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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.


May 30, 2024

Episode 112: Charm City Checkup with Dr. Caroline Knoop

Graduating Pediatrics resident Dr. Caroline Knoop had an innovative idea for her scholarly project in residency: create a podcast about social justice issues in Baltimore for Pediatrics residents, by a Pediatric resident. And so, Charm City Checkup was born. Listen in as Dr. Knoop shares how she got the brand new podcast off the ground, the lessons she's learned along the way, and how she studied the impact of her podcast for her residency's research symposium. 

April 30, 2024

Episode 111: Top 10 OME Myths with Dr. Joe Martinez

There are a lot of myths floating around when it comes to the Office of Medical Education (OME) and the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Myths like, if a student visits these offices, it will show up on their residency application, or visiting the student counseling center will make its way back to the med school deans. False and false! In this episode, Dr. Joe Martinez, Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Experience, sits down with Dr. Frayha to debunk the top 10 myths about how the OME and OSA work with our students.

April 8, 2024

Episode 110: The Peer Support Network with M3s Nicol Tugarinov and Alanna Stefano

What do you do if you need help with something in medical school, or you have a question about life in Baltimore, and you don't quite feel like asking a faculty member? That's what the Peer Support Network is for. Two almost-fourth-year students, Alanna Stefano and Nicol Tugarinov, share everything you need to know about the Peer Support Network - what it is, how to become involved, how peer support leaders are trained, the kinds of questions they're happy to help with, and so much more.

The Peer Support Network from the OSA Academic Handbook


March 8, 2024

Episode 109: UMSOM History, Larry Pitrof, and the Medical Alumni Association

Match Day is coming up soon, and each year, the Match Day celebration at our medical school is sponsored by the Medical Alumni Association. This organization - much like the School of Medicine - has been around since 1800's. Its office is located in Davidge Hall, the oldest medical education building in the United States in continuous use. And its executive director, Mr. Larry Pitrof, has been leading the organization since 1994 - for 30 years.

In late February, I visited him in Davidge Hall to learn more about his life and what he's seen throughout his decades at our medical school. On the day of our interview, Davidge Hall was filled with activity - renovations, HVAC installation, contractors everywhere. And I felt such powerful nostalgia being in that space. Memories from my first week of med school and from my own Match Day, among so many other milestones. Larry and I got to talk about the history of Davidge Hall and of the SOM, why he was drawn to our Medical Alumni Association in the first place, how the MAA helps medical students and alumni, and, after 30 years, what comes next for him.

February 26, 2024

Episode 108: Step 1 Pass/Fail- Then and Now

Four years ago, we learned that the USMLE Step 1 exam would become graded on a Pass/Fail basis, rather than each student receiving a 3-digit score. We covered this change in episode 54 of the OSA Insider, featuring an interview with national expert Dr. J Bryan Carmody. This change went live in January 2022, and we can't help but wonder: where do things stand today? Why did this switch to P/F happen in the first place? Are things better? How are med students feeling about Step 1, anxiety-wise? And how is the UMSOM responding to the current moment? Dr. Nirav Shah and Dr. Devang Patel answer all of these questions and more in their conversation with host Dr. Neda Frayha.


January 30, 2024

Episode 107: Just Culture with Dr. Nidhi Goel

Think about the last time you made a mistake. Now, imagine this happened at work, with a patient, and that your clinical setting is a punitive place where people are shamed for their mistakes. Would you want to tell anyone about this error?
What if, instead, you worked somewhere that embraced open conversation about errors, and looked without judgement at all the factors that might lead to mistakes?
This is at the heart of of Just Culture- a philosophy and process that looks at both the individual and the system in a non-punitive way to figure out where something went wrong, and how we can all learn from it and make changes so it doesn't happen again.
Our guest for this episode is Dr. Nidhi Goel- UMSOM alum, Med Peds physician, a leader in quality and safety for both the medicine and pediatrics departments at our hospital, and Director of the Medicine Clerkship- for a practical conversation on exactly what Just Culture is and how it impacts our students. Spoiler alert: she shares a real-world example of the Just Culture process that our team will never forget.



December 12, 2023

Episode 106: Get to Know UMB President Bruce Jarrell, M.D.

As we close out 2023, we get to become acquainted with Dr. Bruce Jarrell, transplant surgeon and President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore. He taught our host Dr. Neda Frayha when she was a medical student, so this reunion conversation felt very special. We learn about his decision to pursue surgery as a career, his approach to leadership, his path to the presidency of UMB, how he thinks of UMB and its role in the surrounding community, and his advice for all students listening.

