Skip to main content

You are listening to Talking U & Med Student Life:

Episode 143 – Lily

Mar 18, 2020

How does an architecture internship in China make one decide to change gears and pursue medicine? What are some ways to survive and thrive during your post-bacc studies? Why is workplace culture such an important question to ask during residency program interviews?

Today on Talking Admissions and Med Student Life, I interview Lily, a fourth-year medical student here at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

Episode Transcript

Dr. Chan: How does an architecture internship in China make one decide to change gears and pursue medicine? What are some ways to survive and thrive during your post-bacc studies? Why is workplace culture such an important question to ask during residency program interviews? Today on "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life" I interview Lily, a fourth-year medical student here at the University of 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 of Utah School of Medicine, Dr. Benjamin Chan.

Dr. Chan: Well, welcome to another edition of "Talking Admissions and Med Student Life." Lily, we have been circling each other for years, and finally we are going to do this podcast. Maybe we'll do a couple more before you leave.

Lily: This is true.

Dr. Chan: All right, fourth-year med student.

Lily: Yes. Thank goodness.

Dr. Chan: And we're not going to talk about what you're going into. You were going to do a reveal.

Lily: Okay.

Dr. Chan: Let's go back to the beginning.

Lily: Okay. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right.

Lily: I know exactly where the beginning was and I think about it often.

Dr. Chan: You popped up on my radar. I remember you interviewed with us and you were so just full of life and energy. I remember studying your application. I remember I told myself, "There's no way that we're going to get someone like Lily to come to our med school."

Lily: Aw, keep talking.

Dr. Chan: But I remember that you were just so positive, and then I think you sent me a nice note afterwards. Then I remember you got in and I called you on the phone.

Lily: Which I remember distinctly. Yep.

Dr. Chan: It was windy, and I think you were on a golf course.

Lily: No, no, no, no, no. You're exactly right, it was windy though. I remember, to this day, I remember the exact moment. It was at Norman North High School in Norman, Oklahoma where I was doing some teaching. I distinctly remember walking through, I think it was January or so. I was walking through the halls and I picked up my phone, and I noticed a missed call from Salt Lake City. I ran outside, hence, where it's windy, on the plains of Oklahoma.

Dr. Chan: Okay, yes. Hurricanes sometimes. Tornadoes.

Lily: Yes, it will blow you away. And it was Dr. Chan. One of the best days of my life.

Dr. Chan: And you were so effusive with praise on the phone. I remember, sometimes when I call people they're like, "Eh." You know, especially people who are not from Utah.

Lily: No, no. Not me.

Dr. Chan: I know that our tuition, I get all of that. I just remember you were so positive. I went, "I think she might actually come here."

Lily: That's because I was truly, and to this day, I was so excited to come here. I'd been waiting and hoping. And it happened. You made it happen.

Dr. Chan: So let's back up.

Lily: Thanks, Dr. Chan.

Dr. Chan: So you grew up in Oklahoma.

Lily: I grew up in Oklahoma. I was born in D.C.

Dr. Chan: Born in D.C.

Lily: Grew up in Oklahoma though. Formative years we'll call it.

Dr. Chan: And then when did you decide to become a doctor? Help people understand that. You have sort of a non-traditional path.

Lily: Yeah, no. Absolutely. Also, I should mention that I just returned from several weeks of residency interviews. It feels better telling you this. The story of like, "Where did you go? Where did you come from?" I like this. I got similar questions, but I like telling you about it. Great question because I do have this kind of meandering path. I decided to go to medical school essentially at the end of my undergraduate time. It seems like, it looks like it was kind of random. However, it wasn't. I had just, to be honest, multiple things that I was interested in from an early age. Science was one of them. I went to Yale for undergrad.

Dr. Chan: Where'd you go?

Lily: I went to Yale.

Dr. Chan: Yale. Okay, okay. I've heard of this.

Lily: Go Bulldogs.

Dr. Chan: Small liberal arts college . . .

Lily: Small liberal arts school in New Haven, Connecticut.

Dr. Chan: Yes, okay.

Lily: It was a wonderful place though. It was a huge privilege to be able to go there. That was also quite random. I had my parents, you know, they went to school in Oklahoma. My dad went to the Air Force Academy. I had no family connections there. Fortunately I just had parents who, the prevailing theme throughout our life was, you know, pursuing educational opportunities. So I ended up out at Yale. And, quite frankly, what Yale does very well is the humanities, liberal arts, the arts themselves, and the most extraordinary libraries in the world. I'm biased but, you know, Sterling Library and Beinecke Rare Manuscripts Library, Manuscripts and Archives. I spent quite literally hundreds of hours in those places as an undergrad and absolutely loved it.

Dr. Chan: What was your degree in?

Lily: It was in American Studies.

Dr. Chan: Oh, okay.

Lily: Not many places have a degree in American Studies, so people are unfamiliar. But it is . . .

Dr. Chan: So it's kind of Political Science, American History . . .

Lily: Yeah, it's American History, kind of, with a social and cultural context. I did, though . . . Yale didn't have minors, but I did have areas of focus in architecture and sculpture. So I actually thought I was going to go to architecture school as an undergraduate. To get back to your original question of, you know, "Why medicine?" Or, "When did you decide to go to medical school?" I basically, the summer before my senior year of college, I distinctly remember the exact moment. I was sitting in an architecture studio in Beijing, China. Wonderful experience. I have nothing bad to say about architecture. I love design, and it's a wonderful way to spend a life, a career. But I love working with people. I love the substrate of the work of people and medicine. I did have a previous, you know, love and appreciation for the sciences as well. Medicine seemed like that that was going to better fulfill that interest. So honestly in that moment, I even remember sending my mother an email of all things, and I said, "I'm going to go to medical school." At that time, you know, I had spent my undergraduate years essentially just having interesting, fun discussions with people and arguments and debates, and writing hundreds of pages of essays. So I certainly was not in a position to apply then.

Dr. Chan: It was out of the blue.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: You don't come from a gap background.

Lily: Completely out of the blue.

Dr. Chan: No background in medicine, no doctors in the family.

Lily: No one in my family is in medicine. Nope, not at all. So in some ways it was just very spontaneous in that sense. So began the interval quest to get into med school, which were some very difficult years.

Dr. Chan: So you just, I think you did a post-bacc program.

Lily: Yeah, I did.

Dr. Chan: All right, so how did you identify the post-bacc program?

