. These are the students with a huge heart and passion for people in general. They tend to form and lead organizations, travel the world (if possible) doing charitable work, and commit to probably too many extracurricular activities. Many physicians love these students because they easily stand out and express interest. It is easy to see they are there not just shadowing you simply to check a box but they actually want to immerse themselves in the world of medicine. Everything they do they do with the mindset of being an excellent physician one day. These are the type of students that can truly make a huge impact in the field of medicine. The problem at times can be that this student is at high risk for burnout. Grades can be jeopardized due to over-commitment. While many physicians and med schools love this type of student, it is important that the student not overdo it now and in the future. Even though many of these students will one day become great physicians, some may actually be better served using their passion in another area such as research where they can reach a larger population.

2. The Self-absorbed Premed:

This is the type of premed that looks at every situation as how it will ultimately benefit them. The volunteer hours, extracurricular activities, and shadowing experience are done simply to check the box. Motives for becoming a physician may not be entirely genuine and this student may be the type to hide valuable information from his or her peers. These type of students may eventually turn into overly ambitious med students who will do anything to be on top of the class. They are identified as “gunners” in med school and they tend to make life miserable for the rest of the class. Even as physicians, these traits persist and it is obvious when you run into that typically bright physician with horrible bedside manners, that loves to hear him or herself talk. Often times, this was that self-absorbed premed. As you see below in this webinar clip, the cocky premed can easily be spotted.

3. The “I Can Do it all By Myself” Premed:

These students are very tough to watch. I was actually this student my first year of undergrad but snapped out of it by my sophomore year. Whether it is that they are shy, arrogant, embarrassed, or feel as though they are a burden, these students will not seek counsel or will wait until late in the game. I do believe that in this day and age there is a lot of noise out there so one must be selective when it comes to getting advice. Not everyone out there knows what they are talking about and some may even have malicious intent. This type of student fails to go to office hours. They fail to meet with their adviser. They fail to find mentors. They fail to befriend solid premed students. As they say, no man or woman is an island. Eventually, this premed will hit that wall and realize it is late in the game to dig themselves out or it will take a whole lot of work to do so. One thing you will quickly learn as you travel down this medical journey is that medicine is a collaborative profession. Very few doctors make it without having a solid network they trust and confide in. My advice to this student is to always reach out to others for help sooner than later.

4. The “Super Pessimistic” Premed:

“I’m not smart enough to be a doctor.” “I’ll never score high enough.” We all have doubts along our medical journey and this is completely normal. It becomes problematic when they consume our thoughts. I recall meeting a student presenting a poster at a conference who told me he is interested in medicine but likely won’t apply to medical school because he wasn’t smart enough. Well, it turned out he had an above average GPA and appeared to be very intelligent based on our conversation. I assumed he was not knowledgeable about what it takes to get into medical school but once I told him his GPA was competitive he proceeded to list another 10 reasons why he would never be accepted into medical school. At the end of our conversation I could see this student likely would never apply to medical school which is perfectly fine. My fear is that one day he may regret his decision.

5. The Solid Premed:

It only takes a good 30-60 minutes to spot one of these rare breeds. You don’t need to even study a CV or personal statement to arrive at this conclusion. These students aren’t necessarily always the ones with the top scores. They don’t always have the most convincing stories. They aren’t necessarily from a lineage of physicians. These students exhibit passion for medicine. They understand and follow Dr. Dale’s G.R.I.N.D. pathway even if they aren’t aware. A very good way to know this is a solid premed is by the questions he or she asks. I actually believe the art of question asking is overlooked by many. I like to think that the greatest physicians know how to ask the right questions and the patients that tend to do the best also ask the right questions. Solid premeds are aware of great resources and don’t keep it to themselves. They are the ones sharing tools and congratulating their peers. On interview day, these students are the ones who do the little things but don’t go overboard trying to be noticed. I myself was not this solid premed but I sure could spot them out and establish friendships with them!

Well, there you have it. This is a quick rundown of how I personally categorize premeds. I hope it can help you introspectively examine things. I must add that these are only my thoughts and every individual is different. We may exhibit characteristics from one or multiple groups and it is possible to move from one to another. What are your thoughts? Do you recognize any of these students? Are there other premed types you can think of?


Building Relationships with Professors

Hey y’all! Kyle Bivins is featured on this week’s episode of The PreMed Voice! Kyle is reminding all of us about the importance of making connections with our professors, and he is giving insight to his own personal experience with this. I hope you guys enjoy!


