The OSA Insider Podcast
A podcast about medical student life and the journey to becoming a physician. Featuring survival tips, wellness strategies, the inside scoop on major milestones of med school, and interviews with inspirational faculty members, residents, and students. Join Dr. Neda Frayha and find out what doctors wish they knew when they were in medical school.
October 7, 2019
Episode 48: Creative HeArts:
Q: What happens when a few medical students decide not only to nurture their own creativity, but to provide venues for other students to do the same? A: The Creative HeArts team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In this episode, medical students Fatima Sallman and Michael Sikorski share the origin story behind this student group and its publications (White Coat Reflections and The Healer's Art), how every voice matters, and why *you* should tap into your inner artist.
September 16, 2019
Episode 47: The Couples Match
To say that the Couples Match can be a stressful experience is putting it mildly. It's like you take all the normal anxieties of the residency application process and ratchet them up to an 11. But we have you covered! Drs. Gloribel and Josh Olexa walk us through the process from start to end, including the highs, lows, and the most important pro tips they learned along the way.
August 30, 2019
Episode 46: The Flint Lead Crisis and Patient Advocacy with Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha
Hopefully we all try to do the right thing on a regular basis, but how many of us have blown the whistle on a massive public health crisis? Our own Dr. Neda Frayha got to interview Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint, MI pediatrician who opened the world's eyes to lead in the water that was poisoning Flint's citizens. They talk about how to become a more effective patient advocate, and how to face situations that feel scary but ultimately benefit our patients. This conversation originally aired on Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.
August 12, 2019
Episode 45: Step 1 Disappointment
People talk a lot about Step 1. But we don't always talk candidly about what happens when a student gets a disappointing score. In this episode, we do just that. Dr. Katy Eslami shares her USMLE Step 1 story, including the ways she moved past her test score (and the ways she's still working on it), how she talked about her score in residency interviews, and what she'd do differently now if given the chance.
June 24, 2019
Episode 44: Transition to Third Year, Redux
It's that time of year again! Our brand new MS3s are hitting the wards, clinics, and ORs for the first time. What do you need to know as you embark on this major transition? We revisit this honest and deep conversation with two members of the class of 2018, Dr. Ida Ahmadizadeh and Dr. Stefano Muscatelli, as they share words of wisdom, what surprised them the most about their new roles, and how to cope with difficult moments.
June 3, 2019
Episode 43: Step 2 Clinical Skills
We've covered Step 1 and Step 2 Clinical Knowledge; now, it's time for Step 2 CS! What is it? Where can you take it? What are some widespread myths about the exam that need to be debunked? How should you study for it? Our two guests are Ms. Jennifer Llewellyn, Senior Academic Support Coordinator at the UMSOM, and newly minted Dr. Katy Eslami, who is about to start her Pediatrics residency at UMMC. Together they break down everything you need to know about Step 2 CS.
May 10, 2019
Episode 42: Transition to Intern Year, Redux
It's that time of year! Our fourth years are about to graduate and move on to their first year of residency. We are revisiting the best parts of two early podcast conversations on the transition to internship: one with Dr. Nubia Seyoum, Emergency Medicine physician at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, and the other with Dr. Barathi Sivasailam, Internal Medicine chief resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center. Both share wisdom about the hard times, the rewarding moments, and what they wish they had known about intern year that nobody had told them.
May 1, 2019
Episode 41: Advocacy and Legislative Medicine
Health care policy is "going to affect you, whether you want it to or not." In this episode, Dr. Nidhi Goel and (almost-there-Dr.) Deepanjali Jain share their stories of health care advocacy, convince us to care about the intersection of politics and medicine, and teach us where to begin getting involved in causes that affect our patients.
Why Do So Few Doctors Vote? A WHYY piece Dr. Frayha did for The Pulse, in which she interviewed Dr. Goel!
April 9, 2019
Episode 40: Beyond Pixar - Self-Care and the System
Dr. Neda Frayha is back with internist and educator Dr. Todd Cassese as well as Lawrence Levy, the former CFO of Pixar and co-creator of the non-profit Juniper Foundation to continue their conversation about physician wellness and burnout. Here they talk about the need for continuous self-care rather than "checkbox yoga," and how to change the system while also working on ourselves to find joy in our work. This is part 2 of a conversation that originally aired on Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.