Lily: I applied to all the ones available. I was on the East Coast. I was in Baltimore for a post-bacc program. It was probably, that was, I think, the most difficult year of my life. And I mean that honestly. As all pre-meds know, the prerequisites are quite difficult. Do them all at once, it makes it much more difficult.

Dr. Chan: So this was solely, kind of an academic post-bacc? No research, no community service?

Lily: Solely an academic post-bacc. There was research involved, but, you know, it's kind of at your discretion what you can do. And I did get involved in research and a couple projects. This was at Johns Hopkins, you know, an extraordinary place to just kind of cold call or cold email people and say, "Hey, I want to get involved." And I did that and took a bunch of classes all at once, which I don't recommend. But it was kind of a kickstart you could say to getting down the med school application path.

Dr. Chan: I get the sense, because I know we've talked about this in the past, Lily. But I get the sense that this experience wasn't the most overly reassuring path to go to medical school.

Lily: Oh, no. Yeah. Exactly, yeah.

Dr. Chan: It sounds like it was, like, stressful, super competitive on some level.

Lily: Yeah. Well, I tell people, like you said, we've talked about this before. I think things have changed even in the last, and I'm no expert of course, just my personal perspective. I think even in the last five to eight years things have changed about how, not only how you can pursue a post-bacc and how you can take classes to get into med school, and get into med school, and how you can spend your undergraduate years. But I think there are other ways that people, better, more efficient ways of getting into med school. Like, you don't have to do a post-bacc. And when I say, "Don't have to do a post-bacc," I mean, like, a formal program.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, but you still can take the classes on your own . . . yeah.

Lily: Yeah, you can still take the classes, and I highly recommend that. I actually did end up taking a few extra classes after my time in Baltimore, back in Oklahoma. And it was great because I had time to do research and I was doing some teaching. But yeah, I mean, it was a wonderful time in my life, but it was a very difficult time, because, as you said, you know, complete uncertainty if things were going to work out, which is very . . . a little bit scary.

Dr. Chan: So I get the sense the plan was you do your post-bacc, do all the pre-med reqs, and then did you take, did you study the MCAT at that time?

Lily: I didn't take it the same year.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Lily: Which some people do do, which I respect that, but it's a lot.

Dr. Chan: It's a lot.

Lily: Yeah. It's a lot.

Dr. Chan: So then the plan was you move back to Oklahoma. You just went ahead and taught high school.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: And then you took the MCAT.

Lily: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Lily: So I tried to be a little more sane throughout the process.

Dr. Chan: Okay, all right.

Lily: Well, and I should say too, like I said, I come from this Humanities background. I will advocate for myself and say I'm a smart student. However, I was never someone who was good at multiple choice exams. To be honest, that was the biggest deterrent to potentially going to medical school. And actually just the prerequisites themselves is, I mean, every class whether it's an intro course or advanced level, all it is is multiple choice exams and testing. I did decide, though, I just made this decision that I wasn't going to let it be the deterrent ultimately. But because of that, you know, I just completely had to change how I, you know, studied and it wasn't always rosy. There were some pretty awful times.

Dr. Chan: I bet you were an amazing high school teacher.

Lily: Thank you.

Dr. Chan: Did you ever have, like, "Oh, you know, maybe I should stick around and do this"?

Lily: Oh, yeah. And they actually offered me the full-time math teacher job.

Dr. Chan: Oh, fun.

Lily: Because I was, I did love it. You know, it's funny. Every job I've ever had actually . . . actually, my first job, I don't know if I've told you this before, the first job I ever had was for a minor league baseball team . . .

Dr. Chan: Oh, I didn't know this.

Lily: Yeah, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I was the person who did the on-field promotional things.

Dr. Chan: So you didn't have to wear a costume.

Lily: I had the option but never got the opportunity, which is upsetting.

Dr. Chan: Is it the Tulsa Tornadoes?

Lily: No, the Drillers.

Dr. Chan: Oh, okay.

Lily: Like oil drillers. I had the opportunity to wear the hot dog costume once, you know, in the race.

Dr. Chan: Oh, do the race?

Lily: Yeah, but unfortunately one of my colleagues got there first. No, but . . . okay, so that was my first job. But what I was going to say is that every job I've ever had in my life has been related to academia essentially. And I mean that in the full spectrum of things from a camp counselor, math and science, teaching, like, space camp stuff, to being a TA in the biology department at the University of Oklahoma, to assistant teaching kind of in this tutoring program for Native American students in Oklahoma, science and math. I mean truly every job I've ever had has been in education. And that's not to, and I'm leaving out, you know, not to mention the other research work I've done. So I guess the point is though is that's why medicine was so attractive to me and why even now it's been validated that I love this environment. It's a continuous learning and teaching environment. So it fits though that I have this teaching career and here we are.

Dr. Chan: I think at the core, like, you know, what is medicine? You have the awesome responsibility that you've learned a lot about the human body.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Medicine, procedures, and you get to educate.

Lily: Exactly, yeah.

Dr. Chan: Teach your patients why you're doing x, y, or z.

Lily: Yeah, well . . .

Dr. Chan: To me that's kind of the ethos of medical care.

Lily: Yeah, it is. You know, I don't think, I didn't even fully appreciate that though before medical school and before, even now, several years deep into it. You know, you teach your patients obviously, as you mentioned. You also teach each other. I mean, I remember, you know, the first couple of days even of my third year clerkships and, you know, you're expected all of a sudden, you just immediately have to start presenting. And I didn't even quite understand what they meant, but, you know. "Okay, Lily, you're going to do a presentation on Friday for, you know, before rounds." That's how we learn in medicine. I mean, that's, you learn these snippets and these chunks because that's what you have time for. But it's just constant, you know, education for each other. So it's a lot of fun in that regard.

Dr. Chan: So going back to Oklahoma.

Lily: Uh-huh. Have you ever been there?

Dr. Chan: Yes, lovely airport.

Lily: [inaudible 00:12:44] say now. It's actually quite nice.

Dr. Chan: Actually I didn't venture outside. It was a connecting flight.

Lily: Okay, all right.

Dr. Chan: So you said Oklahoma.

Lily: Was it Oklahoma City or Tulsa?

Dr. Chan: I'm pretty sure it was OKC.

Lily: Oh man. Okay. I can't even remember. Jeez. I'll forgive you.

Dr. Chan: All right, so what was your strategy applying to med schools?

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: You've been to Yale. You've been to Johnny Hopkins.

Lily: Yes.

Dr. Chan: You've lived on the East Coast. You've lived in the Midwest South. What's Oklahoma consider itself?

Lily: I call it the Southern Plains.

Dr. Chan: The Southern Plains.

