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AMSA ad lib

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AMSA ad lib is the American Medical Student Association's podcast, bringing together the intimate perspectives of medical students and experts on topics ranging from specialty selection and personal finance to technological developments in medicine's near future.

AMSA ad lib is the American Medical Student Association's podcast, bringing together the intimate perspectives of medical students and experts on topics ranging from specialty selection and personal finance to technological developments in medicine's near future.
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AMSA ad lib is the American Medical Student Association's podcast, bringing together the intimate perspectives of medical students and experts on topics ranging from specialty selection and personal finance to technological developments in medicine's near future.






78. How to strengthen your resilience, get ready for residency

Medical training and practice will be hard on you, and on your peers. Surviving the stress takes preparation and awareness. We'll hear how one medical student used self-care to prepare for her transition to medical school, and AMSA's Rebekah Apple explains the importance of resilience and some steps for building it up.


45. Fighting bias with storytelling

Biases in medical training are affecting medical students, but many--including you--may not appreciate that it’s happening. Fixing the problem won’t be easy, but some trainees themselves are working to address pervasive bias in medicine from the ground up. For the students trying to intervene, the first step in addressing bias in medical training is getting everyone to recognize how deeply--and sometimes subtly--ingrained it can be. Medical students Tehreem Rehman and Jes Minor started the...


69. What to do when medicine falls short

As a physician, you won’t be able to solve all of your patients’ problems. Some of those problems, especially systemic ones, will remain just out of a doctor’s reach. In this episode, we learn how to extend that reach. When it seems like medicine isn’t enough, that caring for patients goes beyond the scope of your abilities as solitary provider, or that the problems facing your patients are deeper and more entrenched than medicine can possibly address, those thoughts can be demoralizing....


50. Shots fired: Rehearsing for disaster

It no longer seems impossible, or even unlikely: What happens if your medical center itself comes under attack? Have you thought about your role? What would you do? What should you do? Would you have time in the moment itself to weigh ethical considerations, personal safety and protocol? Probably not. In this episode, we get an inside look at a training exercise preparing health care providers for an attack on their own institution, and learn about the bioethics of just such a situation.


22. Don't put my pants in the dryer

Have you ever advised a patient to eat healthy and exercise, then hit up the McDonald's drive-through on the way home from work? Maybe it’s time for a wake-up call. Hear from one student who had a wake-up call while driving down the highway with a cup of curly fries, and how she made a fitting realization that would improve her life as a med student and she hopes will improve her relationships with patients.


54. Beyond soundbites and snack tips: Today's patient and health literacy

Are you being taught how to help patients understand all of the overwhelming medical messaging they’re getting? Though the way that medical students are taught has changed gradually over the past century, the way patients learn has lurched forward. Arguably, the modern physician’s job has changed accordingly. The question is whether the physician will be ready for that job. Dr. Rishi Desai found himself on the leading edge of creating useful health information for patients and future...


60. Present your research right

You’ve spent months on a complex research project, from conception to designing your study, to collecting data and coming to your conclusions. It’s all enormously complicated—now, explain the whole thing in 60 seconds. In the 2016 Match, fourth-year M.D. match applicants in the U.S. listed 4.7 presentations, abstracts or publications in their professional profile on average. Though the importance of those experiences may vary by specialty or even residency program, the ability to boil your...


85. Behind the scenes with OnlineMedEd

Med students get pretty serious about the resources they use to study. What goes into making some of these tools? In this episode, med student Sarah Smith spoke with the founders of OnlineMedEd, Dr. Dustyn Williams and Jamie Fitch, about the videos and other resources they put together to help medical students.


58. The stigma and paradox of family medicine and primary care

What have you heard about primary care? That there's "too much paperwork?" Or that you're "too smart" to go into it? Or, paradoxically, that "there's too much to learn"? In the spirit of National Primary Care Week, let's talk about the so-called stigma of primary care, and its effect on med students' career choices. Dr. Wanda Filer, a former president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, addresses the "stigma" head on--and touches on the joy a family physician can find in...


48. Story Slam: Reaching med school at 60

Even as the definition of a “nontraditional” med student has shifted, there are outliers. Elaine Luther is one such outlier. But medical school isn't just about the medical career that follows. It is itself an accomplishment—and a statement. Here's Elaine's story about what stood in her way, and the night that refocused her on a dream she'd been denied.


20. Residency interview questions and prep

What's it like to interview for a residency position in neurosurgery? How does it compare to interviewing in other specialties? In this episode, medical students share their experiences and questions, including tackling rumors about the neurosurgery interview process.


77. What you should talk about in your personal statement

Leaving your personal statement to the last minute will lead to a frantic search for the right topic and in turn, not your best work. Many of the timelines you’ll see out there place preparing for your residency application in your third year of medical school. But waiting to think about starting on your application materials until then, could mean you’re missing out on getting the most out of a meaningful experience that took place in your earlier years.


Ep. 38: Leadership is learned. Here's how

Learn how to be a effective leader. We've all heard that leaders aren't born, they are made. But who "makes" them, and how? In this episode, Drs. Deborah Hall and Suzanne Rose explore the importance of medical leadership, starting in medical school, and how med students can improve their leadership skills.


59. Keeping residency interview travel costs down

You’re unlikely to attend only one residency interview, and even then, it’s doubtful that it’d be right in your backyard. Traveling for residency interviews adds to the list of those hidden costs around the corner in med school, and sometimes the best way to prepare yourself is by hearing from those who did it before you.


83. Interview questions asked: A residency program director answers

Why do program directors ask the questions they ask during the residency interview? What are they looking for in your response, and how do they evaluate the success of your answer? We turned the tables on Dr. Tom Kuivila, Residency Program Director in Orthopaedic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, to learn why program directors ask the questions they ask, what kinds of answers they're looking for, and how to give the right responses during the interview process. Hear how he would answer both...


57. Make the most of "social" interviews on the residency trail

Some residency programs host a social event for you to meet current residents and interns from the program before the formal interview takes place. A former program director and recent residency applicant explain what you should be looking for out of this experience, how you can use it to your advantage, and how important this interaction really is to residency programs during their selection process.


82. Dr. Kevin Pho on social media, medicine and future physicians

How can you establish and manage your online presence as a future physician? And better yet, why is that important to your future practice? We caught up with Dr. Kevin Pho, founder and editor of, and a leading physician on social media.


Residency work hour limits: How to deal with the increase

The ACGME voted this year to change the rules on work hour restrictions, allowing interns to work up to 24 hour shifts with an additional four hours of transitions in care--an increase from the 16 hour shift restriction that was previously in place. How can you stay resilient going into your intern year with this change?


80. Don't make these mistakes in your med school interview

Your prerequisites, GPA, MCAT prep and essay answers have gotten you this far. Now it’s time to ace the med school interview. Setting your nerves aside and facing a med school interviewer--does it really all come down to this moment? How do you get ready? What should you do once you are there, on campus? What should you not do? We spoke with two experienced interviewers and experts about common mistakes they’ve seen made, how to avoid them, and what medical schools want to find out about...


51. Make your international experience count

You’ve completed an international elective or global health experience; so, what’s next? Explore how you can maximize the value of that experience and what next steps you should be taking upon your return with Dr. Joseph C. Kolars, Senior Associate Dean for Education and Global Initiatives at the University of Michigan Medical School.


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