April 3, 2019
Episode 39: Beyond Pixar - Perfectionism, EQ, and the Middle Way
What does the former CFO of Pixar have to do with physician burnout and the culture of medicine? You're about to find out: our own Dr. Neda Frayha interviews Dr. Todd Cassese and Lawrence Levy, who helped build Pixar into the company it is today. Together they talk about changing professional cultures, the narrative of medicine being out of sync with the reality of medicine, perfectionism, emotional intelligence, and how Eastern philosophy's The Middle Way can apply to all of our lives. This is part 1 of a conversation that originally aired on Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.
March 7, 2019
Episode 38: Making Hard Decisions with Dr. Nikki Southall
Life is full of difficult decisions. So is a medical career. From specialty choices to residency program rank lists to job possibilities, the road of hard decisions can feel endless. Dr. Nikki Southall recently made a difficult choice in her career, and she shares her approach to decision-making with us. Let's gather some information, lean on the wisdom of others, and get comfortable with some discomfort.
February 11, 2019
Episode 37: Women in Surgery and SO MUCH MORE with Dr. Kim Lumpkins
This was supposed to be a conversation about life as a surgeon, and life as a woman in surgery. And it is. But it is also a brutally honest and often hilarious conversation about how to choose a specialty, identify mentors and sponsors, fail at something every now and then, and prioritize your mental health when the walls are crashing down around you. In this conversation, Dr. Kim Lumpkins shares her path to becoming a pediatric surgeon and urologist, and So. Much. More.
January 22, 2019
Episode 36: Transforming the SOM Culture with Dr. Nancy Lowitt
In November 2018, the Baltimore Sun published articles about a sexual harassment lawsuit and broader workplace culture concerns at the UMSOM. In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Nancy Lowitt, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development and now Director of the Culture Transformation Initiative, to learn what changes are happening at the medical school as a result. How do we transform a workplace culture? What comes next?
January 10, 2019
Episode 35: The Social Justice Track with Dr. Darlene Robinson and Breanna Tracey
Happy new year! We kick off 2019 with a conversation about social justince, implicit bias, social determinants of health, and patient advocacy with the course director of our Social Justice elective, Dr. Darlene Robinson, and the third year medical student Breanna Tracey. We talk about what advocacy means, why it's so important for us as clinicians, and where to begin if the endeavor feels too overwhelming at first.
Resources: AAMC Government Affairs and Advocacy
Jama Oncology article by Dr. Darlene Robinson – The Patient I Thought I Knew
November 19, 2018
Episode 34: In Shock with Dr. Rana Awdish
We've got another special episode for you: an in-depth, personal conversation with Dr. Rana Awdish, pulmonary and critical care physician and author of the incredible memoir, In Shock. She shares her experiences as a young, critically ill patient in her own hospital and what she learned from that harrowing time. We also explore why doctors become jaded and what it means to really connect with other human beings, even when it's hard. This is one of our all-time favorite conversations. It originally aired on the Hippo Education podcast Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives.
November 5, 2018
Episode 33: The Health Care Market? I'm Not Buying It
How is being a health care consumer like buying a TV? If we all need car insurance in order to drive a car, why is health insurance so controversial? In this episode, our own MS4 Daniel Imas runs the show with Professor Diane Hoffmann from the University of Maryland School of Law and Dr. Neda Frayha. Listen in and join their discussion about the health care markets and how physicians can help our patients navigate this stressful landscape.
October 17, 2018
Episode 32: Communicating with Vaccine Skeptics with Dr. Paul Offit
We have a very special episode for you today! Dr. Paul Offit is a world-renowned vaccine expert and pediatric infectious diseases specialist who has been on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and 60 Minutes, among many other shows. He just happened to go to the University of Maryland for medical school, and he is passionate about educating others on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. He sat down with our own Dr. Neda Frayha, as well as her friend and colleague Dr. Solomon Behar, to share tips and tools for how we can communicate more effectively with our patients who may be skeptical about vaccines. This conversation was recorded for and originally aired on the Hippo Education podcast Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives.