Lily: It's not the South. It's not the Midwest. It's certainly not the Rockies or the West.

Dr. Chan: So you've grown up there. You've lived there. You're living there back then.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: What was your strategy applying to schools?

Lily: Yeah, so quite honestly I applied all over. However, in the back of my mind though I did have ideas of where I wanted to be and specific reasons why. So, as we've talked about, I went to, I had this private, liberal arts, smaller school education. I really did go into the application process with the idea that I should have a broad background of educational experiences. So I specifically was looking for a large state medical school and state university. This is, you know, this could probably also apply to, you know, some other private medical school. But I just do believe that state flagship universities are, I think they're awesome places to be that are exciting. The collaboration of, you know, different schools within the institution as well as undergrad institution. They're just fun places to be. And like I said, I love the university environment.

To be honest, Utah specifically, and I'm not making this up just to humor you. I distinctly remember being in Baltimore. This was like six, seven years ago. So even a couple years before I was eligible to apply to med school. And I distinctly remember going on the Utah website. I can't remember what it was specifically, but I thought to myself, "This is a place where exciting things are happening." I just truly remember that moment, and it's the absolute truth. It's been validated over the last, you know, four years. We've got buildings popping up everywhere, so many different initiatives. And it just also seemed like a unique place in the sense that . . . I'm trying to sell it for you here.

Dr. Chan: Thank you, appreciate it.

Lily: But I truly, thoroughly believe this. It's been reinforced to me even now, having traveled around the country the last couple weeks for residency interviews, we have a very unique situation out here. You know, we're the only university medical center for hundreds and hundreds of miles.

Dr. Chan: Intermountain West. It's kind of core . . .

Lily: Yeah, five states. Five states, yeah.

Dr. Chan: This side of the Rockies, yeah.

Lily: So, like, we are the place. We're responsible. I think there's, for even that reason alone makes it incredibly unique and exciting. You know, you want an expert in something, they have to come here. You know, I've worked on the ICU a couple months ago and it's on a higher floor of the hospital right next to the helicopter landing pad. And the helicopters are just constantly, constantly coming in and out.

Dr. Chan: Come in and out all the time.

Lily: Yeah, it's really amazing.

Dr. Chan: So you meet patients from, like, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming?

Lily: Yeah, absolutely. You learn how far it takes, you know, for them to drive home and, you know, you're trying to negotiate that. This is definitely no Manhattan where there's five . . .

Dr. Chan: It's not an Uber ride away.

Lily: It's not an Uber right away. Yeah.

Dr. Chan: You interviewed at all these programs. I know you got into a number of them.

Lily: Yep.

Dr. Chan: So walk me through that history in the making. Was it hard? Was it easy? Were you undecided? Like, how did you end up making that decision?

Lily: You know, it was quite easy because I loved Utah. And I told you this before. I even knew it, I was waiting on it. I told you I was waiting on it, that phone call. So, like, when you called me, I knew I was coming here.

Dr. Chan: Correct.

Lily: I just immediately got rid of my other invitations and I said I was coming out here.

Dr. Chan: Even at your home school?

Lily: Even at my home school, yeah. I did. That was an option. I have all due respect for, you know, my home state institution. You know, and I have to say it is a privilege to have traveled around the country and go to these different places. You know, certainly one's home med school is a wonderful option. Wherever, any med school is a wonderful option, especially these days it's so competitive. You know, there's so many more incredible applicants, you know, for every spot.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, more and more people applying. Yeah.

Lily: So really anywhere you can get into. But fortunately I did have some choices. But I wanted to come here. It felt right, yeah.

Dr. Chan: All right, so you get here, you come here.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: And then you find out you're in my CMC group.

Lily: Exactly.

Dr. Chan: What was your first reaction?

Lily: We should have, we should . . . you know what's funny? I even remember where I was when I got that email.

Dr. Chan: It was randomly assigned. I had no part in it. I remember clearly the day they sent me the list of students assigned to my group. I saw your name and went, "Oh, yes." I just got Lily.

Lily: Oh, yes. Well, I'm glad it was that reaction and not one of grief or mourning. It's funny, I remember the moment too because I was actually visiting the state capitol here. I was kind of doing my, you know, welcome to Salt Lake little tour.

Dr. Chan: By visiting the capitol.

Lily: Exactly, yeah. Hey, hey, it's a beautiful view.

Dr. Chan: It's very . . . people from outside the state. But then did you also go by the Great Salt Lake?

Lily: Oh, I've been there.

Dr. Chan: It's also, like, kind of a touristy thing that . . .

Lily: I was there just two weeks ago.

Dr. Chan: . . . that people from Utah usually don't do.

Lily: Hey, now.

Dr. Chan: But for other people it's kind of, "Oh." Because it's really stinky out there.

Lily: There's some bugs. But, no, it's beautiful. There's buffalo.

Dr. Chan: It is beautiful.

Lily: Maybe I was just looking for the buffalo to feel at home like Oklahoma.

Dr. Chan: Is that Antelope Island?

Lily: Yes, exactly.

Dr. Chan: Oh, okay. I mean most people go out to, like, Saltair and kind of approach the Salt Lake from that . . .

Lily: Oh, oh, I see. Not that way.

Dr. Chan: All right, so you were at the state capitol?

Lily: Okay, yeah, so anyhow, I just remember reading that email that I was in Dr. Chan's group. So CMC is the Clinical Methods Curriculum. So I should have, we probably could've told the listeners at the beginning of this that I have had the fortune of spending four hours a week, like scheduled time.

Dr. Chan: Many hours together.

Lily: A week for the first thing of two years of med school in addition to, you know, other interactions.

Dr. Chan: Do you know they're making CMC more longitudinal now?

Lily: I did actually. I did.

Dr. Chan: And it makes them really angry but I have my Brighton 3.0 group. So you're my second group.

Lily: MS3?

Dr. Chan: Yeah, and we'll be, they'll be getting together throughout the third and fourth year.

Lily: Oh, gosh. How do you feel about that?

Dr. Chan: Well, I love it. I feel bad because I've spent so much time with you guys the first two years. And then, like, then it's nothing.

Lily: Yeah, that is true.

Dr. Chan: And just the occasional random pop-in.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: So it sounds like, you know, just kind of check-ins.

Lily: Yeah, I think that's great. Yeah, so we meet so in a structured fashion for the first two years, and then, I guess, because we're not part of that new initiative that I just didn't get to see you anymore.

Dr. Chan: No, no, no. I saw you around. People talk about the [locals 00:19:35].

