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Episode 118 – Nick, first year medical student at University of Utah School of Medicine

Feb 20, 2019

“The best thing about Anki is that you study every day; if forces you, you’ve got to do your reviews every day.” It was during Second Look Day that Nick heard about the Anki app from a second year student here at UUSOM. Having previously used the app in undergrad, he wasn’t a big fan but decided to take a look at how it could help him in medical school. We talk about what the program is and how it’s become a powerful study tool for him. He shares what makes a good or bad flashcard and finally, what he feels the best thing about using the app is.

Episode Transcript

Dr. Chan: What is Anki? Is it a powerful study tool? What makes a good or bad flash card? What's the best thing about using this AnkiApp? Today, I'm talking admissions and med student life. I interview Nick, a first-year medical student here at the University Utah School of Medicine.

Announcer: Helping you prepare for one of the most rewarding careers in the world. This is "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life," with your host, the Dean of Admissions at the University Utah School of Medicine, Dr. Benjamin Chan.

Dr. Chan: Well, welcome to another edition of "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life." I'm with a great, great guest today, Nick, how are you doing?

Nick: I'm good.

Dr. Chan: First-year med student?

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right. We have much to talk about. But I like to start in the beginning. All right. So Nick, how did you know you wanted to be a doctor? What is your origin superhero story?

Nick: Well, it's in my journal when I was five-years-old. It was doctor or policeman. So that's where it started.

Dr. Chan: So you were competing with the police academy on some level.

Nick: That's right, yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right.

Nick: But honestly, like I always wanted to be a doctor. My dad's a doctor. And when I really sat down and started thinking about it, my dad played devil's advocate and told me, you know, "It's awful. You're not going to see your family. You're going to have to give up a lot." And so I started looking at, I went through the majors list at BYU, you know, what else could I do. And I found like finance things, I really like finance.

Dr. Chan: So how old were you when you have this conversation with your dad? Was it kind of a more of an ongoing kind of . . .

Nick: So this was . . . I was actually on a mission. So he was signing up for classes for me because I couldn't do it. So I was 21 at the time, almost, and . . .

Dr. Chan: Where were you on your mission?

Nick: I was in Taiwan.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Not a lot of internet there I bet, or is it against the rules . . .

Nick: There's the internet, yeah, just against the rules.

Dr. Chan: Against the rules? You can't sign up for BYU classes on the internet?

Nick: You can email your parents once a week. That was all I got to do.

Dr. Chan: Oh my goodness, okay.

Nick: So, anyway, I emailing him.

Dr. Chan: So you got a good relationship with your dad. He wasn't signing you up for joke classes.

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Kind of messed with your life a bit.

Nick: Exactly.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right.

Nick: So yeah, he just playing devil's advocate. So finally, I'm looking, do I want to do business or finance? I just could not justify making money for the sake of making money. I wanted to do something where I could actually, like, help somebody with the skills I learned and just nothing felt right. And now that I'm here in medical school, like everything feels right. I love it.

Dr. Chan: It's all clicking.

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right. So you come back from your mission. Talk to me about BYU pre-med life. Like, how competitive is it? Because I know there's a lot of you. Like how was that? How did you navigate that? How did you set yourself apart?

Nick: It was competitive, no doubt. Yeah, getting an "A" was not easy. I think medical school is less stressful in that regard. But it was less busy and I had fun. People told me, you know, you can try and do things for your application or you can just do the things you love, and then when you get to the application, you just make it work. And that's what I did. And it worked.

Dr. Chan: What kind of things were you doing? How did you prepare for the application, medical school?

Nick: Yeah, I did a lot of humanitarian stuff, because that's just, that's my thing. That's what I love. So I did stuff in Africa, Nepal, and I loved that. And then I worked with Boys & Girls Club a lot, and then I was in a singing and dancing group.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Let's break that down. I love breaking this down. Okay, so Africa, did you do that through BYU, or did you do that on your own efforts? Or like how did that come about? Yeah.