October 4, 2018
Episode 31: Revisiting the Residency Interview
One year ago, we aired one of our favorite podcast episodes to date: a candid and funny perspective on the residency interview process with Dr. Hillary Hosier. At the time of our conversation, Hillary was a graduating medical student. Now, she's in her Ob/Gyn residency at Yale, and her words of wisdom about interview season are as relevant as ever. From packing dryer sheets to creative stalling tactics if you get asked a difficult question, Dr. Hosier tells it like it is.
September 18, 2018
Episode 30: Step 2 CK
Wouldn’t it be nice if Step 1 were the last standardized exam you ever had to take? Of course it would! But the reality is that Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) is lurking right around the corner.
In this episode, we break down Step 2 CK with two wonderful guests: Ms. Jennifer Llewellyn, Academic Support Coordinator for the Office of Medical Education, and MS4 Nora Loughry, who offers us her crucial student perspective on this exam and how to prepare for it. Get ready to bust some myths and learn some pearls when it comes to CK.
August 30, 2018
Episode 29: New Beginnings with Dr. Olga Ioffe, Continued
Our last episode featured the obstacles and adventures Dr. Olga Ioffe faced as she immigrated to the United States and began her medical training all over again. In this episode, we continue our conversation and learn more about impostor syndrome, whether a specialty choice is like a soulmate, and the one memory from Dr. Ioffe’s journey from the Soviet Union that continues to haunt her dreams.
August 15, 2018
Episode 28: New Beginnings with Dr. Olga Ioffe
In January 2017, the journalist Julia Ioffe published an article in The Atlantic about her family’s journey from the Soviet Union to the United States as refugees. She wrote about her mother, a pediatric ear, nose, and throat surgeon, who had to flee her home country with her two young daughters due to religious persecution. Her mother is none other than Dr. Olga Ioffe, Professor of Pathology and well known educator at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Sometimes, the people we see every day have incredible stories to share. This is one of those stories. Coming to America as a refugee
June 25, 2018
Episode 27: Self-Care with Dr. John Allen
The OSA has a new faculty member! It’s Dr. John Allen, a UMSOM alum who is starting his career in academic medicine. Dr. Allen just finished his chief resident year and has lived through burnout, exhaustion, and even deterioration in his own health before realizing that in order to care for other people, he needs to care for himself. He is doing great now, and he is passionate about student and physician wellness. Here he shares his thoughts on being a whole person outside of work, learning to let go of other people’s expectations of you, and incorporating mindfulness into daily life so that we catch ourselves before we crash and burn.
Physician, heal thyself? Why more young doctors are depressed. WHYY’s The Pulse. February 2017. https://whyy.org/segments/physician-heal-thyself-why-more-young-doctors-are-depressed/
May 15, 2018
Episode 26: Hitting the Career Jackpot with Dr. Sandra Quezada
In medical school and residency, it's hard to lift up and see the long-term view of your career. Dr. Sandra Quezada remembers that feeling. Since then, she has had an adventure-filled path to the career she enjoys now, which includes so many components she loves: inflammatory bowel disease, medical school admissions, medical Spanish, and now diversity and inclusion within medical education. Find out how she pursued individual passions to hit the jackpot in her career.
April 19, 2018
Episode 25: Applying to Residency Programs, Part 2: Deciding on Programs and Interviewing
It’s time for part 2 of our series on the residency application process! In this episode, Dr. Donna Parker and Dr. Joe Martinez will cover how to actually select programs that could be the right fit for you, recent changes in the residency application landscape, interviewing tips and OSA resources to help you along the way. Applying to residency is a big, sometimes overwhelming process, but this episode (along with episodes 15, 21 and 24) can help make it all a little easier.