Lily: Yeah, I see Dr. Chan all the time because I . . . but, okay, anyhow.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Lily: So CMC. I was in CMC with you. I think there were two wonderful years. So we learned how to basically, like, actually how to doctor.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, physical exam, progress note, interviewing, yeah.

Lily: All the things you want to know on the first day of, you know, MS3 . . .

Dr. Chan: Oral presentations.

Lily: Oh, yes.

Dr. Chan: This is all the stuff that really helps in third year.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, medical education is weird because, like, CMC is, like, super important.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: But it's not . . .

Lily: I would argue it's the most important in many ways.

Dr. Chan: It's not as self-evident because people during their first two years are really focused on class work and step one.

Lily: Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Chan: But then everything pivots for third year. Then I think people start to realize that, "Oh, this is why CMC's so important." That's kind of, like, the knowledge you'll need for third year.

Lily: Exactly. Well, and I have, you know, I think one . . . so my background obviously a little bit broad in the academic sense, you know, lots of thinking and discussing and presenting. And I don't think it's so underappreciated now, but I do believe those skills, like, obviously one has to have a kind of a baseline ability in the sciences. But, you know, at the end of the day it really is how you're able to interact with people.

And CMC, this course, like we just said, reinforcing that presenting, learning how to present patients, but learning how to just speak in front of other people and make a concise argument and present your facts. Like, that is medicine, at least very much in the early years. That is so much of medicine. I mean, you do have to have knowledge of course of, you know, what your differential is. You know, the supporting signs and symptoms for it, which comes from, you know, the science years. But the clinical method, it's like, this is medicine. This is medicine in a nutshell. So I actually thanked you. So you're a psychiatrist. So we had a unique situation, I think.

Dr. Chan: Yes, yes.

Lily: Which I loved.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, you guys were very open about that. I remember that.

Lily: Yeah, because you've got, you know, like a pulmonologist and a neurologist.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, family practice docs.

Lily: Family practice docs.

Dr. Chan: Internists.

Lily: Yeah, so they're just, you know, loving the knee exam, but I really think, you know, we did fulfill that just fine. But I do think that you were a unique resource in that. You know, we're asking, learning how to ask difficult questions and have difficult conversations. And, like, that right there is medicine in a nutshell. It truly is. So I think it was a great experience. I was lucky to have you.

Dr. Chan: Oh, Lily, I love it. All right, I'm turning red. Okay.

Lily: There you go.

Dr. Chan: Next career choice. Okay, for the first two years every time I would officially or unofficially ask you, neurosurgery. Brain surgery, brain surgery, brain surgery.

Lily: I was very subtle though. I was never in your face. I'm very introverted . . .

Dr. Chan: No, no, no. I'd never say you were in my face, but you were, I felt pretty committed, you know, very beginning.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: And I know you did research . . .

Lily: I did, yeah.

Dr. Chan: . . . in neurosurgery. I know you were shadowing a neurosurgeon.

Lily: I did a ton of research.

Dr. Chan: Help us understand, like, how much did third year kind of play into that? Like, the evolution of your career choice.

Lily: Yeah, great question. So I think like all, you know, med students are kind of decision path. You know, pre-meds, people have an idea of what they want to do. And even in med school, even, you know, late into third year of med school people, you know, they adjust their choices. It is true. So I, in that intervening period between undergrad and med school, I did do a significant amount of neurosurgery research. A lot of that essentially had to do with the fact that I, you know, just reached out for an opportunity, and, you know, one of the first people who responded was this neurosurgeon. And I'm deeply grateful for that experience and was fortunate to do quite a bit of research in that area.

I did continue it in the early part of med school here with a wonderful neurosurgeon up here. And, you know, I think the overwhelming theme of, kind of, my interests is that I always loved surgery. The neurosurgery part came into the fact that I was always searching for something that, quite frankly, was just kind of interesting technologically or, you know, the patients. And I still, like, regard it in that way. However, I think what I, over the course of third year, I recognized that the way I want to, the rhythm of the way I wanted to practice medicine, the people I wanted to take care of, how I wanted to spend my days, it just, like, that wasn't the best option and it wasn't congruent with that. So the big reveal, so I'm doing OB/GYN. That's the plan at least. I just absolutely fell in love with the specialty when I was on this rotation.

Dr. Chan: So where was OB in your . . . was it, like, in the middle, the end, the beginning?

Lily: No, it was actually near the beginning, which is, like, which is kind of funny. It was in the summer of my third year. So it was the very beginning. And then so I kept it in the back of my mind throughout all of third year. And also, too, the thing is, I loved everything I was doing. I mean, some people have the idea that they're going to be an orthopedic surgeon, you know, from high school or whatever. You know, I just, I knew I loved surgery, but to be honest I enjoyed every rotation. I love, you know, this is going to sound corny and clichÈ, but it's the truth, like, every time I get in a new clinical context I say, "This is fantastic."

I did love, in particular though, there is, here's another thing, a misconception. I think a lot of people think, you know, individuals go into OB/GYN because it's this, like, happy, easy context in which to work, which is the farthest thing from the truth. You know, these are people that I deeply admire, the people who are working in this field. They're dealing with very difficult situations. It's critical care essentially, but not just for one person but two people. It's, you know, you have these longitudinal relationships with patients and there's many, kind of, branches that you can, areas in which you can practice from, kind of, the general area. So I've done a significant amount of work in multiple rotations in GYN oncology for example. Another, like, fantastic area where there are these totally badass surgeons, but they're also, you know, doing chemotherapy. So I just, I loved the opportunities that, you know, that it offered.

Dr. Chan: Was it more the OB or the GYN part?

Lily: Oh, it's both.

Dr. Chan: Because you do three weeks and three weeks, right?

Lily: So I think OB is what snags people. Because, I'm not kidding you, you can ask any of my classmates or frankly any med student around the country, and labor and delivery will have been one of their favorite, if not their favorite rotation. But then they just don't end up going into it. But it'll be, like, what they had the best time in. You know, and as people should. It's a lot of fun. Like, who doesn't love to, you know, literally catch a baby. I think too, I think the people in OB/GYN, I think they're, you can't often make generalizations in medicine and you shouldn't, but I think that they're decent people. You know, the residents here are fantastic and fun to work with. They're very smart. You know, I had the fortune of working with a chief resident here for two months on my sub-Is. Literally, I did two sub-Is here and she happened to be the chief on both of them. It was the best teaching I've had in all of my clinical years of med school.

Dr. Chan: That's great, yeah.