November 21, 2023

Episode 105: A Gap Year Before Residency with MS4 Manaahil Rao

We are continuing our series on fourth-year students pursuing creative, slightly nontraditional paths to achieving their long-term career goals, this time with MS4 Manaahil Rao. She will be taking a gap year in between med school and residency. What will she be doing? How does she hope this experience will help her as a physician? And will she really come back to clinical training? Listen in for answers to all these questions and more. The road to being a physician is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor, as you'll hear in this episode.

October 27, 2023

Episode 104: All About Preventive Medicine

Preventive Medicine is a fantastic field that can feel like a bit of a mystery. We don't always learn about it as a residency option or know what a career in preventive medicine might look like. This episode will change all of that. In this conversation with preventive medicine physicians and leaders Dr. Marissa Khajavi and Dr. Cara Dooley, we'll shine a light on preventive medicine, how to know if it might be a good fit for you, what different roles in the field might look like, and how to learn more about it.

September 20, 2023

Episode 103: Gap Years with MS4 Kimia Abtahi

Have you ever wondered about taking a gap year during medical school? There are so many factors that go into this decision. What you would do, what you hope to accomplish, how you will make it all happen, and what it's like to join a whole new medical school class when your gap year is done.

Fourth year medical student Kimia Abtahi wants to shine a light on this topic. She suggested this episode covering gap years, to demystify and even destigmatize the idea of taking a year away from medical school to do something else. You'll hear all about her experiences, why a gap year might be a good idea, and how the process of it all works. 

Spoiler alert: she loved her gap year! At the end, you'll also hear from Dr. Beth Lamos from the OSA's perspective and support.


OSA Academic Handbook Section on Leaves, Gaps, and Breaks from the Curriculum

August 19, 2023

Episode 102: Global Health with MS2 Sarina Maini and Dr. Devang Patel

In this special, student-led episode, MS2 Sarina Maini and Dr. Frayha speak with Dr. Devang Patel about the importance of global health, what a career in global health might look like, helpful resources and opportunities at UMB and the SOM, and the importance of entering clinical experiences around the world with an open mind and appreciation for local practices.

Resources for students:                                                                                               



July 24, 2023

Episode 101: From Adaptive to Maladaptive: When Good Habits Go Bad

As we start a new academic year, Dr. Frayha has been reflecting on the habits that help us survive, and even thrive, in medical school and beyond. How many of these habits are adaptive at first, and then become maladaptive? Why don't we take stock of these habits more often, and assess whether a given behavior (perfectionism, people-pleasing, desire for control, hypervigilance, the list goes on) is still serving us or our patients? In this episode, she shares some guidance around creating opportunities to reevaluate our own ways of being and working, and deciding with intention which habits we should continue versus which ones we should leave behind.

May 15, 2023

Episode 100: Two MS4s Reflect on Leadership Lessons

Graduating medical students Grace Begnell and Nick Fioravante have learned a lot from their leadership experiences. And in this episode, being released just days before our SOM 4th years graduate, Nick and Grace share how they found their way to leadership roles, the best and hardest parts of being leaders, what has surprised them along the way, and how all students can tap into their inner leader. They say it's easier than you think. This episode is part of our ongoing Personal Growth Program series, where we explore skills and habits to help all of us be the best people we can be, in addition to the best medical students and doctors. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate our 100th episode than by featuring the voices of two graduating medical students as they reflect on leadership.


April 3, 2023

Episode 99: Tess Gillis Can Help

Ms. Tess Gillis, Senior Academic Development Specialist at the SOM, is here to help you. She works with students across all four years of medical school on personal academic goals, learning differences, specific struggles, and even when things are going well. She is a wealth of information, a fountain of helpful resources, and a wonderful person. In this episode, we get to know her as a person and also as a resource for our med students. Take a listen, and stop by to "Talk with Tess."

March 2, 2023  Dr. Elizabeth Lamos

Episode 98: Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? Chances are, the answer is yes, at least some of the time. How can perfectionism help us, and also how can it hold us back? When do we know the difference? How can we train our brains for the better? Dr. Beth Lamos and Dr. Marissa Flaherty are back with our Personal Growth Program series, this time tackling all things perfectionism.

February 15, 2023

Episode 97: Get to Know Dean Mark Gladwin

There's a new Dean in town! In this special episode, we sit down with SOM Dean Mark Gladwin to learn about his first year as Dean, the unique opportunities facing both the SOM and the medical profession at large, and how he hopes to prepare our medical students for the future. 

February 2, 2023  Dr. Elizabeth Lamos

Episode 96: Communication Skills

We are continuing our Personal Growth Series with Dr. Marissa Flaherty and Dr. Beth Lamos, this time with a conversation on communication skills in med school and beyond. How can we work on our communication styles to be as effective as possible, in both preclinical and clinical years? How can we "read the room" when we enter into a new setting? How have we messed up in our own communication attempts through the years? Listen in for answers to all these questions and more.