March 26, 2018
Episode 24: Applying to Residency Programs, Part 1 - Scheduling, Step 2, LoRs, Personal Statements, and MSPEs
As 4th year medical students celebrate the Match and look forward to new adventures, it’s time for 3rd year students to jump on the wild ride that is the residency application process. We’ve got you covered with this series on what you need to know for this momentous and sometimes anxiety-provoking journey. In part 1, Dr. Donna Parker and Dr. Joe Martinez will explore how to maximize your early 4th year schedule, whom to ask for letters of recommendation, how to craft a personal statement, and just what on earth is the MSPE? Buckle your seatbelts, take a deep breath, and enjoy the ride. Resources: OSA Residency Application Manual: http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/osa/Residency-Application-Manual-/#d.en.149536 Careers in Medicine: https://www.aamc.org/cim/ NRMP: http://www.nrmp.org/intro-to-main-residency-match/
March 12, 2018
Episode 23: Financial Health and Student Debt
Alright, here it is: the topic you've been asking for since the podcast first launched. Money. Debt. Your financial health as you plan for the future. We solicited your questions and posed them to Ms. Patricia Scott, the head of financial aid for the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, and Dr. Phil Dittmar, Assistant Professor of Medicine and frequent speaker on personal finance management as a practicing physician. We’ll dive into tools for creating a smart budget, the pros and cons of loan refinancing, strategies to achieve financial health in the future, and so much more.
February 7, 2018
Episode 22: Work-Life Balance with Dr. Rana Malek
Work-life balance is a fuzzy concept and elusive goal for many medical students and doctors alike. How do we achieve our academic and professional goals while still having enough time for family, friends, and hobbies? Is this even possible? We ask Dr. Rana Malek, an incredibly productive and accomplished clinician educator and endocrinologist who is also a caring and devoted family member and friend, how she manages to do it all. Some of her tips include breaking up your day into shifts, building the right team around you, and letting go of the idea of perfection.
January 10, 2018
Episode 21: Rank Lists, SOAP, and Match Day
January is a time for new year’s resolutions, wintry weather, and creating rank lists. For fourth-year medical students around the country, it all comes down to this: submitting a rank-ordered list of residency programs where you hope to match. How do you craft a rank list? What’s the etiquette for communicating with program directors about your top choices? What if you’re in the couples match? And just what is SOAP? Deep breaths: in this episode, Dr. Donna Parker and Dr. Joe Martinez explain it all. Come along as they take us on a journey through rank lists, SOAP, and Match Day itself.
December 12, 2017
Episode 20: Picking a Specialty with Dr. Beth Lamos
One of the most requested topics for this podcast is how to pick a specialty. In this episode, our last of 2017, we begin a conversation about how to choose a career path. Our guest is Dr. Beth Lamos, an endocrinologist and future faculty member in the OSA! Also in this episode: a personal announcement from our host and producer, Dr. Frayha. Wishing all our listeners a happy holiday season and a joyful, healthy 2018!
November 20, 2017
Thanksgiving Bonus! Episode 19: Career Surprises with Dr. Nirav Shah
Dr. Nirav Shah wears many hats: course director, fellowship program director, pulmonologist, intensivist, and researcher, not to mention husband, father, and an active member of his community of friends and family. His path to medicine started off with a major setback, and his positive attitude and work ethic have propelled him forward ever since. In this episode, we’ll get to know Dr. Shah and learn about his career decisions, important mentors who’ve helped him, and how he finds meaning and joy in his life.
November 20, 2017
Episode 18: Health Care in the News with Dr. Norman Retener
Health care policy has been all over the news in 2017. Throughout the spring, summer, and fall of this year, repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has been a major focus for President Trump and some members of the U.S. House and Senate. In this episode, Dr. Norman Retener explains current events in health care policy (think AHCA, BCRA, skinny repeal, and Graham-Cassidy) in a way that’s clear, understandable, and applicable to all of us as we care for patients. As usual, this conversation between Dr. Retener and Dr. Frayha reflects only their views and does not represent the School of Medicine or the University of Maryland at large.
November 1, 2017
Episode 17: Failures, Setbacks, and Mistakes - Part 2
“There are opportunities for failure around every corner.” That’s a quote from John Allen, one of our contributors and storytellers for this episode on disappointments, mistakes, and that awful feeling of failure. In this episode, we continue our conversation about setbacks in medical school and beyond, and how to move forward when you’ve failed at something. We'll hear from residents and faculty members about the moments that haunt them and the coping strategies that helped them.