Nick: My dad has done a ton of stuff, like he was on the relief troop that went to Haiti and Philippines after the earthquake. So he kind of gets involved in this, and he started sponsoring people in Africa and just wanted to go. So it was just he and I, and we set up this medical trip. And I did eye exams, and blood pressure, and vitals, and stuff, and he did bigger physical exams and we worked with a bunch of girls that were orphans, and normally they'll go into prostitution, that's the only way they can survive. And so our neighbor had set up a big school there to help them learn, and we went and helped with the health part of it.

Dr. Chan: Wow, that's amazing. And then you mentioned the Boys & Girls Club?

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: What was that about?

Nick: I would just go volunteer after school. I mean, it was nothing big. It's just that, typically, the kids in Boys & Girls Club their parents are still working after. So they're kind of from lower-income families and I would just go to school and read with them.

Dr. Chan: So kind of like a mentor tutoring kind of thing?

Nick: Yeah. And I found out halfway through doing that, that they had a Chinese immersion program at one of these schools, so I went and helped them with their Chinese homework. And that was tons of fun.

Dr. Chan: Wow, that's amazing. And then you mentioned, what was that last thing you mentioned? You said three things.

Nick: Oh, yeah, Boys & Girls. Oh, singing and dancing.

Dr. Chan: Singing and dancing. Oh, let's focus on that. Okay. Again, BYU is known for this. Were you on the team?

Nick: I wasn't. This is actually totally different. It's called Clayton Productions. It's in Sandy. So I commuted up to do it. And I just, I did it all through high school and then I did that, and we actually went on tour to Taiwan and performed all over.

Dr. Chan: What kind of singing and dancing are we talking about here?

Nick: Everything. Just depending on the music we were doing . . .

Dr. Chan: Country, rap?

Nick: Yeah, we did country. We did Michael Jackson. We did hip hop, everything.

Dr. Chan: Okay, you know how to moonwalk?

Nick: So, not quite. But yeah, it was fun.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right. All right. So you're doing all these activities. You're going to class, you're studying hard. And, you know, for those that are listening, like because I know you applied to a lot of schools. I know you got into a lot of schools. Like what was your process? How did you know which schools to apply to, and, you know, just kind of walk us through that?

Nick: Yeah, somebody told me, which I thought was great advice, to take the MCAT a couple months earlier, so that I could apply to Texas. And they have cheap schools and they're good schools. So that's something I would definitely recommend to everybody.

Dr. Chan: Because they have a separate application system. Texas does its own thing.

Nick: Yeah, they do their own thing. And it's earlier too, and then kind of for out-of-staters, it's kind of a first come, first served sort of deal. But for other schools, I just kind of looked at what based off what my MCAT was, what I could get into. And then I had a few reach schools and I had a few safety schools And I think I ended up applying to almost 20 schools.

Dr. Chan: Twenty schools?

Nick: People had recommended.

Dr. Chan: Okay, and how many interview offers did you get?

Nick: I think I went to 10.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right. That's good. Good. Feeling good about things. What was your experience interviewing at all these schools? Like different kinds of . . . I assume different atmospheres.

Nick: Yeah, totally different.

Dr. Chan: Different cultures.

Nick: Totally different interviews. Everything is totally different. And then you realize too after the first one, that the curriculums of every med school is different, and the way they actually do med school is different. So, yeah, they're all totally unique.

Dr. Chan: How'd you find which one . . . I mean, like how do you learn about that as someone who's there for like less than a day? I mean, were you doing like a lot of research on the internet? Or do they have a lot of students come in? Or was there like an alumni network you kind of reached out to? Like how did you gather information?