January 9, 2023MS4 Chloe Snow - Insider Podcast Guest

Episode 95: A Current MS4's Brave Career Path

After our episode featuring SOM alum Dr. Alice Chen's career at the FDA and NIH, MS4 Chloe Snow reached out to us to share that she, too, would be choosing a nonclinical path after medical school. In Chloe's case, she'll be pursuing a career in management consulting. She shares how she came to this decision, what she'll be doing, and how to embrace a career path that may be a little bit different from what everyone else is doing. Spoiler alert: she is so excited for what comes next! Her experiences and wisdom are relevant to any major life decision, clinical or otherwise.


December 7,2022

Episode 94: A Personal Story (Woman, Life, Freedom)

Time Magazine just announced that their Heroes of the Year are the Women of Iran. Today we're bringing you a personal story about these heroes, an essay written and recorded by our host Dr. Neda Frayha. This was originally written and recorded for Mighty Forces, where it was published under the title "Iranian Women Are A Mighty Force."

Iranian Women Are A Mighty Force

November 15, 2022  Dr. Elizabeth Lamos

Episode 93: Procrastination

Today we are continuing our conversation on organization and time management as part of the OSA's Personal Growth Program, with a focus on procrastination - how it happens and how to deal with it. Dr. Beth Lamos and Dr. Marissa Flaherty are back to share pearls, insights, and tips for managing procrastination in our lives.

October 30, 2022  Dr. Elizabeth Lamos

Episode 92: Improving Your Organization and Time Management Skills

In the OSA, Dr. Marissa Flaherty and Dr. Beth Lamos are spearheading a Personal Growth Program to help medical students keep growing and developing as human beings in addition to future physicians. With topics like Confidence, Communication Styles, Purpose, Passion, Relationships, and Leadership, their monthly series helps us tend to all the parts of our humanity that are so easy to forget in med school.

In this conversation, Drs. Lamos, Flaherty and Frayha cover Organization and Time Management skills that can help you throughout your entire lives, really. From task batching to bullet booking to calendar management tools, they cover concrete strategies to help you become more organized and efficient. Later this month, we'll feature a follow-up conversation on procrastination and how to manage the most common time sucks in our busy lives.

October 12, 2022

Episode 91: Get to Know the OSA's Dr. Marissa Flaherty

Dr. Marissa Flaherty is the newest faculty member in the OSA, a graduate of the UMSOM class of 2014, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and an all around awesome human. In this episode, we get to learn about her, her career trajectory, how she chose her specialty, and what she is most passionate about when it comes to mentoring and advising medical students.

UMB Educational Support and Disability Serivces: Disability Services

Transcription of OSA Insider Episode on ESDS 

September 15, 2021Dr. John Allen

Episode 79: Wellness at the SOM with Dr. John Allen

The topic of wellness in medical education has been on quite the journey in recent years. And the OSA's own Dr. John Allen has been on a journey with wellness as a medical student, resident, and attending physician. In this conversation, Dr. Allen shares his story as well as so many resources and tips for medical students seeking out their own wellness.

August 28, 2022 Portrait of interviewee for OSA Insider Podcast Episode 90.

Episode 90: The 4th Year Student Who Decided Against a Clinical Career

Imagine being a 4th year student and deciding that you're not going to pursue a clinical career. How much courage that would take, especially when everyone around you is applying to residency programs. Today, we get to meet Dr. Alice Chen, a UMSOM graduate who found herself in this exact position several years ago. She shares her story in this episode, including how her career has evolved since med school graduation, as well as incredible advice when it comes to making any major life decision. This episode is part of our ongoing series on SOM alumni who pursued fulfilling, fascinating, nontraditional careers after graduating from medical school.

UMB Educational Support and Disability Serivces: Disability Services

Transcription of OSA Insider Episode on ESDS 

July 22, 2022 Levi, Deborah

Episode 89: Educational Support and Disability Services with Ms. Deborah Levi

Have you ever wondered if you might need additional educational support? Do you feel like something is holding you back from functioning, studying, and working at your best? Today's podcast guest, Ms. Deborah Levi, the Director of UMB's Office of Educational Support and Disability Services, knows how to help. She shares helpful insights on how to define disability, understand if you might benefit from an accommodation, connect with her office, and so much more.

