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By Medicus
If you're a healthcare professional, student, or just someone interested in the many facets of medicine, you've come to the right place! We are a team of medical students discussing a broad range of topics with peers, physicians, researchers, administrators, and allied health professionals. You'll hear about hot topics in medicine, practical advice, success strategies, research, and much more. Look for a new episode every other Wednesday!
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Ep04 | Bioethics and Faith in Medicine


Ep96 | Beyond Mad Cow: Prion Diseases Explained
In this episode, we learn about prions and the neurodegenerative diseases they cause.  Join us as Michael Terranova explains how these rare infectious proteins impact patients and why the medical community needs to be aware of their effects. Michael Terranova earned his BS and MS degrees at UC San Diego, and he is currently a medical student at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. A lifelong interest in neurology led Michael to research the neurobiology of substance use at the San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System before researching rapidly progressive dementias at the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center. He is also an avid automotive enthusiast, having participated in the Society of Automotive Engineers International Collegiate Design Series and restored multiple classic cars with his family. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not constitute medical advice and do not represent the views or opinions of the institutions, researchers, or patient advocacy groups discussed during the interview. Additional resources related to prion disease can be found at: Episode produced by: Jackie Tarsitano Episode recording date: 7/13/22 | | Donate:
September 28, 2022
Ep95 | Abortion Care in a Post-Roe v. Wade America
In this episode, we discuss the implications of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, taking away the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade and granting states the authority to impose restrictions on abortion care. We speak with Amy Perez, a nurse and abortion care provider living in Texas, about what the decision means for reproductive health. Amy Perez is a queer activist from Madison, Wisconsin. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a minor in Chican@ & Latinx studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an undergrad, the Obama administration awarded her the President’s service medal in recognition for 200+ hours of volunteer service for Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Upon graduation, Amy moved to Austin, TX to complete a Residency in Pediatric Intensive Care. After SB8 took effect, a bounty law that allows private citizens to sue whoever helps people obtaining abortions beyond 6 weeks of gestation, Amy decided to switch specialties to serve those affected by this law. Amy currently works as an Abortion Services Nurse for Planned Parenthood of greater TX at the South Austin Surgical Services Center. Amy intends to become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner to help victims of sexual violence when she becomes eligible to certify. Amy’s goal is to become a Midwife and a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and open her own sexual and reproductive health center. Eventually, she will also get a DNP in psychiatry & mental health. Amy has devoted her life to serving and empowering underserved and marginalized communities. Follow Amy @amy_jochett and check out the resources discussed on the show: Plan C Pills (@plancpills) Aid Access (@aidacess) Forward Midwifery (@forwardmidwifery) Miscarriage and Abortion Hotline (@ma_hotline) If/When/How (@ifwhenhow) Shout Your Abortion (@shoutyourabortion) Jane’s Due Process (@janesdueprocess) Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 6/14/22 | | Donate:
September 14, 2022
Ep94 | MS4 Perspective: Orthopedic Surgery
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) series, we investigate the field of Orthopedic Surgery. Our guest, Dr. Brooke Dickens, shares what led her to pursue this male dominated field and how to make yourself a competitive applicant while staying true to yourself. Brooke Dickens is a first year orthopedic surgery resident at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Hospital. Originally from California, Brooke has found herself a home throughout the United States. After four years in Cambridge, MA playing soccer for Harvard Women's Soccer and earning her BA in Neurobiology, she spent time doing policy work in DC before moving back to California to teach junior high and coach soccer, and then had a pit stop in Chicago where she graduated from the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. Brooke is excited to be living and learning in North Carolina alongside her husband, Scotty, who works for the Wake Forest Football team. When not in the hospital, you can find her cheering on the Deacs, taking a long nap, or playing a game of pick-up soccer. She is super excited to become an orthopedic surgeon and would love to be a resource for anyone who wants to reach out! You can contact Brooke via email at Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 6/14/22 | | Donate:
August 31, 2022
Ep93 | Addressing the Emergency Medicine Job Shortage Report: Dr. Mark Cichon
In this episode, we interview Emergency Medicine physician Dr. Mark Cichon on the recent ACEP report regarding potential Emergency Medicine physician job shortages over the next decade. This has been a hot topic among medical students and emergency medicine residents. Dr. Cichon clears the air on this report and gives great insight into the world of emergency medicine.  Dr. Cichon is a Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, and has been a member of the Loyola University Chicago faculty since joining the institution in 1996. Dr. Cichon is the Medical Director for Loyola University Medical Center – Emergency Medical Services System where he oversees the licensing, education, policy and procedures for the 3000 "Pre-Hospital" personnel in the Loyola System. As Medical Director, Dr. Cichon has overseen the establishment and organization of disaster preparedness. As Faculty at the Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine, Dr. Cichon mentors and teaches in the existing curriculum during the sophomore pathology program and during the clerkship years, and he has developed a curriculum in Disaster Medicine for the medical students. Dr. Cichon has held several other leadership positions and greatly impacted the field of Emergency Medicine, the before mentioned are just a few of his several achievements! Episode produced by: Aaron Deng and Lauren Hekman Episode recording date: 4/11/22 | | Donate:
August 10, 2022
Ep92 | MS4 Perspective: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) series, we investigate the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Our guest, Hye-Jin Yun, shares what led her to pursue this often overlooked specialty and how to make sure you make the most of virtual interviews. Hye-Jin ("HJ") Yun is the former MS4 Class President and recent graduate of Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. She is a preliminary intern at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and will be training at Stanford University for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R). As a former performer, she holds a certificate in Performing Arts Medicine. Her passion includes utilizing social media to mentor, empower, and provide exposure to the wonderful world of physiatry. You can contact HJ via Instagram @doc.ladywonder or email ( Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 5/30/22 | | Donate:
August 03, 2022
Ep91 | MS4 Perspective: Family Medicine
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) series, we dive into the field of Family Medicine. Our guest, Kendall Frisoli, shares what drew her to this specialty and what keeps her sane through the rigors of medical training. KENDALL is a musician passionate about connecting to and healing with her audience. Originally from Los Angeles, KENDALL has been training to become a physician in Chicago. She is returning home to California to pursue her Family Medicine Residency journey in July 2022 at Long Beach Memorial. Since childhood, music has kept her centered. It continued to keep her grounded throughout her experiences as a collegiate D1 athlete, LGBTQ woman, and medical student. It is her expressive outlet and treatment of choice. Music is medicine, and KENDALL integrates this artistic tool within her medical practice. Her music is vulnerable, relatable, and most importantly - real. KENDALL’s songwriting is sparked by human relationships, whether it be with romantic interests, friends, family, patients, or herself. KENDALL’s first single release, “Slow My Mind Down,” is one of many songs she wrote about a girl. This piece evokes the range of emotions we feel in our relationships. And it is a perfect example of how KENDALL’s mind can race from 0 to 100 after experiencing a meaningful connection. She hopes it hits people in all of the tender places - because those are the best places - and brings humans closer to our common ground. You can reach out to Kendall by email at Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 5/10/22 | | Donate:
July 20, 2022
Ep90 I A Conversation with a Genetic Counselor
In this episode, we explore the field of genetic counseling and its significance in both research and clinical settings. We talk with board certified genetic counselor Magan Trottier about her path to genetic counseling, the ethics behind genetic testing results, and what direct-to-consumer tests can tell you. Magan Trottier received a master’s degree in Molecular Genetics and another in Genetic Counseling, both from the University of Toronto. In addition to counseling, she has over ten years of research experience and has published papers in prestigious journals like Cell Stem Cell and the Journal of the American Medical Association. She is an adjunct professor in the Long Island University Post Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. She currently works for Memorial Sloan Kettering, and the opinions she expresses in this interview are solely her own and do not express the views or opinions of Memorial Sloan Kettering. More information about the All of Us Research Program can be found at Episode produced by: Jackie Tarsitano Episode recording date: 12/21/21 | | Donate:
July 06, 2022
Ep89 I What It’s Like to Be An Intern: Wisdom From the Original Medicus Squad
The original creators of the Medicus Podcast are wrapping up their first year of residency and offer their perspectives on being an intern. Alek Druck - Urology, University of South Florida Mara Peterson - Internal Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University Nathan Burstedt - Preliminary Medicine Year, Loyola University Medical Center (going into Internal Medicine at Overland Park Regional Medical Center) Joshua Lewis - Preliminary Medicine Year, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital (going into Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Montefiore Medical Center) Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga, Katie Mott Episode recording date: January - June, 2022 | | Donate:
June 22, 2022
Ep88 I What It’s Like to Be a Hematologist-Oncologist With Many Interests: Dr. Elizabeth Henry, MD
In this episode, we spoke with Dr. Elizabeth Henry, a clinical associate professor at Loyola University Chicago with a clinical focus on GU medical oncology. Before joining the faculty, she completed her hematology/oncology fellowship at Loyola and served as Chief Fellow in her final year of training. Elizabeth is a former heme/onc fellowship program director and has research interests in medical education and utilization of digital technology in training and professional development. She is a 2021-2022 ASCO Education Scholar. As the Medical Director of Oncology with theMednet, she oversees the editorial teams in moderating the high quality physician discussions, as well as expanding engagement through special programming such as the Tumor Board Q&A, ASCO and NEJM Journal Club discussions, SWOG outreach programs, and more. We discuss her many interests, including hematology-oncology and medical education and technology to advance medical knowledge. She explains her role at theMednet as a medical information platform for physicians, highlighting how physicians can have unique roles aside from practicing medicine in the hospital and/or clinic. Dr. Henry also shares her story about pursuing medicine and hematology/oncology specifically, simultaneously while conveying valuable advice to all aspiring physicians. More information about theMednet can be found at: Episode produced by: Emily Hagen, Insup Hong Episode recording date: March 28th, 2022 | | Donate:
June 08, 2022
Ep87 | MS4 Perspective: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) series, we investigate the field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Our guest, Teresa Veselack, shares advice on how to set yourself up for success regarding matching into this competitive specialty and shares tips to help you stand out both on paper and in person. Teresa Veselack is a recent graduate of Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and will be starting a 7-year Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training program at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL this summer. She is passionate about teaching, mentorship, and increasing medical student exposure to the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. You can contact Teresa via email ( or on Instagram @teresaveselack Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 3/30/22 | | Donate:
May 25, 2022
Ep 86 I Effects of Climate Change on Dermatology and Medicine
Medicine meets Mother Nature. Tune into this episode about the effects of climate change on the specialty of Dermatology and more broadly, medicine. Our guest today is Eva Rawlings Parker, M.D. Dr. Parker is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She is President of the Nashville Dermatologic Society and Vice President of the Williamson County Medical Society. Dr. Parker practices general and complex medical dermatology, inpatient dermatology, as well as cosmetic dermatology at Vanderbilt. Dr. Parker’s academic interests include the health effects secondary to climate change, global health, HIV dermatoses, and tropical skin disease. She also provides volunteer dermatologic care to immigrant, refugee, and underserved populations in Nashville, TN at Siloam Health and the Shade Tree Clinic. As well, she provides volunteer telehealth consultation services in Kenya through The Addis Clinic, has taught internationally in resource-limited settings, and is an external supervisor and mentor at the Regional Dermatology Training Centre in Moshi, Tanzania. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Denver which fueled her interest in how environmental impacts and climate alterations affect health. She is a staunch advocate for both climate justice and health care sustainability, actively promoting broader education on the health impacts caused by climate change. Resources Mentioned in Episode: Planetary Health Report Card CDC Climate Change and Human Health Climate Resources for Health Education Initiative Medical Students for a Sustainable Future Episode produced by: Lauren Hekman Episode recording date: 4/24/22 | | Donate:
May 11, 2022
Ep85 I Medical School Admissions — What a Rush!