Nick: Yeah, that's a good question. I think the biggest thing for me was I stayed with somebody every night in the school. I always signed up for that "stay with a med student" thing and talking with them the night before, and then I would always keep their phone number too. And once I got accepted, I'd ask them more questions. But that was the biggest thing for me, because you're hearing it from somebody who's there. Now, the admissions committee kind of shows you like the glamour, but the students can tell you the real deal. And so if it matches up, then you know it's a good school. And if they tell you something different, then, you know, you really need to ask a few more questions, what's going on.

Dr. Chan: And were you married by this time?

Nick: I was, yeah.

Dr. Chan: Okay. So did your wife go out with you to these schools?

Nick: She went to one with me.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Was that helpful or not helpful? Because again, she was part of this decision, right?

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: It's complicated kind of process. So.

Nick: So we went out like just because her friend lived out there in Dallas, and I loved UT Southwestern. I thought it was an amazing school. She hated Dallas.

Dr. Chan: Did she know that before she got there?

Nick: No, she went and spent all day in Dallas with her friend while I was interviewing. When we were done she's like, "I can't live here."

Dr. Chan: All right. All right. So you got an interview, you learned about the different cultures, different curriculums, or like, what are some of the . . . I mean, again, it's hard for people who are not in medicine. What, like you don't have to name names, like what are some of the differences in the curriculums that you saw? I mean, what did you appreciate at that level?

Nick: One of the schools I almost went to, their curriculum, they do all their book work in a year and then they jump straight in the clinicals. Whereas other schools, like The U, is two years, and others were a year and a half, and some of them will do a year and a half, and then take the boards and some would do a year and a half, and then a year of clinicals and then take the boards. So all totally different methods. And then some of them were organ systems. And some of them were more like class-based, like you'd have a genetics class. So totally different.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Did you go to different second look days?

Nick: I went to, I think I actually just went to The U's. At that point, I was more like committed.

Dr. Chan: That helped seal the deal. I assume it was a good experience.

Nick: It was. Yeah, it was a good experience.

Dr. Chan: Okay. So again, kind of again, how did you end up choosing? I mean, what was the kind of, what were some of the criteria that you were looking for that helped you decide to stay here?

Nick: I'd say the biggest one was my wife, staying here in Utah. Both of our families are from here. But beyond that, location, price and curriculum, that was my three things. And I realized the interview days they'd show you the flashy things, like The U has an anatomy table, but I haven't touched it since I got here. You know, it's flashy, but . . . and then some schools have awesome anatomy labs, and The U's is really old, but it didn't bother me at all.

Dr. Chan: It's over in Research Park, yeah.

Nick: Didn't bother me at all. Once you got in there like all you needed was a cadaver and a scalpel. And so I realized later into the process that it was the curriculum and the price and the location. Did I want to live there for four years? Did I like the people that were there, and was the cost not outrageous?

Dr. Chan: Okay, all right. Fair enough. And so you matriculate here to The U, and before I turned on the pod you were telling me that you had quite the commute.

Nick: It was.

Dr. Chan: So let's talk about that. I think it's the furthest I've ever heard of anyone living. So were you just locked into a rental agreement you couldn't get out of, or you just love what Mapleton has to offer?

Nick: We were living in my wife's parents' house because they're on a mission. So we were there for almost free basically, which was nice. And she was at BYU doing a lot of credits, trying to finish everything up before she student teached, so she was almost as busy as I was. And first years here, told me I can do it, second look thing.

Dr. Chan: It was a lie.

Nick: And I did it, honestly. It wasn't the easiest thing. I didn't get into the social life and stuff because I'd go right home and it would take two hours.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, how far away is Mapleton? And we're talking driving or . . .

Nick: If we're driving, it's about an hour and 10 minutes, but I took . . . yeah,. I would drive to the station, which would take like 15 minutes. I'd get on FrontRunner and then take a bus to The U. The whole thing took about two hours.

Dr. Chan: I'd assume that's the southern-most FrontRunner station.

Nick: Southernmost is Provo. And then you go drive 15 minutes south of it to Mapleton.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right. Good studying time or?