UMB Educational Support and Disability Serivces: Disability Services

Transcription of OSA Insider Episode on ESDS 

June 16, 2022 Ashai, Sara Malik, Rena

Episode 88: Mentorship Pearls with a Mentor-Mentee Duo

We are continuing our series on mentorship with a wonderful conversation between a real-life mentor and mentee: Dr. Rena Malik from the Department of Urology and MS4 Sara Ashai. They share what makes a mentor/mentee relationship successful, along with common pitfalls to avoid. This episode was Sara's idea, and we're so glad she made this happen!

May 3, 2022 

Episode 87: Financial Wellness with Ms. Sofia Cascio

Sofia Cascio

We are continuing our series on living our best lives, this time with concrete tools and strategies to help us achieve financial wellness throughout medical school and beyond. Our special guest is Ms. Sofia Cascio, MBA, the school's first Director of Student Financial Planning. We get into creating and maintaining a budget that makes sense, debt management, and other tools to help us make the smartest financial decisions we can.

April 12, 2022

Episode 86: The Student Counseling Center with Dr. Cassie Moon

We all need help sometimes, and the Student Counseling Center at UMB is here for just that reason. We sit down with Dr. Cassie Moon from the counseling center to learn all about the resources available to students, how to access them, overcoming barriers to care, and the importance of recognizing that we are human beings before anything else.

March 21, 2022 Tekeste, Rebka    Snow, Chloe 

Episode 85: Mentorship Success: Mentee Perspectives with Chloe Snow and Dr. Rebka Tekeste

With Match Day 2022 in the books, we wanted to bring you a conversation on mentorship, including how to find an excellent mentor and how to cultivate helpful, strong mentor/mentee relationships. MS3 Chloe Snow and Pediatrics Chief Resident Dr. Rebka Tekeste share their strategies for success as mentees.

February 15, 2022

Episode 84: Outpatient Treatments for Covid-19 with Dr. Devang Patel

So much has changed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, including all the new treatment options for outpatients with SARS-CoV-2 infection. From oral medications to IV infusions, the range of options can feel overwhelming. Which treatment should we prescribe when? And for which patients? How does the omicron variant surge affect our choices? What’s even available? In this conversation originally recorded for Hippo Education, our own Dr. Devang Patel joins host Dr. Neda Frayha to break it all down for us. Feel free to check out the quick reference medication table as an added resource.


January 31, 2022 Reid-Maurice

Episode 83: Nontraditional Career Paths and Entrepreneurship with Dr. Maurice Reid

It is so easy to go through medical school without being exposed to the range of career paths available, regardless of which specialty you pursue. And so, we are starting a new series on alums who have gone on to enjoy "nontraditional" career paths. In this episode, we hear from Dr. Maurice Reid (of the Reid Rooms!) about his career in Emergency Medicine and then as an entrepreneur who started his own highly successful business.


December 13, 2021 Dr. Elizabeth Lamos Hesselgrave, Natalie

Episode 82: Family Care Leave at the SOM

Ever wondered how to request family care leave while in medical school? We've got you covered. Dr. Beth Lamos from the OSA shares everything we need to know about the new Family Care Leave policy at the UMSOM, and Dr. Natalie Hesselgrave, MS4 in the MD/PhD program, offers her perspective on family leave and juggling medical school with parenthood.


November 16, 2021Kristin Reavis

Episode 81: Diversity and Inclusion with Dr. Kristin Reavis

Dr. Kristin Reavis wears many hats, including UMSOM alum, family medicine physician, Program Director of the Family and Community Medicine residency program at the University of Maryland, and Director of Student Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of Student Affairs. In this conversation, she tells us about her path to where she is now, her work in the D&I space for our students, and some of her biggest surprises, successes, and challenges in this role.

October 27, 2021 Kalyanaraman,MD, Nilesh

Episode 80: Being a County Health Officer in a Pandemic

The covid pandemic has been challenging for all front-line clinicians. Can you imagine if you were in charge of the public health of an entire county? In this very special conversation, Dr. Frayha sits down with Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, Anne Arundel County Health Officer in Maryland, to learn about his public health goals and personal challenges in the pandemic, and what we can learn from them. This conversation originally aired as part of Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.

August 25, 2021

Episode 78: Efficiency and Time Management in Clinic

Welcome to the start of a new school year! As our 3rd and 4th year students rotate through various clinical settings, we wanted to share this episode featuring lots of practical tips and tricks for maximizing efficiency in the outpatient clinical setting. The special guest is Dr. Nikki Southall, internist and head of ambulatory medical education at the Baltimore VA Medical Center, and you'll also hear the voice of Dr. Paul Simmons, a Family Medicine physician and clinician educator in Grand Junction, CO. This conversation first aired as part of Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.

July 23, 2021

Malina Howard Alexa Van Besien

Episode 77: Student Life in a Pandemic - MS3

Living through a global pandemic during med school is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. In this special series, we'll hear from different medical students about their experiences during covid and how the pandemic may shape their lives. In this episode, we feature Class of 2022 members Malina Howard and Lexi Van Besien.