Lily: Yeah. And so I just, you know, all things considered, I thought this is the way, you know, I want to spend my life. And, you know, and not to be, you know, too clichÈ, but I do think that there is some really redeeming aspects to it as well. You know, you help . . . I think to also doing medicine, sorry I'm backtracking a little bit. I think if you're going to do medicine, these days in particular, I mean, it should always be this way, but I think these days now, I think there is an obligation to primary care. It's not to denigrate any other, you know, super specialty. And I think we should also have, you know, an obligation to society.

I say that in the sense that I wanted some area of medicine where, you know, I'm taking care of women, you know, who, you know, socioeconomically disadvantaged in whatever way, an OB, an OB/GYN is such a perfect way of an opportunity for that, of making the community a better place. And I really believe that, you know.

Surgery's wonderful, you know, neurosurgery's wonderful and they do amazing work. Obviously, all these specialties are essential. However, hopefully you can kind of see, like, my personality. You know, I love being around people and, you know, being involved in our community and, you know, our broader Salt Lake and Utah community. So it just seemed more appropriate. It's very, you know, socially-based, values-based advocacy. You're required to advocate for other people and I think that was why it just kind of fit together.

Dr. Chan: So you do begin at the beginning of summer. Did you still do a neurosurgery rotation year after a year?

Lily: No, I didn't. Yeah, I know, right?

Dr. Chan: All right. So, like, was it, like, an instantaneous conversion?

Lily: Yes.

Dr. Chan: Or did you kind of struggle? Did you make that decision end of third year? I mean, walk me through that.

Lily: It was, I just, it was in the back of my mind through all of third year. And I did my surgery rotation in the winter, actually it was this time last year. It was December/January and I loved it. I loved my surgery rotation. So I really at that time was evaluating the context in which I wanted to practice surgery, which I think is a very important distinction.

And of course, I don't know as much as, you know, there's other people who could speak to this much better, but this is just my personal, you know, decision making on this. Surgery is very different in different contexts. You know, the people are different, the patients are different, the way you treat your patients, how often you see them, you know, the rhythm of your OR days, how much you're in the OR is very different from subspecialty to subspecialty in surgery. And even in general surgery. Don't get me wrong, like the Whipple, like the pancreas, like it's extraordinary what they do, but I just cared a lot less for it than I did some other surgery procedures. And the same can be said, you know, for the pelvic organs. I'm sure other people would . . . Dr. Chan: You're very correct.

Lily: Talking to the psychiatrist here.

Dr. Chan: All right, so . . .

Lily: So anyhow, you know, it was towards, it was towards the end of third year but they do, you guys start making us make choices pretty quickly.

Dr. Chan: You say "they," it's the system. It's not "you" . . .

Lily: The system. I'm going to loop you into the system. I'm going to include you.

Dr. Chan: The medical education system. I did not move up the day for when residency applications were due.

Lily: Well, they make you start submitting your thoughts in we'll say January.

Dr. Chan: Everything's compressed. It's this endless cycle of applying.

Lily: Yeah, it is. But that means we're well-prepared.

Dr. Chan: Before we talk about that . . .

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: . . . during this time, you also decided to embark upon your political career.

Lily: I had to think for a second of what you were talking about.

Dr. Chan: So tell me, like, do the people recruit you? How did you become involved in student government? How did this played out?

Lily: Great question. So I am a Student Body Officer, which . . .

Dr. Chan: You're Student Body President.

Lily: I'm Student Body President, I know.

Dr. Chan: El Presidente.

Lily: I am, I am. I'm a Co-President with two other fantastic guys in my class, Brian and Scott. We have had a great time. So I hadn't been formally involved in, like, class presidency or in student class council up until this point, but I'd always been involved in, like, med school things.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, yeah, you were very involved.

Lily: Yeah. Like, I love being involved in the community.

Dr. Chan: Lily's on this committee. She's tackling this cause.

Lily: Exactly, yeah. Well, it's fun, you know? You know, like we've talked about, like, that is, you know what institutions, that's what we should be doing at an institution, especially in medicine. There's lots of quality improvement advocacy. So medicine is, like, perfect for that context of my personality. So, yes, so I did end up running for Student Body President. And, yes, it was kind of spontaneous. I by no means plotted a, you know, a well thought out campaign or anything like that. But this, the three of us just decided that this would be . . . you know, I met Scott in anatomy lab freshman year and Brian was also a good friend. You know, we had amongst the three of us, kind of had different backgrounds and personalities. We quite frankly thought to ourselves, "Let's just do this. It'll be fun."

Dr. Chan: So how, I mean . . .

Lily: We thought we represented the school well.

Dr. Chan: So to an outsider, like, what does it mean to be Student Body President of medical school?

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: Like, what kind of issues do you tackle? Like, what kind of initiatives do you drive? I mean, what's the job?

Lily: Yeah, great question. It is, you know, so there were some formal, like formal obligations. So we meet essentially once a month with the administration, the Dean's office for example. And during this meeting we have our Class Presidents. So there's two Class Presidents per class. And then in addition each class has, I believe it's five class committee members. Then amongst the committee members there's, kind of, different responsibilities with the Alumni Association, with, I'm trying to think of others . . . diversity in professionalism but, kind of, other subcategories. So we are, kind of, the . . . I don't want to use the word "hierarchy," but in terms of, like, oversight . . .

Dr. Chan: You're the leadership.

Lily: Yeah. We're in leadership and so we're kind of looking out for our Class Presidents who are looking out for their, you know, their Class Councils. So that's kind of the formal organization of it. We have some, you know, formal obligations, some of which are, you know, more frivolous than others. For example, like, we order the jackets for the School of Medicine, we plan school events. At the other end of the spectrum though we get involved, we're kind of like the first call you could say for, you know, communication with the Dean's office.

Dr. Chan: Yeah, student response. Student feedback. Student reactions to X.

Lily: Yeah, student response. Exactly, yeah. And there's a lot of that. So, you know, we're heavily involved in, you know, professionalism issues, providing input, getting students involved and forming committees, and, you know, acquiring feedback to present to the administration. You know, in matters related to curriculum or professionalism issues. So it's very broad. I'm trying to think of just the most recent issues that came up.

I mean, one of the more fun things we did recently was, you know, some anonymous person donated some money to support a family for Christmas here. So we kind of helped organize that. You know, this wasn't so much . . . this is the other issue too, explaining too, is that I have so many responsibilities on different committees that they intersect, yeah.

Dr. Chan: I know, it just, yeah. You look very serious right now because I can see you're running through all of them.