Nick: Yeah, it wasn't terrible, because I did Anki flashcards on the way up.

Dr. Chan: Which we were talking about. Oh, I'm excited. Okay. This all segues together here.

Nick: So I just did my flashcards on the way up, and then on the way home I would download the lectures, and then I would watch them on the way home, and it worked out okay.

Dr. Chan: So did her parents get back from the mission? What was the tipping point? Why did you guys move out?

Nick: Well, she only has two classes this semester. And I said, "I'm done. We're moving." So we're up here now.

Dr. Chan: Okay. So you live up in Salt Lake?

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right.

Nick: Much better.

Dr. Chan: Very cool. All right. So first semester under your belt.

Nick: Yep.

Dr. Chan: Did it go as you thought it would go, a little bit harder, a little easier? Like what was your experience, first semester?

Nick: First semester, honestly, I felt like it was a little bit easier. The second semester now that we're really getting into things is more what I expected. Because the first year we kind of covered physiology stuff that I already sort of had a basis for, but I mean, it wasn't awful.

Dr. Chan: Okay. So doable? Manageable?

Nick: Very doable. I think I studied Monday through Friday. I usually caught the first bus at 7 a.m. and I'd be home by 6 p.m. or 7 p.m. And I didn't study on the weekend.

Dr. Chan: And how do you feel about like, you know, the different teaching methods? Because I know, we have CBL, TBL, what are your thoughts about those?

Nick: It's nice to have a mix. The TBLs are fun.

Dr. Chan: Team-based learning. Yeah.

Nick: Because you get to kind of synthesize all these ideas and you have questions that are, honestly, way harder than they should. But it's good because it forces you to think. And then the CBLs are great because you're thinking this is a real case. You're trying to think of a real person. I think it really helps with the thought process developing.

Dr. Chan: Because of the commute, have you had time to get engaged in like different student interest groups or clubs or?

Nick: Not a ton. I kind of held off on that. I did a little bit . . . I volunteered once for a street clinic, but I have no time just because I was living so far down there.

Dr. Chan: Okay. What's been the biggest drawback, other than the commute?

Nick: Of?

Dr. Chan: Med school.

Nick: Of med school in general?

Dr. Chan: Living in Salt Lake City life? I don't know.

Nick: Yeah. I think med school's busy. You have to sacrifice things. Like I was doing flashcards on Christmas.

Dr. Chan: That doesn't sound like a good Christmas morning. Yeah.

Nick: It was only about 20 minutes. So it wasn't terrible. But I mean, there are sacrifices that have to be made. Honestly, I've loved pretty much everything in medical school at this point.

Dr. Chan: So great lectures, great material, classmates, everything's going well.

Nick: Yeah, I mean, sometimes it's frustrating trying to navigate like what am I actually supposed to know, because it is never-ending. You could keep studying forever.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, keep on going down the rabbit hole.

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: I mean, you can keep on going further and further and further.

Nick: I mean, the doctors teaching us don't even know. So, yeah.

Dr. Chan: What are you on right now? What's, the lecture?

Nick: We're doing, well, MCC is a molecule cells in cancer and we're doing kind of the cancer unit now, oncology drugs.

Dr. Chan: All right. And I know like, did they do blood cancers earlier?

Nick: Yes. We just kind of finished the white blood cells stuff.

Dr. Chan: Okay, again. I heard there was an epic slide deck, 150 slides like . . .

Nick: So much information. It's like straight nonsense. Like this type of leukemia, you're testing for CD15 and CD30. Like there's no magic way to remember that, you've just got to remember it.

Dr. Chan: Yeah. I remember, yeah, like anytime I get, I'm just, I mean, I'm almost an AVI Nick, because like you guys are learning all this up-to-date, current information, and I'm like much more on the clinical side, and I'm a child psychiatrist. I don't deal with blood cancers and stuff. And I just remember I was talking to some of the med students and I said, you know, "Like what happens if like the white blood cells are elevated?" And like the students, bless their hearts, they started to give me all these very kind of zebra-like answers. Well, two things guys, it's probably just an infection.