This episode is for all you pre-medical students who are aspiring to apply for medical school.  Today, we have a special guest, Dr. Jill M. Volk who currently serves in two capacities at Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL -- Director of Admissions and Recruitment and Director of Diversity and Inclusion. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, Master of Science in Education degree from Eastern Illinois University and has focused her entire career on student development. Before settling into the Admissions, Jill worked as Assistant Dean of Students at Lake Forest College where her primary functions were residence life and judicial affairs; Director of Student Affairs at Rush University where she focused her energies on new student orientation, commencement, student organizations, and advising; and Director of Special Programs for Rush Medical College where she devoted her time to orientation, special events within the medical college, scholarship processing and awarding, and residency selection programs. With her nearly 15 years of experience in admissions and recruitment, Jill has a broad knowledge of admissions, recruitment, financial aid and assists prospective students in all aspects of the admissions process. On the national level, Jill was a member of the AMCAS Admission Processing Solution Implemental Advisory Committee which advised AMCAS as they work through implementation plans and decisions regarding a new medical school admission processing product and served as the Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the Central Group on Student Affairs. In her spare time, Jill enjoys all the things Chicago has to offer including neighborhood dining, the lake, theater, and of course summer festivals. Episode produced by: Aaron Deng and Isabelle Tan Episode recording date: February 10th, 2022 | | Donate:
April 13, 2022
Ep84 I High Yield Wisdom from “Pathoma” Creator, Dr. Husain Sattar, MD
You know his voice. You own and love his review book. He’s your go-to person for your medical school pathology studies. You must be thinking – there’s no way that Dr. Husain Sattar, MD was interviewed in this episode – well, think again! In this episode, we interviewed the one and only, Dr. Husain Sattar, MD, creator and author of “Pathoma.” In addition to teaching medical students high yield USMLE STEP1 content, Dr. Sattar is a professor of Pathology at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and a practicing surgical pathologist. He specializes in breast pathology. What you probably do not know about Dr. Sattar, however, is his non-linear path to medicine. In fact, he took a substantial amount of time off from medical school. He changed his mind about his specialty and career goals several times. Along the way, he developed his inspiring teaching talents and accrued important life lessons and perspectives, which he imparts in this episode. So, take a break from studying Pathoma to understand the wisdom and intentions that drove the book’s inception in the first place. Trust us, you’ll return to your studying, and time on the wards as well, feeling especially inspired and grateful. Episode produced by: Aaron Deng and Emily Hagen Episode recording date: 3/2/2022 | | Donate:
March 30, 2022
Ep83 | Crack Open a Good Book: The First-Ever Medicus Reading List
Do you love Medicus, but you're caught up on all the episodes? Not sure where to turn for other great medicine and healthcare content?  We feel you! Introducing the first-ever Reading List episode. In lieu of the normal interview format, four Medicus team members share some of their favorite books, articles, shows, and other medical content. These items can tide you over until our next episode releases...enjoy!  Content Covered:  --"Morning Rounds" newsletter, --"The Cost Conundrum" by Atul Gawande --"Overkill" by Atul Gawande --Medical Apartheid by Harriet Washington --Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan --Frankenstein by Mary Shelley --When the Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Annie Faidman --Every Patient Tells a Story by Lisa Sanders --"Diagnosis," series on Netflix Episode produced by: Brendan Connolly Contributors: Brendan Connolly, Rasa Valiauga, Katherine Mott, Emily Hagen | | Donate:
March 16, 2022
Ep82 l Extra Extra, Dr. Cory Franklin Will Write All About It