If you’re a premed, we’d love to have you on our show. Send us an email at Voice@PreMedSTAR.comwith your name, the link to your profile page, and the topic you’ll be discussing. We’re looking for personal stories (struggles, humor, and successes), premed tips, and anything else you think is worthwhile!

Please remember to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Google.

**Premeds, join our online community of thousands of future doctors at

5 Tips For a Great Shadowing Experience

Week 24 of the  PreMed Mondays book covers 5 tips for a great shadowing experience. As a premed, shadowing is essentially a requirement if you want to get in med school. It’s not always easy to come across these opportunities so when you do, you need to get the most out of it. You want your experience to rewarding for you and clinician. In this episode, I will give you 5 tips to help you have a great shadowing experience.

Remember to register for our upcoming webinar with Dean Quinn Capers from Ohio State University School of Medicine. Click the link below

Congratulations to Chanel! Premed of the Week!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hey guys! My name is Chanel and I am from Queens, NY. To many, I am known as the adventurous, freckle-faced girl who captures amazing photographs in different countries. Everytime I return home from a trip, I compile my recorded footage into a travel video blog so I can share my experience with others. At times, I feel like a music video director and get so wrapped up in the production and editing of my videos. Because I am an avid concert goer and have a wide range of genres on my playlist, I enjoy incorporating great music into my videos. I also enjoy different types of foods and consider myself to be a “foodie.” Living in NYC with a diverse population of people, I have been exposed to a large variety of foods and restaurants. When I am not working or studying, I enjoy educating my community, networking and spending time with family.


2. Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did he or she impact you? My favorite professor at SUNY Binghamton was John Fletcher. I took his Physical Fitness and Wellness class during my junior year and ever since then, I started to care more about my health and staying active. Being that I have always been thin throughout my life, I never cared and would eat so much sugary food and fast food. After taking his class, I only drink water with meals and stopped eating at fast food chain restaurants. The following semester John Fletcher hired me for a work study position as a receptionist in the gym for my senior year. I was responsible for distributing towels, making sure soiled towels were washed and dried for the gym classes later in the day, keeping a daily log of students who used towels and other administrative duties.

3. When did you first decide you wanted to become a doctor and why? My initial interest in medicine stems from witnessing the health decline of my family members. I always wondered about the pathophysiology of their illnesses at a young age and I want to contribute to medicine by helping others battle disease. After witnessing my aunt lose a battle to breast cancer, I made a promise to myself to fight for others and to also participate in cancer research during medical school. I want to become a physician because of health disparities in low socioeconomic communities. I want to be there for my patients because I have witnessed patients reluctant to express their concerns to their doctors because of a culture gap.

When I was a freshman in high school, 3 of my friends and I were hit by a car which exposed me to different medical specialties. I was amazed by the detailed diagnostic work the physicians had to run on me to rule out internal bleeding, fractures or any life threatening conditions. One of the doctors pulled up a chair adjacent to my bedside and explained everything to me. When I think about this experience, I envision myself giving my patients the same amount of time and attention and hope to leave a similar impact on my patient’s lives. I was impressed by the way the medical staff worked as a team, and this has solidified my determination to go into medicine.

4. What area of medicine are you interested in? Working as a medical scribe, I became aware of the shortage of primary care physicians in our country and the detrimental effects this has on patients. I also have a strong interest in becoming an emergency medicine physician at a level 1 trauma center. I thrive in a fast paced environment and have worked with dozens of emergency room physicians at the urgent care clinic where I work.

5. What’s the coolest experience you’ve had so far on your premedical journey? I would have to say my coolest pre-med experience has been working as a medical scribe because i have seen A LOT!  Just when I thought I saw everything that I can see in an urgent care setting, I am presented with yet another interesting case. I interact directly with patients by retrieving them from the waiting room, taking their vitals, asking their history of present illness, past medical history and then presenting their case to the provider. I am also responsible for performing rapid tests before the patient is seen which includes, rapid strep and flu tests, urinalyses, EKGs, visual acuity examination and setting up for procedures.

6. What is your favorite book? My favorite book is Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson. The first time I read this book was in 11th grade and I have read it again in college. I have also watched the movie twice. It is a great read for anyone with doubt, fear or anyone who is discouraged on this pre-medical journey. Never give up and don’t let anything get in your way.