Nick: "It's cancer."

Dr. Chan: Yeah, they go right there, you know, like horses, like [we're confident 00: 14: 39]. Or, you know, it could mean it's not that elevated, you just recheck it. So just draw the blood again. It's very fascinating because I think medical education is really predicated on studying these very, you know, interesting diseases because it kind of checks all the boxes that you kind of learn these different principles associated with diseases, but a lot of these diseases are very rare, they're very, very rare. And we call those zebras, you know, like, and I feel sometimes we teach students to look for zebras when, in essence, they're just like regular horses, you know, it's just an infection.

All right. Flashcards. Let's talk about this. So what is this program or I don't know, an app or?

Nick: Yeah, it's an app. It's online. It's free on the computer.

Dr. Chan: How'd you discover this?

Nick: So it was actually a second look day.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right.

Nick: Yeah. One of the one of the second years told me. He said, "Med school is really not that bad. I'm just doing this app. And I do like three hours of flashcards a day. And that's it. And I'm doing awesome. And somebody already made all these flashcards pre-made for you." I was like, "This is awesome. That sounds really nice. I could do that." Because I learn well with flashcards.

Dr. Chan: So Anki?

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right. So you hear about . . . so as far as you know, is not used on the undergrad level or?

Nick: Well, I was kind of introduced to it when I was studying for the MCAT, and I hated it because it's so . . . it's not user-friendly at all. But when somebody told me, you know, there was pre-made cards as opposed to you have to make your own, I was a little more convinced that would save a lot of time. And as I've gotten to use it more I realized it's actually really powerful. It's just that it's built so that you can change it. It's kind of like the Apple vs. Windows comparison, you know, Apple is really user-friendly but you can't change it very much.

Dr. Chan: Okay, so heard about it second look day, and then school starts. And I think there was a group of you that kind of started working together, or just walk me through this, how this developed.

Nick: Yeah. Well, so Anki is a spaced repetition flashcard app, right? So you see a flashcard today, then you'll see it tomorrow, then you'll see it in three days and then in seven days and onwards, unless you get it wrong. Then maybe it'll come back, you know, so you can review it more. And so a couple of friends and I decided we want to get into more difficult specialty surgical stuff, so we're going to dedicate to this app, because the same kid I met on second look day told me he scored a phenomenal step one score. So I was convinced at that point, and so we started trying to learn how to do it.

And I think it took the entire first semester before we had a grip on what we were really doing. But by the end of that semester, you're seeing flashcards that you'd made three or four months ago, and you realize what makes a good flashcard, what makes a bad flashcard. But I also realized I wasn't studying for quizzes and all my peers were cramming. And I didn't study for the final at all and I did really well. And so that's when I started to be really convinced, you know, this is really powerful and now I'm loving it.

Dr. Chan: Okay. So how much time a day are we talking about? I mean, how much do . . . I mean what, is there a recommended time or like?

Nick: No, it's just kind of whatever you wake up in the morning and it says you got to do, you got to do this. I woke up this morning, I think I had 400 flashcards and I just do them first thing in the morning. Usually takes me one or two hours, depending on how many reviews it says I need to do. And then I'll learn material and add flashcards depending on what I've learned for the day.

Dr. Chan: So it sounds like Anki really kind of comes up with almost a schedule for you.

Nick: Yeah, it totally does.

Dr. Chan: And based on your responses, you know, maybe a flashcard is added later, or they kind of start clustering and then it kind of focuses more on this subject if you're struggling.