Lily: I'm trying to remember which ones are discretely SBO and . . .

Dr. Chan: So here's a process question. Like, you, Scott, and Brian represent the entire student body.

Lily: Mm-hmm, yeah. That's accurate.

Dr. Chan: For better or for worse.

Lily: Yeah. Hey, for better.

Dr. Chan: How . . . well, my next question, my follow-up question. So like, the administration, they have initiative or question or they want your take . . .

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: How do the three of you represent the entire student body? Do you, like, use Survey Monkey?

Lily: No, that's so 1999.

Dr. Chan: Do you use focus groups?

Lily: No.

Dr. Chan: Do you see what I'm saying? I think it's hard because, like, the student body, there's 500 people from all walks of life, different cultures, different backgrounds, different educations, some are more advanced in their training. I would argue that people who are a little further along in med school probably kind of see the bigger picture. So how do you do that?

Lily: Yeah, great question. And we're always, we're still figuring that out. Only six months in here. So I think, you know, going back to why we ran and how we selected ourselves. So the overwhelming, kind of, reason why we're, how we're able to do that is because, like I said, we come from different backgrounds. So I'm out of state, didn't even go, I'm not even from here. I have no family here, no connections. So, you know, I have, although we have many mutual friends and cross paths with different groups of people, classmates, I know different people, let's say, than Brian who went to BYU, he's from Utah.

Dr. Chan: From here.

Lily: Yeah. And so, like, he knows, you know, many, many people in the MS1 class that I just did not know because he went to undergraduate with them. You know, Scott, he went to the University of Utah. We all studied different things.

Dr. Chan: You did form a power ticket. I love it, yes.

Lily: There we go, yeah, exactly. You got to have that varied ticket though.

Dr. Chan: Yeah.

Lily: So I think that's the first thing, is that we recognize that, you know, we all know different people. Now, to answer your question of how do you go about these things, there are many ways and you have to adapt. So we don't use Survey Monkey but good . . .

Dr. Chan: What's the 2019, 2020 version?

Lily: Well, Facebook is still up there.

Dr. Chan: Really?

Lily: Yeah, I know, right?

Dr. Chan: Because my staff was telling me Instagram is where it's at.

Lily: Yeah, you did just get a new Instagram. I followed you but I haven't gotten a follow back.

Dr. Chan: Well, I don't know how to do that because I literally, I have to sit with my staff and they have to like, it's like teaching me the alphabet. Like, I watch them and they're so fast with their little fingers and styluses. I'm going, "Wow."

Lily: There you go, I know. Well, you're going to have to move faster.

Dr. Chan: Facebook was so much easier. It's kind of an older person thing.

Lily: So we use Facebook. I mean, even just today for example, I posted congratulating our MS2 class who just finished essentially their first semester of second year med school. You know, so Facebook, we do email, we have our class panelists. You know, we show up in person too, you know, which I think is the most valuable way of communicating with people. You know, a couple months ago . . . unfortunately the MS4s have been out of town the last couple weeks interviewing across the country, but we try to be present in person. We visited the MS1 class for example conveying certain ideas and information on issues. And also just saying, "Hey." So in-person communication I think is always the best way to go. You know, you asked about how we go about kind of, like, solving issues or resolving issues.

Dr. Chan: Some of which are unresolvable.

Lily: Some of which are unresolvable. You can do your best to approach it. You can never go wrong . . .

Dr. Chan: Oh Lily, you're destined for higher ed administration.

Lily: I've learned very quickly.

Dr. Chan: Yeah.

Lily: But you can never go wrong by, you know, facilitating at least, you know, a good number of people who have a diverse set of opinions to contribute to the conversation, perspectives, especially in a place as diverse as a medical school as an institution like this. You have to have contributions and input from multiple people. So it is our responsibility I think to facilitate that.

Just depending on what the issue is, you know, we have our Class Presidents and our Class Councils who are readily available to contribute to these various committees. Or even, sometimes an issue will come up and we'll form a group in concert with the Dean's office, and we'll form a group that we think that, you know, we'll ask people to volunteer, we'll ask people specifically just because, who knows? They might have been affected by a particular issue. That's how we get a lot of, you know, student involvement. Some students love being involved more than others. I think we do try to make an effort though to make sure others have their voices heard as well. And sometimes I admit we do use surveys, but it's like a Google survey, Dr. Chan. I mean, come on.

Dr. Chan: Not Survey Monkey. Okay, Google survey. I'll have to have my staff show me that. Okay, so, OB/GYN residency applications.

Lily: Yeah. Hard to believe I'm in this position.

Dr. Chan: I know. Like, how many do you apply to? If you're interested in OB/GYN, do you do away rotation? What's kind of been your strategy?

Lily: Yeah, oh man. You know, we have received lots of advisement from Dr. Stevenson, our Dean.

Dr. Chan: I'm sure the internet also has more . . . the interwebs.

Lily: The internet has lots of things. I stay off of it though. I don't like to . . . that's a mess if you get into it. My strategy was basically to apply broadly, which sounds vague but that is the absolute truth. You know, OB/GYN now, you're having to apply to 50, 60, 70 programs. Of course, that all depends on what your credentials are and your background. I was a little uncertain of how I would fall into things, you know, in particular because I didn't have any explicit let's say OB/GYN research or experience, I think that's totally fine. But one of my classmates, for example, you know, he had a very specific OB/GYN volunteering and research, which is wonderful. He's a fantastic candidate. But I was just, like, very different in that regard. So I was a little uncertain how it would be received, and it's been received just fine. So I admittedly applied to many programs. I won't tell you the exact number.

Dr. Chan: It's up there though. In the 50 to 70 ballpark.

Lily: It's up there, yeah. Frankly, mostly out of necessity. I mean, it's just what you have to do. And I admit that unfortunately, you know, people have very strong opinions about this. Unfortunately I think, mentally, myself, I could not not apply to places knowing how far it's taken to get to this point and then risk not applying to enough places.

Dr. Chan: So a part of that's kind of, like, anxiety driven. It's going to cover all your bases.

Lily: Yeah, well, exactly, Yeah. And people will tell you too, and I understand there's statistics, there's numbers to back up the fact that, you know, after a certain number of applications, the return doesn't increase. However, still, it's difficult to kind of get past this fact that you have to get an interview in order to be eligible.

Dr. Chan: Do you feel comfortable sharing how many interview offers you got?

Lily: I will tell you that I went on a dozen interviews.

Dr. Chan: A dozen, good. All right.

Lily: Yeah.

Dr. Chan: So that's good, right? Isn't that kind of the sweet spot?