Ever wonder what your life would look like if you went to journalism school instead of medical school? Or the stories you’d have and people you’d meet if you were the Director of Medical Intensive Care at County Hospital for 25 years? Well, if you’re Dr. Cory Franklin, you’ve found a way to get the best of both worlds. You also happen to be the inspiration for Harrison Ford’s character in The Fugitive. Join Katherine for the next episode in our Literature in Medicine series, where we interview Dr. Cory Franklin, current Editorial Board contributor to the Chicago Tribune. Author of three books: Cook County ICU: 30 Years of Unforgettable Patients and Odd Cases, The Doctor Will See You Now: Essays on Changing the Practice of Medicine, and Chicago Flashbulbs: A Quarter Century of News, Politics, Sports, and Show Business (1987-2012). And obituary advocate. Episode produced by: Katherine Mott Episode recording date: 12/23/21 | | Donate:
February 26, 2022
Ep81 I Hello From the Other Side: What It's Like to Date a Medical Student
In this episode, Alex and Diana who tell their story about what it is like to date a medical student. This is a great episode about what it is like to date someone who is in medical school and the unique challenges that they have to overcome when navigating both life and medical school. Hope you enjoy! Episode produced by: Shawn Choe Episode recording date: 1/22/22 | | Donate:
February 18, 2022
Ep80 I Residency Round 2: How the Pandemic Inspired One Physician to Embark On a Second Residency
In this episode, Rasa interviews family medicine physician Dr. Samantha Peterson who was inspired by what she saw on the frontlines of the pandemic to pursue an additional residency and fellowship in infectious disease. Dr. Samantha Peterson is currently an internal medicine resident at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields, where she also completed her family medicine training. She finished her undergraduate training at University of Wisconsin-Madison and went to medical school at Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. In addition to her passion for infectious disease that was potentiated while working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, she also enjoys practicing osteopathic manipulative medicine and LGBTQ+ aspects of medicine. In her free time, Sam enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking, running, and watching the Packers beat the Bears. Chicago Sun Times article: Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 01/01/2022 | | Donate:
February 09, 2022
Ep79 I Nutrition and Body Kindness in Medicine with Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RDN, EP-C
In this episode, Rasa chats with registered dietician, exercise physiologist, author, and fellow podcaster Rebecca Scritchfield about body kindness, intuitive eating, and health at every size and how to incorporate these practices into the art of medicine. Rebecca Scritchfield (She/Her) is an award-winning registered dietitian nutritionist, certified exercise physiologist, author of the book Body Kindness, now in 4 languages, and host of the Body Kindness podcast. Through her counseling practice, she helps people make peace with food, find the joy in exercise, and create a better life. Her Body Kindness philosophy has been studied at UNC Charlotte to help reduce depressive symptoms and heal body image in pregnancy and postpartum. Rebecca is co-creator of Self-Care for Diabetes, a global virtual membership for education and emotional support for people with diabetes concerns to make weight-neutral, positive changes to habits, without dieting or food restrictions. Rebecca's free "get started" e-course is at Links: Body Kindness: Free "get started" with Body Kindness: Free diabetes myths guide: Association for Size Diversity and Health: Why You Can’t Lose Weight on a Diet: Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 12/26/21 | | Donate:
January 26, 2022
Ep78 | Incorporating Psychotherapy in Psychiatry
In this episode, Lauren dives into the discussion of incorporating psychotherapy into the practice of psychiatry. Discussing this hot topic with her is Dr. Carol Hekman, Dr. Joshua Pretsky, and Dr. Alan Chen. Their lengthy and impressive resumes are explained in detail at the beginning of the episode, but the sparknotes version of these impressive guests are below: Dr. Carol Hekman is a practicing psychoanalyst and psychologist in Los Angeles, CA. Dr. Joshua Pretsky is a practicing psychiatrist at UCLA and Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA where he is the founding director of the Concentration in Psychodynamic Psychotherapy. Dr. Alan Chen is a practicing psychiatrist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Keck School of Medicine and an Assistant Program Director of the University of Southern California. Topics discussed are the importance of incorporating talk therapy into psychiatrist practice, what to look for in a residency program, and the optimal relationship between a psychologist and psychiatrist supporting a patient’s health goals. Words of wisdom are plentiful in this episode, check it out! Episode produced by: Lauren Hekman Episode recording date: 12/22/21 | | Donate:
January 12, 2022
Ep77 | Literature and Medicine with Professor Elena Fratto
Want more content that explores links between the art and science of medicine? Here it is!  In this episode, Brendan dips outside the usual world of hospitals and clinics to talk with Dr. Elena Fratto, a professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Princeton University. Professor Fratto published a book in November titled Medical Storyworlds: Health, Illness, and Bodies in Russian and European Literature at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, so she brings a unique perspective to conversations in medicine and healthcare. Topics discussed include mortality and dying with dignity, the importance of gathering patient stories, how literature has influenced medical care, and so much more. Enjoy!  Episode produced by: Brendan Connolly Episode recording date: 11/10/21 | | Donate: 
December 29, 2021
Ep76 I I Am Abel Foundation: Raising Our Next Generation of Healthcare Heroes with Dr. LaMenta Conway
In this episode, Rasa chats with Dr. LaMenta Conway, founder of the I Am Abel Foundation, about creating communities that allow the dream of becoming a physician a possibility for underserved youth. Trained in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Illinois, Dr. LaMenta Conway has celebrated over 22 years as a physician with most of her career teaching in top academic hospitals in the Midwest.  In her current professional role, she is Deputy Chief of Medicine for the Illinois Department of Health where she and her team are responsible for the medical care of +40K offenders in custody in the Illinois State Prisons. She is known best for her warm and exuberant personality and bedside manner as a physician and clinical educator devoted to the care of vulnerable populations. But an act of violence would inspire a powerful work of advocacy that would change her trajectory and become her life's legacy.  Dr. Conway decided to formalize her lifelong legacy of mentoring young people in the art of compassionate medicine and service when one of her favorite 14-year-old cousins, full of promise and talent, was paralyzed following a gunshot wound to the spine intended for someone else.  This pivotal moment followed the murder of her 15-year-old cousin on Mother’s Day just 6 months earlier. She realized that many of the younger, misguided youth from these communities not only lacked mentors to guide and position them for success but they also did not understand how we are all as humans connected one to the other. Thus she created I AM ABEL FOUNDATION, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that she describes as a "mentoring scholarly community" whose motto is "Excellence Period. Serve Always." The foundation is focused on community and global service with pipelines to medicine and STEM with the objective of bridging socioeconomic gaps so that all of Chicago's children would have a shot at the not so impossible dream. Through conferences, workshops and community outreach, the foundation has impacted thousands of kids already that will one day become our community's future researchers, leaders, advocates, healers and healthcare heroes. Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 11/4/21 | | Donate: Twitter hashtags: @sweetiecac @IAMABEL_FND Instagram: @sweetieconway @iamabelfoundation Facebook: Website: Becoming a mentor: I Am Abel Foundation as featured by the Obama Foundation: I Am Abel Foundation in Cuba:
December 08, 2021
Ep75 I A Look Into Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: Dr. Leslie Rydberg
In this episode, Raj chats with Dr. Leslie Rydberg, who is a general physiatrist and associate residency director at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab. She discusses her path to physical medicine & rehabilitation, and why medical students should consider it as a future specialty choice. Dr. Rydberg has a special interest in resident and medical student education. Join us as we learn about the day-to-day life of a physiatrist, the variety of the field depending on sub-specialty and setting, and how to make yourself a strong applicant to PM&R. Episode produced by: Raj Ramini Episode recording date: 1/7/21 | | Donate:
November 26, 2021
Ep74 | Authentic Relationship Building with Miriam Pierce, MSW, School Social Worker at Chicago Public Schools
In this episode, Brittany chats with Miriam Pierce, MSW, who is a School Social worker at Chicago Public Schools. Before becoming a licensed social worker, Miriam graduated from Loyola University Chicago with her Bachelors in Communication Studies: Advocacy and Social Change, and a minor in Education Policy. She received her Masters in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis. Join us as we discuss Miriam’s journey to school social work, parallels she sees between the fields of social work and medicine, how we can approach relationship and trust building with students and patients, and her approach on how to show up for yourself so that you can fully show up for others. Episode produced by: Brittany Zelch Episode recording date: 10/7/21 | | Donate:
November 10, 2021
Ep73 I Improv in Medicine: Dr. Orlov on the Art of Communication
Dr. Nicola Orlov is a pediatric hospitalist with an interest in improving the sleep and health of hospitalized children. She is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Program Director for the Pediatric Residency Training Program, and Co-Clerkship Director for the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School Medicine. All of which require exceptional communication skills, do they not? After working with medical students, Dr. Orlov noticed that their training was excellent at teaching them about the medical interview, but that it left something to be desired in terms of the sort of improvisational communication skills that would prepare them for the unexpected and allow them to be more present with their patients. Thanks to a yes from The Bucksbaum Institute for Clinical Excellence, and a collaboration with The Second City, she was able to develop an innovative curriculum that uses improvisational theatre to work on just that. Join us as we discuss this research and her new elective at The University of Chicago. Our host, Katherine, may or may not have signed up for an improv class immediately after completing this interview. Episode produced by: Katherine Mott Episode recording date: 9/15/21 | | Donate:
October 06, 2021
Ep72 I Leading By Example On and Off the Field: From Professional Soccer Player to Medical Student
In this interview, we chat with Kody Wakasa, a former professional soccer player who traded in his cleats for a stethoscope and is now a medical student at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. Kody is a second year medical student from Burlingame, CA. He studied Biology while playing division I soccer at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. He then went on to play professionally in Arizona—two years with a second division team, Phoenix Rising FC, and two years with a third division team, FC Tucson. He is the oldest of four, enjoys the outdoors, and hanging out with family & friends. Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga, Jacqueline Tarsitano Episode recording date: 9/12/2021 | | Donate:
September 22, 2021
Ep71 | Under the MICROscope with Cullen M. Lilley, MS, MB(ASCP), MDxT(AAB)
In this episode, we chat with microbe and pathology aficionado Cullen Lilley about exciting initiatives in the world of microbiology and pathology, utilizing social media and online platforms to educate the masses. Cullen Lilley is a third-year MD/MA student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine studying medicine and bioethics/health policy. He is also co-founder of, creator of #MicroMedEd, and member of the ASCP Patient Champions Steering Committee as well as the ASCP Social Media Committee. Before medical school, he was a microbiologist and certified molecular diagnostic technologist at CDC in the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch contracted through IHRC, inc. Currently, he is interested in innovative means of augmenting medical education and bioethical considerations in pathology and laboratory medicine. Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 7/17/21 | | Donate:
September 01, 2021
Ep70 I Dr. Marchalik - The Physician Who Started a Book Club in Medical School and Can’t Seem to Put the Books Down
Interested in thinking more about the intersection between literature and medicine? We were - and found an expert on the topic at the Georgetown School of Medicine.  Dr. Marchalik is the creator and director of the Literature in Medicine Track at Georgetown and the associate director of the Medical Humanities Initiative. He also holds a masters degree in English literature from Georgetown and contributes a monthly column in The Lancet medical journal, where he discusses literature and how it overlaps with medicine and public health.  Join Brendan and Katherine as we talk with Dr. Marchalik about books, why you should keep reading them in medical school and beyond, and how they might even help you fight burnout in medicine. So what are you waiting for? Click on the link already, this episode is clearly a page turner. Episode produced by: Katherine Mott, Brendan Connolly Episode recording date: 1/15/2020 | | Donate: For more information about the Literature and Medicine track at Georgetown check out:
August 18, 2021