Nick: Yeah, but it's still reviewing. So like, you know, this morning I'm doing my white blood cell cards and stuff that I was learning from last week, but I also was reviewing some of the kidney stuff and some of the cardio stuff that we've done, you know, last semester. So it does give you a good schedule. And the best thing about Anki is that you study every day. It forces you, you got to do your reviews every day. The worst thing about Anki is you got to study every day.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, yeah, cool.

Nick: On Christmas, I was doing it. I only had like 50 flashcards, but you still got to do them. So.

Dr. Chan: Then how much time does it take you to program, or I don't know what the verb is, but to upload the information to create new flashcards?

Nick: Yeah, so making a new flashcard . . .

Dr. Chan: Is that kind of a rate limiting step would you say or?

Nick: Making new flashcards for sure, it takes a while, just because you got to type it out. It's just like if you were using Quizlet or hand-making any flashcards it takes a long time. And that's what's so nice for medical school, is that, you know, it's totally pre-made for you. And just recently I saw somebody just released an MCAT one, and I think the NCLEX one is starting to come out too. So people are starting to upload their decks just on Reddit or something like, "Hey, I made these flashcards. Use them for free." I downloaded a medical Chinese deck just so I can start doing it. And somebody else made it. I'm learning how to do stuff. You know, it's nice because you can share around with everybody. I'll make cards for class and share them with our class, and everybody else can use it.

Dr. Chan: Okay, so that's my . . . kind of my next question, Nick. It sounds almost like a little bit like a religion. Is it kind of growing, do you have more and more believers?

Nick: From what I understand . . .

Dr. Chan: Do you have disciples and followers?

Nick: From what I understand, like four or five years ago at The U, there was one guy that did Anki. He was kind of the one that started it, and he got a phenomenal board score. And so the next year there was a few more, and the next year a few more. And I think a lot of our classes used it, and from what the faculty has been saying our test scores have been higher than any of the averages. I know last year's board scores were The U's highest ever.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, it's trending in a great direction. Yeah.

Nick: So I think you could probably attribute some of that to using a spaced repetition. And there's other companies, like Firecracker or the First Aid has even come out with spaced repetition flashcards. So I think everyone is starting to realize this is a superior method of study.

Dr. Chan: And do you still get to enjoy like lectures, or are people making flashcards in real time, or, you know, I'm just again, I'm just going to put on my medical educator administrator hat. Like does this in any way detract from like what you're supposed to be getting out of med school? Like the professionalism and the peer and the teamwork and that type stuff, or do you feel this enhances it and just makes it better?

Nick: So I think I would say it enhances it, in that there's just a ton you have to memorize for medical school. It's not quite so much like undergraduate where it's more understanding. It's just straight, like I said, CD15 and CD30 is this cancer, you just got to memorize that or memorizing names of drugs. And so it really helps that and it makes that part faster. And you can spend more time on the actual clinical stuff I think that matters more.

Dr. Chan: So there's the doctoring course, there's clinical method curriculum. Is Anki used for that, or is that . . .

Nick: Like a tiny, tiny bit, because we have a little bit of a . . .

Dr. Chan: Because that's more like muscle memory, and, you know, kind of, you know, inner professional communication skills.

Nick: Exactly. You actually got to go practice those skills with . . . and I do it with a friend. You know, we'll go practice doing the hard exam on each other. So, yeah.

Dr. Chan: Okay, good, good. And now, I think this has gotten so important and so useful, such a great tool that you were mentioning, like there's a YouTube channel?

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Can you talk a little bit about that?

Nick: Yeah, so we found, I mean, like I said, it took us almost the whole semester before we got a grip on it. And we decided there's no one place you can go to learn everything. Plus, all of my peers were asking me like, "Hey, how do you do this on Anki? How do you do this?" And it was taking a lot of my time. So we just decided, let's make a whole video series and how to use it. So we just we did, we made a whole YouTube channel that goes step-by-step from beginning to more advanced skills, and you could probably watch the whole thing on two times speed in like an hour.