Lily: Yeah, so that is the sweet spot. For OB/GYN, it's apparently, like, 12 to 14 is what they say.

Dr. Chan: Okay.

Lily: And they vary from . . . I admittedly applied to mostly university programs. You know, I am no expert of course, and everyone has different opinions on community-based programs or university, and kind of what surgical numbers you get. You can ask Dr. Silver, the chair, for probably a better perspective. But just, like, personally, I think it's been deeply informed of my experience at Utah here. I just love these big academic medical centers. They're exciting places to be. They're a lot of fun. So I was looking for something kind of in that, you know, similar spirit I guess you could say.

Dr. Chan: So it's four years long.

Lily: Four years long.

Dr. Chan: Four years long. And then what kind of fellowships are attached to it? Are you thinking about a fellowship at this point?

Lily: Yeah, yeah. You're reminding me of your other question that you asked a few minutes ago.

Dr. Chan: Away rotations.

Lily: Away rotations, which is true. So I thought, everyone talks about away rotations in med school. I didn't realize that you don't have to do them.

Dr. Chan: You don't, yeah.

Lily: I know that seems kind of funny because the majority don't, but I didn't quite realize that different specialties actually, like, some of them apparently even dissuade you from doing it because you can . . . by showing up in person and showing your face you could ruin your chances.

Dr. Chan: Well, I don't think that's what they put on the websites.

Lily: That's not what they put on their website. I fully endorse, you know, visiting other institutions. And I say that too because . . .

Dr. Chan: Well, it's an audition, right?

Lily: Yeah, Well, it's an audition.

Dr. Chan: So I think if you go do an away rotation at an outside facility, it's your time to shine or not shine. Right? Yeah.

Lily: Yeah. Well, and also, shouldn't that be your attitude regardless? And that was my . . .

Dr. Chan: Well, yeah, but it's kind of high-pressure though.

Lily: It is.

Dr. Chan: Like you're always being evaluated.

Lily: No, it's true. But, quite frankly, so I applied to multiple away rotations, and I ended up selecting two of them and doing two of them in Maryland and in Pittsburg. I had a fantastic time at both. And I didn't even . . .

Dr. Chan: Yeah, different cultures, different hospital systems, yeah.

Lily: Yeah, exactly. And I think . . .

Dr. Chan: Hanging out with other students.

Lily: Yeah, no, it's true though. I think, though, it's almost a responsibility to kind of go out and have these, like . . . it's like, never again in your, well, in medicine it's a little different. Like, you can do rotations at various hospitals, but this is the first time in your life, like, you have this privilege of literally dropping yourself in the middle of, like, a hospital in, that you had no connection to previously. You literally pick up your ID and then you walk over and walk into a surgery. I mean, it's because, of course, we've negotiated these relationships with other institutions and reciprocal . . .

Dr. Chan: Yeah, reciprocity.

Lily: There's a lot of, there's a lot more to it than of course just showing up. You know, safety stuff and insurance. But that's all in place, and so I figured, you know, why not? I think it's important too you see how other hospitals operate, everyone does things differently. Even, like, how a clinic works is very different. How an OR works. You know, at one of the institutions I was at, there were many fellows. So I did it in GYN oncology, so ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, which is a pretty intense rotation. It's not a vacation by any means.

But I specifically chose GYN oncology within OB/GYN because I think it's the best way, at least for me, I thought it was the perfect venue to prepare for intern year. It's ICU based. The intern has really all the floor responsibilities, you're learning how to manage very sick women, and obviously there's some pretty extraordinary surgeries that take place. So, you know, I just think it was the best learning experience. Obviously, like, labor and delivery and obstetrics is, you know, can also be wonderful preparation. But this was just the way I chose to do it.

Dr. Chan: Was it intimidating to be in, like, a different hospital system? And everyone has, like, white coats that look really different.

Lily: Yeah, exactly.

Dr. Chan: And then people are kind of friends and they know where the lounge is, you know? And you don't know where anything is and they kind of hang out after hours and maybe they invite you, maybe they don't. You know what I'm saying?

Lily: No, no. Absolutely.

Dr. Chan: Because I remember I did one away rotation. I just remember it was, like, it was a lot of fun.

Lily: Really? In psychiatry?

Dr. Chan: It was fun. We were trying to get out there. But there's also a kind of, like, lonely. I kind of felt like, oh, this is not really an accurate feeling what it would be like exactly because I would have friends at this place if I matched here.

Lily: Yeah. No, I mean, that's a great point. And I admit, you know, the two months . . . so I was just gone completely for two months. Empty apartment here in Salt Lake City. Staying in completely new cities. Admittedly it is difficult because you are walking into a place where you don't even know where the bathroom is. And then right after you check in and get your ID, you're going to work. And you have no idea where anything is.

However, I think though, that is honestly what medicine is. In third year of medical school you will quickly learn, or I quickly learned, that you are given, you know, you get an email with instructions on where your family medicine clerkship is starting or, you know, where you're starting on surgical oncology on Monday morning at 4:00 a.m., and where you're supposed to be and what resident you're supposed to contact. And you show up and you get to work. And so, you know, your entire, at least, hopefully it gets better, but initially in medicine and the teaching or learning years in particular I should say, it is about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I mean, I think about this often.

Medicine is obviously embedded in science and research and evidence-based medicine, but at the end of the day medicine is really being able to get along with people. If you cannot get along with people and be able to work on a team, and you work with new people, I mean, truly, even day to day new people. You know, your resident teams will change, your attending will change. I mean, I was on the ICU a couple months ago and the first week, and this isn't normal because you usually have, you know, consistent attending for, you know, a week. But I had four different attendings on four consecutive days. So you very quickly learn to kind of get comfortable with these situations.

You know, luckily though, walking into these other programs on away rotations. I do think Utah prepares us well. You know, I was, quite frankly, confident walking in, you know. It's not that I knew . . . you don't know what you're doing at all times, but, you know, you, I know how to present a patient. I know how to round on a patient, and if I don't know something, I know where to look it up. So I think if you've done third year of medical school right, and if you work hard, honestly that's just the most important thing. If you just work hard and show up on time, hopefully earlier, but if you show up on time and, you know, be meticulous and try your best. I mean, that's medicine to me. You know, this is coming, of course, I'm a little biased so this is coming from a person who wasn't as into, like, intro to biology as the next person. But I think that's why medicine is redeeming for me. It's because you can work your butt off and, you know, if you care about people, you care about communicating with people, then that right there will set you up for success.