June 22, 2021  wu, jocelyn  wang, chaoyang  

Episode 76: Student Life in a Pandemic - MS1/2

Living through a global pandemic during med school is a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon. In this special series, we'll hear from different medical students about their experiences during covid and how the pandemic may shape their lives. In this episode, we feature Class of 2023 members Jocelyn Wu and Chao Wang.

June 1, 2021 Levine, Andrea

Episode 75: Long Covid/PASC with Dr. Andi Levine

One consequence of the covid pandemic is Long Covid, or as it's now called, Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC). In this special clinical episode, we sit down with Dr. Andi Levine, pulmonologist, critical care physician, emerging PASC expert, and SOM alum to learn all about this challenging syndrome and how we can take the best care of our patients. This episode first aired on Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.

May 12, 2021  

Episode 74: "Lightning in a Bottle"

When Dr. Devang Patel and Dr. Phil Dittmar created the brand new Covid elective in the spring of 2020, they had no idea they would embark on one of the most exciting teaching experiences of their careers, and one of the most inspiring learning experiences for their students. Find out why Dr. Patel calls it "lightning in a bottle."

April 22, 2021   


Episode 73: A Pandemic "Panic Moment"

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives changed dramatically and all at once. Today, we hear from two friends of the podcast who, along with their colleagues, had to overhaul the way medical education was being delivered on a moment's notice: Dr. Devang Patel and Dr. Phil Dittmar.

March 31, 2021 kimberly lumpkins

Episode 72: Your Personal Mission Statement and Brand

What is your mission statement? What is your personal brand for your career? These are hard questions to answer, and Dr. Kim Lumpkins is here to help! Listen in as she and Dr. Frayha explore why this matters, how to develop your mission and brand statements, and how to keep revisiting and adjusting them to make the best career decisions for your life.

March 10, 2021  Deng, Joseph  Kurtom, Khalid

Episode 71: Personal Development and Self Improvement with Dr. Khalid Kurtom

Just in time for Match Week 2021, we have a student-led episode on self improvement, personal development, and minimizing future regret. MS2 Joseph Deng joins Dr. Frayha to interview neurosurgeon and generally fascinating person Dr. Khalid Kurtom on making good decisions, living your best life, and striving to grow and improve as a human being.

January 28, 2021 aronson, louise

Episode 69: Elderhood with Dr. Louise Aronson, Part 1

For most of us, people over the age of 65 make up a huge portion of the patients we see and the energy we pour into clinical care. And yet most of us receive woefully inadequate training to provide the best care for these patients and to overcome structural, systemic biases against the elderly. In this special conversation, our own Dr. Neda Frayha sits down with the amazing Dr. Louise Aronson, geriatrician and Professor of Medicine at UCSF and author of the fantastic book Elderhood to learn more about how we can take better care of our over-65 patients. This conversation originally aired on Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast


December 14, 2020  Dr. Elizabeth Lamos  Dr. John Allen 

Episode 68: 2020 Reflections

Well, 2020 has been a year. And it is finally coming to an end! Our host Dr. Neda Frayha knew the last podcast episode of the year had to be a heart-to-heart with her good friends, Dr. Elizabeth Lamos and Dr. John Allen. Together they reflect back on 2020 and share their honest thoughts, frustrations, fears, and hopes for 2021 and beyond.

November 9, 2020

kimberly lumpkins Shana Ntiri Leslie Gailloud

Episode 67: #MedBikini, "Professionalism," and Power

Remember the #MedBikini saga? No? Well, we’ve got you covered, not just about the social media movement itself but the larger lessons it illuminates on power structures, social media etiquette, what counts as “professional” behavior, and why the word “political” is used to diminish discussions about social justice. Our all-star panel for the episode includes Dr. Kimberly Lumpkins, Dr. Shana Ntiri, and MS3 Leslie Galloud.


Journal of Vascular Surgery

Women Doctors Ask

Viral #MedBikini to controversial manuscript leads editor to retract article

Medbikini backlash and apologies

Why doctors are posing in swimwear on social media

Journal to retract paper that spawned medbikini


October 2, 2020   Dr. Utibe Essien

Episode 66: Health Disparities and Diversity in Medicine with Dr. Utibe Essien

To continue our conversations on Race and Medicine, Dr. Neda Frayha and her Hippo Education colleague Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen sit down with noted health disparities researcher Dr. Utibe Essien, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Core Investigator for the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System. They explore reasons for disparities in the health care outcomes of our patients, disparities in the diversity of our medical profession, and the crucial bridge that connects these two. They close with three concrete steps we all can take to improve our clinical practice and reduce health disparities in our patient communities. This conversation originally aired on Hippo Education.