7. Tell us one thing interesting about you that most people don’t know. I have visited eight countries in the past four years and continue to cross of destinations on my travel bucket list.

Also, my middle name is STARR.

8. If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you want to do? Pshh, yeah right. I want to be a physician because I won’t get the same fulfillment doing anything else and I will not rest until I reach my goals.

9. What has been your biggest obstacle as a premed and how did you (or are you) overcome it? During my junior year of college, I received a call from my father who was in distress because our apartment was destroyed. He just returned home after driving me to school with the rest of my winter clothes and was shocked by the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He was unable to salvage most of our personal belongings and my sister did not have any clothes in order to attend school. I felt helpless because I was four hours from home and had to be present in my classes. Unfortunately, this situation left me unfocused with my studies and I suffered a lack of confidence. I was already trying to get over my self-doubt after a challenging transition as a transfer student. My grades were slipping and I had to think actively in order to pass my courses for the semester. I went to tutoring and worked up the courage to ask for help from my instructors. Learning to be a better student was imperative for the completion of my undergraduate degree. I learned that life doesn’t stop when something goes wrong and was able to see the bigger picture.

10. What do you like most about PreMed STAR? I love that PreMed STAR is a hidden gem full of a bunch of pre-med students who all have the same goals and dreams. I enjoyed the MCAT study sessions because it really helped me grasp high yield concepts. I also enjoyed the MCAT question of the week.

Gratitude Leads to Action!

Today is the one day you should take inventory of all the great things you have in life.  Honestly, the premed community can be rather pessimistic at times.  Students are constantly concerned about all the things they need to be focused on in order to get into medical school.  This leads to stress and a poor outlook on life.  When people are in such situations, they become ungrateful.  They forget about all their blessings and focus solely on the things that aren’t going their way.  This leads to more stress which in turn leads some students to poorer performance.

Gratitude leads to action!  I truly believe this.  When you re grateful for what others have done for you, you want to repay them, or pay it forward.  We’ve all heard the wise words, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”   Life in general is full of reciprocities.    When you’re kind to people, people will be kind to you.  When you help others, others will help you.  I believe God created this world in a way that encourages generosity.  But at times, we simply don’t feel like being generous.  We have our own issues and can’t muster up the energy to help other people.  Ultimately, all of us going into healthcare want to be generous to others and when we’re not doing that, it impacts our confidence and satisfaction.  This is where I believe being thankful comes in to play.

The psychology of being grateful is rather powerful.  Have you ever considered how and why this really works.  Let’s consider an example that might surprise you.  In the world of business, sales and marketing teams use the psychology of being grateful to get dollars out of your pocket.  Have you ever gone into a car dealership simply to look around?  What’s one of the first things the sales guy or gal does?  In my experience, it’s been to offer me a snack or something to drink.  Why do they do that?  It’s to make you feel grateful towards them.  When you feel this way, you’re more inclined to reciprocate by giving them something back.  The thing they want back is for you to buy a car!  They give you something worth less than a dollar, you give them thousands!

I’m not saying you should be thankful so people can bamboozle you, rather be thankful because it motivates you to act! In the prior example, if a car salesman can influence someone to buy a car by giving them a bottle of water, then I think it’s fair to say that you can be influenced to do a free good deed for someone else when you are grateful for what others have done for you.  And here’s the cool part about doing stuff for other people, it gives you a deep joy on the inside!

What do some of the richest people in the world do for a living?  They end up becoming philanthropist.  This is large part is because they’ve reached the pinnacle of business and are grateful for their successes so they in turn decide to give back and help others.  Beyond that, they also do it because it makes them feel good and brings them joy.

Gratitude leads to positive action!  I truly believe this.  What are some examples of times when being grateful for something led you to do something for others?  Please share in the comments.

Premed Struggles – Megan Nelson

Hey PreMed Star! Have any of you ever struggled on this premedical journey? I know I struggle a lot, so on this week’s episode of The PreMed Voice, Megan Nelson will be speaking to us about those struggles. She is sharing her personal struggles with us, and reminding all of us to keep pushing.


If you’re a premed, we’d love to have you on our show. Send us an email at Voice@PreMedSTAR.comwith your name, the link to your profile page, and the topic you’ll be discussing. We’re looking for personal stories (struggles, humor, and successes), premed tips, and anything else you think is worthwhile!

Please remember to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Google.

**Premeds, join our online community of thousands of future doctors at


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