Dr. Chan: So in your mind right now, because you're done with almost all your interviews. Do you know what your rank list looks like or is it still kind of in flux? And where does your top fit into that?

Lily: You can't ask me this question.

Dr. Chan: Well, I'm not asking for details.

Lily: It's okay, you can. Well, how do I vaguely convey? Let me just say this. Because I know that you have such a broad audience and I never know who's listening. I would go anywhere. And I say that in the sense, I mean, who wouldn't to match?

Dr. Chan: You really are a politician. I love it.

Lily: I am a politician. Yes, exactly.

Dr. Chan: You are Student Body Officer, President.

Lily: I will say though, I do have, you know, some people have strong preferences just based off of where they have family, where they grew up or where they're trying to get back to or away to, I guess you could say. I actually don't have really any geographic preference in the sense that I, you know, have been fortunate to live in different parts of the country. And so that's honestly a strength. You know, it can be, I think it's a strength at least. I've been able to plop myself down and start over multiple times in my life in new places where I had nobody, no family, nothing. And Utah was one of those and it's worked out well. I love it here and I truly mean that. It would be an ultimate privilege to stay here for residency. And I mean it too. You know, we have a fantastic program here. The institution is fantastic. There are, you know, details that, or factors I should say, that do influence one's preferences. Everyone . . . having just got back from the interview trail, you know, they're fresh in my mind. People will tell you about case numbers and the call schedule and, you know, whether meals are paid for and whether parking's paid for.

Dr. Chan: My own bias is like, at the end of the day, all operating rooms look the same to me.

Lily: Exactly, yeah.

Dr. Chan: Because of like accreditation.

Lily: Well, it's true, yeah. Exactly, yeah. You have to fulfill certain . . .

Dr. Chan: They always with these tours like, "Oh, look at ours." And it looks like all the other operating rooms, yeah.

Lily: Well, that's exactly it though. That's what I'm getting to is that at the end of the day, like, all these residencies, most of them, but all these residencies are going to fulfill the requirements of becoming, you know, a doctor. A licensed doctor I should say. And board certified. You know, and so, for me, the question I actually have asked in these interviews, and they, who knows? This is maybe a dumb question. This is the first person I'm telling that I asked this question. But for me, a question I asked these programs, sometimes even the chair themselves, I would ask them about the culture. You know, because you can ask, like, how many, you know, total abdominal hysterectomies they do, but at the end of the day, you're going to get those numbers in. But I want to know, you know, do the residents enjoy being with each other? Do the attendings respect the residents and trust them, and vice versa? Is the chair excited to be there? And you very quickly do learn, you get a sense of the culture of places.

Dr. Chan: Yeah. Well, because I think it's important you ask the chairman, chairperson that.

Lily: Yeah, yeah.

Dr. Chan: But I don't think there's a single department chair who's going to say, "Well, actually our culture is kind of bad."

Lily: It's true though.

Dr. Chan: But you're probably looking for other clues throughout the day.

Lily: Yeah, there are other clues, yeah.

Dr. Chan: The dinner the night before, how the residents interact with each other.

Lily: You know, the caveat of course, people show you more than they tell you, of course. I don't think it hurts to ask them to tell you. You know, if they don't, that's a problem. You know, that being said, I was fortunate to interview at some wonderful places where, you know, wonderful departments, and it seems like they have great communities as you hopefully . . . well, you know me. I understand not every day is going to be an easy day at work or a happy day. Who knows? There may be more days not than, you know, than that. But, you know, I'm invigorated by coming to work every day. I love being in medicine for that reason. So I am looking for a place that does kind of fulfill that for me, culturally I guess you could say.

Dr. Chan: This has been great, Lily. Last question and I'm going to put you on the spot.

Lily: Go ahead.

Dr. Chan: What's, like, what's your anxiety about not matching?

Lily: You know . . .

Dr. Chan: Because, like, is that still, I mean, you know, because like, you, I think you're in this place where you're good.

Lily: Yeah, I don't have any. Maybe this is . . . honestly, this is not so much about not matching but, honestly, I just think of places where it's their loss if they don't get me.

Dr. Chan: Well, good.

Lily: Maybe that sounds a little arrogant but, you know, I don't really have . . . I think I have, you know, enough interviews that I'll be just fine, enough places to rank. You know, that does happen and it's happened to friends. It happens to people every single year. And I have seen people, you know, prevail through it. I think the biggest thing is that, you know, hopefully with fingers crossed, it doesn't happen.

You know, we have although getting to this point have had, you know, bumps in the road. It's not the first time, I don't think, that, you know, for myself and also my peers, other things that happened that have made us take a U-turn or, you know, adapt to the situation. There have been too many hoops to jump through and hurdles to go over to get to this point. So, you know, obviously it would be upsetting but there are ways to get through it. As you know, there's the SOAP process and some people get into residency that way. You know, it happens, but I am confident and hopeful it does not.

Dr. Chan: All right, my last question, I lied.

Lily: Yes.

Dr. Chan: Will you come back before, after you match?

Lily: What do you mean "come back?"

Dr. Chan: Come back on the podcast.

Lily: Oh, of course.

Dr. Chan: I want to talk to you some more.

Lily: Absolutely. I thought you meant just to say hi to you when I . . .

Dr. Chan: Because I still have all these questions in my mind and you're so busy.

Lily: Oh, my god. I love it.

Dr. Chan: For the listeners, I didn't touch upon Oklahoma's Sooner football.

Lily: Oh, gosh.

Dr. Chan: We have been playing phone tag to get this.

Lily: Yes.

Dr. Chan: Or email tag.

Lily: We have so many issues we need to talk about.

Dr. Chan: And you, like, no-showed me because, like you went off the grid for a couple months there.

Lily: Oh my gosh. Well, I should've shared . . .

Dr. Chan: You're a difficult person to track down.

Lily: I know. I should've shared too. And I, Dr. Chan, you emailed me to ask me the ultimate privilege, to get on this podcast. I mean, truly. Because when I was applying to med school this was a thing. I obviously couldn't have imagined the day when I would get to be on it. But, like you were saying, I admit last year, and it was during my surgery rotation though. It was this time last year you emailed me. And I forgot to email you back.

Dr. Chan: It's okay, I understand. But it's like, "Oh, Lily must be either really busy or she just really is like . . . she just passed on Chan."

Lily: It was certainly the former because I would never pass on an opportunity to talk with you, Dr. Chan.

Dr. Chan: Well, we want you to come back.

Lily: I will, absolutely. Looking forward to it.

Dr. Chan: Thanks, Lily.

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