  1. Youmans Q, Essien U, Capers Q. A Test of Diversity — What USMLE Pass/Fail Scoring Means for Medicine. N Engl J Med. 2020; 382:2393-95.
  2. Gross CP, Essien UR, Pasha S, Gross JR, Wang SY, Nunez-Smith M. Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Population-Level Covid-19 Mortality [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 4]. J Gen Intern Med. 2020;1-3. doi:10.1007/s11606-020-06081-w
  3. Essien UR, Eneanya ND, Crews DC. Prioritizing Equity in a Time of Scarcity: The COVID-19 Pandemic [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 30]. J Gen Intern Med. 2020;1-3. doi:10.1007/s11606-020-05976-y
  4. Egbert A, et al. The Color of Coronavirus: Covid-19 deaths by race and ethnicity in the U.S. Published 5 August 2020. Accessed: 7 August 2020. The Color of Corona Virus

September 8, 2020giudice, erin

Episode 65: Interview with a Program Director

We have covered the residency application process before, but never from the perspective of a residency program director. In this episode, we learn all about Dr. Erin Giudice, PD ofthe Pediatrics residency program at the University of Maryland: her career path, leadership philosophy, how she measures success, and what she really looks for in applicants.

August 10, 2020

Episode 64: 88 Days in the Hospital

In this very special back-to-school episode, Dr. Frayha interviews one of her long-time primary care patients on his recent 88-day hospital stay, his particular experience as a patient, and what it takes for a doctor to feel like a family member. All of our school, training, and hard work ultimately lead up to this - the patient-doctor relationship.

July 29, 2020  

Episode 63: Renaissance Curriculum with Dr. Shah

These are exciting times at the School of Medicine! We are back for part 2 of our conversation on the new Renaissance Curriculum at the UMSOM, this time with Dr. Nirav Shah.

July 17, 2020

parrino, chirstopher

Episode 62: Renaissance Curriculum - A Student View

In case you haven't heard, the UMSOM is launching a brand new Renaissance Curriculum this year! In this first of two episodes on the Renaissance Curriculum, fourth-year student Christopher Parrino shares his views on the process behind the change, what will look different, and what he's most excited about.

June 26, 2020

Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen

Episode 61: Race and Medicine - An Introduction

We know that racism is a public health crisis. And to tide us over until future recordings with SOM leaders (both students and faculty) on anti-racism in medical education, we are bringing you a conversation on Race and Medicine between Dr. Frayha and Dr. Jay-Sheree Allen, a Family Medicine physician in Minnesota and host of the Millennial Health podcast. They explore the definition & types of racism, the past & present of racism in medicine, & strategies for us all to become true allies. This is the first of an ongoing series, and originally aired on the Hippo Education podcasts.


    1. LeRoy, G. AAFP Condemns All Forms of Racism. AAFP, May 2020.Accessed 11 June 2020.
    2. African American Physicians and Organized Medicine: Acknowledging our Painful Legacy. The Institute for Ethics at the AMA. AMA Accessed 11 June 2020.
    3. Ehrenfeld, J, Harris, P. Police Brutality Must Stop. AMA, May 2020. Police Brutality Must Stop Accessed 11 June 2020.
    4. Gantzer, H. Internists “Gravely Concerned” About Discrimination and Violence by Public Authorities and Others. ACPOnline, May 2020. Gravely Concerned Accessed 11 June 2020.
    5. Jones CP. Levels of Racism: A Theoretic Framework and a Gardener’s Tale. American Journal of Public Health, 2000; (90)8: 1212-1215. Accessed 11 June 2020. Levels of Racism
    6. Morse M, Loscalzo J. Perspective Creating Real Change at Academic Medical Centers — How Social Movements Can Be Timely Catalysts. The New England Journal of Medicine. June 2020. Creating Real Change at Academic Medical Centers Accessed 11 June 2020.
    7. Hardeman R, Medina E, Boyd R. Perspective Stolen Breaths. The New England Journal of Medicine. June 2020. Perspective Stolen Breaths Accessed 11 June 2020.
    8. Evans M, Rosenbaum L, Malina D, Morrissey S, Rubin E. Diagnosing and Treating Systemic Racism. The New England Journal of Medicine. June 2020. Diagnosing and Treating Systemic Racism Accessed 11 June 2020.

June 1, 2020

Dr Mangla GulatiDr. Jennifer Woodard

Episode 60: QI 101

We are taking a bit of a covid break and sharing our 2nd student-led episode! This is a conversation we recorded earlier with Dr. Jennifer Woodard, class of 2020, and Dr. Mangla Gulati on Quality Improvement - what it is, why we should all care about it, and how we can each do a better job at quality improvement and patient safety in our own lives.