October 12, 2017
Episode 16: Failures, Setbacks, and Mistakes - Part 1
The path of a physician is paved with mistakes and setbacks. Sometimes, the mistakes are small. Sometimes, they're major, even impacting the health of our patients. How can we deal with failures and mistakes throughout our career? How can we cope with feelings of guilt and disappointment? How do we keep moving forward? In this episode, we hear a StoryCorps-like conversation between Dr. Natalie O'Neill, a senior surgical resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and her husband, Brandon. Dr. O'Neill lets us in on all the micro-failures that feel miserable in the moment and eventually lead to learning and growth. In Part 2, we'll hear from many physicians about difficult setbacks in their own careers.
September 28, 2017
Episode 15: Interviewing for Residency
The residency interview process can be a wild ride. Whether it's the mad dash to respond to interview offers, saving money on cross-country travel, shining brightly on the interview day itself, or figuring out how to rank all those programs afterward, we've got you covered. Last winter we sat down with (now Dr.) Hillary Hosier, president of the class of 2017 and current Ob/Gyn resident at Yale. She is full of concrete, funny, practical tips to survive and even thrive on the interview trail.
September 12, 2017
Episode 14: Andrea Avery: A Patient's Perspective
So far, our podcast has focused on student experiences along the path to becoming a physician. In this episode, we'll begin to explore what it's like to be a patient. Andrea Avery is an English teacher and writer who lives in Phoenix, AZ. She and our host became friends in high school, where Andrea was a phenomenal piano player learning to deal with her diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis. Andrea is super smart, funny, and full of sparkling light. She tells us about the pitfalls of being a good patient, being "bi-abled," and an orthopedic surgeon who changed her life with a game of tic-tac-toe. Through her stories, she sheds light on what it's like to be a patient, and how med students and physicians can be their best selves as care providers.
August 28, 2017
Episode 13: Art Cohen
For 45 years, Art Cohen has been an alcohol and drug abuse counselor at the University of Maryland Medical Center, helping our sickest and most complex patients through the darkest times in their lives. If you walk around the hospital with him, you'll feel like you're with a celebrity. Patients, nurses, custodial staff, doctors, the person who sells you your cup of coffee in the morning - they all come up to Art, hug him, laugh about life. That's because he makes every person feel valued and important. In this episode, we learn about Art's life, why he was a "bad kid," how his own life changed after a difficult few years, and how he knew that helping people with addictions was his passion. He also shares his approach to interviewing and caring for patients, as well as a few memorable patient stories. Art's retiring, and he tells us it's not easy to say goodbye to a place after 45 years. For everyone who knows Art, it's definitely not easy to say goodbye to him.
August 14, 2017
Episode 12: Getting to Know Your OSA
What exactly IS the OSA? And who are the OSA deans? In this episode, we introduce you to... us! Drs. Parker, Martinez, and Frayha answer student questions, dive into the role of the Office of Student Affairs, and share some stories about our own lives. Think family, hobbies, regrets from residency, our favorite parts of working in the OSA, and how we landed in academics in the first place. Get to know us better, so we can get to know you better.
August 3, 2017
Episode 11: Starting Medical School
We love to cover transitions in this podcast. Transitions like the leap to third-year clerkships, or from med school to internship. Today, we are taking it back to the very beginning of the journey. Our new first years are starting soon, and the entire world of medical school will be new to them. To help welcome them to the family, today’s episode has advice, tips, and happy memories from Class of 2020 president Brigit Baglien as well as our OSA deans. This is where it all begins.
July 18, 2017
BONUS! Episode 10: Finding Your Passion with Dr. Devang Patel
The road to fulfillment – personal and professional – is filled with surprises. Dr. Devang Patel, an Infectious Diseases physician and preclinical course director at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, had many unexpected a-ha moments along his career path. At each twist and turn, he was open to the possibility. He embraced new adventures and learned as much as possible from different mentors. He shares with us how he made major life decisions and followed his passion along the way.