Dr. Chan: Okay. And what's the YouTube channel called?

Nick: It's called "The Anking," like Anking.

Dr. Chan: So can you spell it for people? Well, we'll have a link in the little ditties.

Nick: So A-N-K-I-N-G.

Dr. Chan: Okay. All right. So I get the sense, again, I don't know too much about this. I'm very envious of your generation, because like, you know, people mention Anki, and I don't know, I just hear, like over the years I've heard about so many kinds of apps and programs. What I'm understanding though, is like maybe a flashcard you built for yourself might not work so well for someone right next to you, but they will have the ability to maybe go in and then create one that's a little better. Does that make sense?

Nick: Totally.

Dr. Chan: So it sounds like it's like even though it seems . . . it sounds like it helps people's individual learning style.

Nick: Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Chan: Okay. Would that be a fair statement? Like flashcards that may work for you may not work for someone else?

Nick: Yeah. Yeah. Well, like, I downloaded this deck of, I think it's 25,000 cards. And every day when I'm going through them to unlock the ones that I'm learning, I'll add to them too. You know, the first aid book comes out every year and there's updates. And so I'll read through that and if there's something different in the flashcard or I can do the screenshot, a screen, and put it into the flashcards just if I want to. So I update the cards regularly. I add things to them all the time.

Dr. Chan: That's great. Then you don't have to pay Anki?

Nick: It's free. The iPhone app is $25, the Android's free. The computer one, which is the main one, is free.

Dr. Chan: So other than helping students get that warm fuzzy feeling, what do they get out of it? I mean, it's just open source. I mean, yeah, okay.

Nick: Yeah. I think the guy that made it makes his money off of the iPhone app. And that's about it.

Dr. Chan: Okay, so the feeling is like people create this using their laptop or desktop, but they mostly kind of use it on their iPhone.

Nick: No, I do my cards on the computer a lot, but I have it on my phone just, you know, if you're waiting for a bus or whatever, you can do 20 flashcards.

Dr. Chan: So yeah, it's like the convenience factor, you know, it's right at your fingers.

Nick: Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Chan: I'm starting to get it. You make me feel old. Oh my gosh, this is fascinating. Okay, last few minutes. I always ask, I love asking this. I'm not going to hold you to it.

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: But as of today what kind of doctor do you want to be?

Nick: Oh, that's a good question, especially because I've been shadowing all sorts of things and I love everything. I think I'm leaning more dermatology. That's what my dad is and I like that field, but pretty close up on that list I just shadowed ocular plastics, which sounds fascinating. ENT and urology are on that list for sure.

Dr. Chan: So definitely, I'm hearing surgery.

Nick: Surgery for sure.

Dr. Chan: Surgical subspecialties, using your hands.

Nick: Yeah. The more fine technical stuff. I like the artistic component of plastic surgery. So something in that area.

Dr. Chan: All right. And then my last question, Nick, what advice do you have for those out there who are thinking about med school? Or maybe aren't sure of, you know, what path is right for them, what would you say to those people?

Nick: I would say, go spend some time in a hospital. And if you're shadowing a doctor or a nurse or whatever, it doesn't matter, you'll see everybody that's in the hospital. And I think people know pretty quick whether or not they like health care as a field. And then from that point, you just got to figure out where you want to go. Do you want to go nursing? Do you want to go medicine? Do you want to go dentistry? But first figure out, do you like health care? Do you like working with people and blood and that kind of stuff?

Dr. Chan: Okay. Awesome. Well, Nick, this has been great. I'll have you come back on a little bit later. Maybe even get updates about how Anki is going, especially into the step one mega test in a little over a year, I guess.

Nick: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Feels like that's fast. Cool. Well, thanks, Nick.

Nick: Yeah.

Announcer: Thanks for listening to "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life"; with Dr. Benjamin Chan, the ultimate resource to help you on your journey to and through medical school, a production of The Scope Health Sciences Radio online at