‌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.

May 1, 2020

melissa shepard

Episode 59: Practical Mental Health Tips in the Pandemic

UMSOM class of 2015 alum and psychiatrist Dr. Melissa Shepard sits down with Dr. Neda Frayha for some real talk on the mental health challenges facing health care workers in the COVID-19 pandemic, and some concrete, tangible tools to help us get through this period. Spoiler alert: it’s more than yoga. This conversation originally aired on Hippo Education's podcasts.


    • Free mental health crisis line for physicians impacted by Covid-19 related issues, staffed by US Psychiatrists (support only, cannot prescribe medications). 1-888-409-0141. Physician Support Line
    • COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide. National Alliance on Mental Illness. COVID19 Updated Guide
    • Mental Health America, Mental Health And COVID-19 – Information And Resources
    • Darnall B. The COVID-19 Wellness and Coping Toolkit: 11 Tips for Health Care Workers, Patients, and the Public. Psychology Today, 31 March 2020. Psychology Today
    • Good Therapy. Good Therapy
    • Psychology Today, Find a Therapist.
    • Physician Support
    • Free access to Headspace Plus app (guided meditations) for healthcare professionals. Headspace
    • Center for Mind-Body Medicine at Georgetown. Introduction to evidenced-based techniques for helping people through and after trauma (things like guided imagery, body scans, breathing techniques) Center for Mind-Body Medicine


    • Lai J, Ma S, Wang Y, et al. Factors associated with mental health outcomes among health care workers exposed to coronavirus disease 2019. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(3):e203976. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.3976
    • Chen QC, Liang M, Li Y, et al. Mental health care for medical staff in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. Lancet Psychiatry 2020; 7(4):E15-16. doi:
    • Garfin DR, Silver RC, Holman EA. The novel coronavirus (COVID-2019) outbreak: Amplification of public health consequences by media exposure. Health Psychology. 2020 May;39(5): 355-357. Advance online publication. doi:
    • Rosenberg AR. Cultivating deliberate resilience during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. JAMA Pediatr. Published online April 14, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.1436
    • Galea S, Merchant RM, Lurie N. The mental health consequences of COVID-19 and physical distancing: the need for prevention and early intervention. JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 10, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.1562
    • Pfefferbaum B, North CS. Mental Health and the Covid-19 Pandemic. N Engl J Med. Published online April 13, 2020. doi:10.1056/NEJMp2008017

April 15, 2020 kimberly lumpkins

Episode 58: Lumpkins and Frayha on Coping in the Time of COVID

Times are weird. In the first week of April 2020, Drs. Kimberly Lumpkins and Neda Frayha had a conversation about what is going on in the world, how they're coping, and some healthier approaches moving forward.

April 1, 2020 

Episode 57: Covid-19 Q and A

These strange, scary days of the covid-19 pandemic are filled with uncertainty. In this special episode, we give space to your worries, answer some questions, and share guidance from experts on topics ranging from curriculum requirements to volunteer opportunities to finding room for hope.


Important guidance during COVID-19

Daily Life Coping/Managing Stress/Anxiety

How To Look After Your Mental Health During A Pandemic

Psychiatry Guide To Mental Health

Shortage Of Ventilators - Alternative Being Tested Next Week


March 12, 2020

Episode 56: COVID-19 Update

Our own Infectious Diseases specialist Dr. Devang Patel and our regular host Dr. Neda Frayha discuss the latest, clinician-focused updates on the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. This conversation originally aired on Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.

March 5, 2020

Vibha Rao

Episode 55: What If I Don't Match?

It's that time of year when 4th year students are just waiting for Match Day. In 2018, the residency match didn't go the way that Dr. Vibha Rao had hoped. Here she shares so much warmth, wisdom, and honesty about not matching the first time around, how it felt, what she did, and how she's doing now. (Spoiler alert: she's doing wonderfully and thriving in a residency program she loves.) Her story is about so much more than the match: it's about overcoming obstacles, leaning on support structures, and finding joy in surprising places.

February 20, 2020

Carmody, J. Bryan

Episode 54: #USMLEPassFail

On February 12, 2020, we learned that the USMLE Step 1 exam is going pass/fail in 2022. What does this mean? How will this affect medical students? How will residency program directors evaluate applicants? How should medical schools approach their curricula? Our own Dr. Neda Frayha sat down with Dr. J. Bryan Carmody, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a pediatric nephrologist at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA, to ask these questions about #USMLEPassFail and many others. Dr. Carmody is a leading voice on this subject nationwide; you can find him on Twitter and via his blog, The Sheriff of Sodium.