June 26, 2017
Episode 9: Transition to Third Year: Student Perspectives
Going from the second to third year of medical school can feel like one of life’s biggest transitions. All of a sudden, you’re taking care of real patients, working on clinical teams, putting in long hours at the hospital, and still studying at night. Two medical students, Ida Ahmadizadeh and Stefano Muscatelli, who just finished their third year – and did incredibly well throughout all of their clerkships – share words of wisdom, what surprised them the most about their new roles, and how to cope with difficult moments.
May 14, 2017
Episode 8: Transition to Residency, Part 2
It’s that time of year when fourth-year students graduate from medical school and get ready to begin their new lives as interns. To help ease the anxiety of this scary time, we bring you part two of our series on transitioning to residency. Dr. Barathi Sivasailam, a UMSOM grad and Internal Medicine resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center, shares her tips for surviving internship and staying sane. Find out why she thinks event planners would make really good interns.
May 2, 2017
Episode 7: Step 1 - A Student Perspective
Back in episode 4, we broke down the USMLE Step 1 exam and discussed resources and test-taking strategies with Ms. Llewellyn, our school’s Academic Support Coordinator. For this episode, we sit down with Katie Mistretta, a current student who did wonderfully on the test. Her advice is positive and bright and funny, and also very real. Find out how to stay sane and healthy throughout the weeks leading up to the exam, and some helpful strategies for game day itself.
April 18, 2017
Episode 6: Burnout
At times, medical school can be an incredibly difficult experience. The constant studying, stress, and pressure to perform can feel endless, and turn students into people they no longer recognize. In this episode, we begin a conversation about burnout: how to manage it, where to go for help, and strategies to maintain a healthy outlook when times are hard. Featuring thoughts from the OSA as well as voices of recent graduates who share their own stories and advice.
“To fight physician burnout, I’m making a binder of medical successes.”
“Medical school burnout: How to take care of yourself.”
“Medical student wellness: Blueprints for the curriculum of the future.”
April 6, 2017
Episode 5: Transition to Residency
The leap from medical school to internship can be one of the most frightening, stressful, exhilarating times of a young doctor’s life. As part of our series on transitioning to residency, we sit down with Dr. Nubia Seyoum, a UMSOM grad and Emergency Medicine resident at the University of Maryland Medical Center. She shares her approach to managing fear, staying organized, and becoming familiar with totally new surroundings. .
March 21, 2017
Episode 4: Preparing for Step 1
Studying for (and taking) Step 1 can be one of the most stressful times in a medical student's life. Plus, there is so much information out there on how to prepare for this major exam. Sometimes, it's hard to know where to begin. In this episode, we break down the test and how to conquer it with Ms. Jennifer Llewellyn, Academic Support Coordinator at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She shares resources, tips, and strategies to make this chapter of med school a successful one.
March 10, 2017
Episode 3: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Life as a med student and then physician is full of big decisions. Should you stay where you are? Or should you go someplace different? We’re starting a new series about this special fork in the road, where we’ll learn how physicians make these choices in their own lives. The first person we’ll hear from is Dr. Bob Shin, a neuroophthalmologist and MS expert who just went through a major career change himself. His advice about decision-making is funny, wise, and down-to-earth. Find out why he doesn't recommend following in his footsteps.
February 21, 2017
Episode 2: Intro to the ACA
The Affordable Care Act - and what might happen to it - has been all over the news lately. In this episode, we explain the basics of the ACA, some of its successes and challenges, and what the future might hold for health care coverage in the United States. This is part 1 of an ongoing health policy conversation featuring Dr. Norman Retener, a hospitalist, teacher, and ICM-1 course director.
February 6, 2017
Episode 1: Wellness
Our first episode is on a topic that applies to all of us: wellness. How to thrive. Not just in medicine, but as a human being. Dr. Delia Chiaramonte, a faculty member in Family Medicine and the Center for Integrative Medicine, teaches us about the perils of black and white thinking, the benefits of gratitude rituals, and how taking a shower can be an act of meditation.
Health Journeys - Guided Imagery and Visualization
Health Journeys is a leading producer and distributor of guided meditation and mind-body products. Learn how guided imagery by Belleruth Naparstek can help you.
January 9, 2017
OSA Insider Preview
Want to know what the OSA Insider is all about? Join host Dr. Neda Frayha for a preview of this new podcast about medical student life and the journey to becoming a physician.