Change to Pass/Fail Score Reporting for Step 1. United States Medical Licensing Examination. (Accessed 15 Feb 2020)

Carmody JB. #USMLEPassFail: A Brave New Day. The Sheriff of Sodium. (Accessed 19 Feb 2020)

Carmody JB. Step 1 Mania: The Case for #USMLEPassFail. 28 April 2019. (Accessed 19 Feb 2020) Carmody JB, Rajasekaran SK. More on the Role of Step 1 of USMLE Step 1 in Resident Selection. Acad Med 2019; 94(7):921. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000002744

Carmody JB. On Residency Selection and the Quantitative Fallacy. J Grad Med Educ 2019; 11(4):420-421. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-19-00453.

Carmody JB, Sarkany D, Heitkamp DE. The USMLE Step 1 Pass/Fail Reporting Proposal: Another View. Acad Radiol 2019; 26(10):1403-1406.

Carmody JB, Rajasekaran SK. On Step 1 Mania, USMLE Score Reporting, and Financial Conflict of Interest at the National Board of Medical Examiners. Acad Med 2019 Dec 17. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003126. [Epub ahead of print]

February 11, 2020

Episode 53: Advice Column with Dr. Lumpkins - The Bigger Picture

kimberly lumpkins

We wrap up this mini-series of advice column episodes with Dr. Kimberly Lumpkins by looking ahead - to choosing a career, finding a job, and leading a purpose-driven life.

January 22, 2020

Episode 52: Advice Column with Dr. Lumpkins - Eye on the Prize

kimberly lumpkins

Happy new year! We kick off 2020 with part 2 of an ongoing series with Dr. Kimberly Lumpkins in which we ask her your advice questions. In this episode, we tackle surviving the preclinical years, what to do if your grades and scores are not where you hoped they might be, and whether or not all specialties are created equal.


December 5, 2019

Episode 51: Advice Column with Dr. Lumpkins - Relationshipslumpkins, kimberly

You asked for it - and here it is! Part 1 of an ongoing series with Dr. Kimberly Lumpkins in which we ask her your advice questions. In future episodes, we'll tackle why 2nd year can be so hard, what to do if you're not performing well academically, how to navigate toxic cultures, and how to find a job. But first, in today's episode, Dr. Lumpkins answers your relationship questions... what to look for in a partner, how to make relationships work in school and trainings, and whether or not to have kids.

November 20, 2019

kushner mikhel

Episode 50: Title IX

We hear a lot about Title IX, but how much do we really understand about it? What role does the Title IX office play in our lives at the SOM? We sit down with Ms. Mikhel Kushner, JD, MSW, who is the Title IX Coordinator and Executive Director for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Maryland, Baltimore to learn more about how, when, where, and why to report behavior that discriminates against others based on sex and gender.

- Title IX Hotline:
- Anonymous Reporting: 866-594-5220
- UMB Policy Prohibiting Sexual Misconduct and Other Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination
- Student Counseling Center (confidential) Phone: 410-328-8404; Fax: 410-328-5291
- Know Your IX: Empowering Students to Stop Sexual Violence
- Documentary: The Hunting Ground

October 24, 2019

silverman, emily

Episode 49: Storytelling in Medicine

Why does storytelling in medicine matter? How can it impact our lives, and the care we provide our patients, for the better? In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Emily Silverman, academic hospitalist at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and creator and host of The Nocturnists, to learn more about the role of narrative medicine in our work and well-being. This conversation originally aired on Hippo Education's Primary Care Reviews and Perspectives podcast.

October 7, 2019sikorski, michaelsallman, zahur

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.

Creative Hearts UMB

September 16, 2019olexa (Le), gloribel olexa, joshua

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.

Additional Resources:

Couples Match

Couples in the Match

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

eslami, katayoun

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, 2019Ida AhmadizadehStefano Muscatelli

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.

goel, nidhiJain, Deepanjali

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.

Legislative Medicine elective at UMSOM

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

Nikkita Southall

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.

kimberly lumpkins

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.

nancy lowitt

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?


School of Medicine Launches Cultural Transformation

Title IX

Darlene Robinson   Breanna Tracey

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


Rana Awdish 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.

Diane Hoffman 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.

Nora Loughry Jennifer LlewellynSeptember 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.

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: Careers in Medicine: NRMP:

‌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

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. 


Affordable Care Act Glossary of Terms

Kaiser Family Foundation

Urban Institute Health Policy Center

“Judge says Aetna dropped out of some Obamacare markets to help win its merger fight”

Fresh Air episode on possible ACA replacement plans 

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
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Wellness Panel

OSA Insider Preview

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.