Ep69 | Social Media in Medicine #2: Dr. Austin Chiang
This is the second episode in our series, "Social Media in Medicine," where the Medicus team will be speaking with medical social media influencers about their experiences utilizing these new social platforms to further their goals as professionals. For students or medical professionals who are interested in this budding sector of healthcare, this series will explore the advantages, motivations, and downfalls of social media in presenting medical information to the general public. Our second guest, Dr. Austin Chiang, is triple board-certified, dual ivy-league educated (Harvard, Columbia) and trained gastroenterologist and advanced endoscopist. Dr. Chiang specializes in novel endoscopic weight loss treatments and complex interventional endoscopic procedures. Dr. Chiang currently practices at Jefferson Health in Philadelphia and serves as the Director of the Endoscopic Weight Loss Program and Chief Medical Social Media Officer there. Dr. Chiang is also the Founding President of the Association for Healthcare Social Media (AHSM) and has conducted extensive research in social media within medicine. In addition to his professional achievements, Dr. Chiang is a verified Tiktok influencer (460k+ followers), Youtuber (11k+ subscribers), Twitter influencer (13k+ followers), and Instagram influencer (67.5k+ followers). Please make sure to view Dr. Chiang's content at his below social media handles. Dr. Austin Chiang Social Media Handles linked below: Website: Instagram: AustinChiangMD Twitter: AustinChiangMD Facebook: AustinChiangMD Tiktok: AustinChiangMD Episode produced by: Aaron Deng, Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 4/24/21 | | Donate:
August 04, 2021
Ep68 | Social Media in Medicine #1: Dr. Eric Burnett
This is the first episode in our series, "Social Media in Medicine," where the Medicus team will be speaking with medical social media influencers about their experiences utilizing these new social platforms to further their goals as professionals. For students or medical professionals who are interested in this budding sector of healthcare, this series will explore the advantages, motivations, and downfalls of social media in presenting medical information to the general public.  Our first guest, Dr. Eric Burnett, is a hospitalist at New York-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center who has been diligently working throughout the COVID-19 pandemic both within the hospital and online. Dr. Eric Burnett created his Tiktok account in June 2020 and has since garnered over 230k followers and 7 million likes, a viral following that he has used to spread factually medical information about the COVID-19 pandemic this past year. Episode produced by: Aaron Deng, Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: April 16th, 2021 | | Donate: Dr. Eric Burnett's Social Media is linked below: Tiktok: dr.eric.b | Instagram: @eric2687
July 22, 2021
Ep67 | Living Without a Diagnosis
Living without a diagnosis is hard. Being a mom of two undiagnosed children is perhaps even harder. In this episode, we interview Amanda Upton, who has two medically complex daughters who continue to live without a name for their condition. Throughout their journey, the Upton family has learned to roll with the punches and make the best out of every good day. Listen to learn what it is like to manage medical mysteries, dispel myths of living with disabilities, and what healthcare providers can do to make families like Amanda’s feel heard and supported. Amanda Upton is a midwestern mom and a licensed teacher for children from birth to age eight in both regular and special education. After several years in the classroom, her teaching license is now being used at home to homeschool her daughters. She loves all things Disney and experimenting in the kitchen. Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 2/23/21 | | Donate: Wishlist for Ronald McDonald House (purchases directly ship to RMH): Published articles:
July 09, 2021
Ep66 | The Wonder Woman Passion Project
Inspired and unified by the humanitarian spirit of Wonder Woman, the Wonder Woman Passion Project aims to assemble a Healers League that empowers and mentors the next generation of healthcare team leaders and members by responsibly leveraging social media. The Wonder Wisdom Series features individuals from all aspects of healthcare and science who provide truthful and resilient stories of their journey. The creator of the WWPP, Hye-Jin Yun, shared with us her vision and hopes for this non-traditional method of mentorship. If you are a pre-health student or medical student in preclinical years, you can follow along with the "Med Student Wonderland: A Day-in-the-Life" Series via InstaStory, and feel free to DM for mentorship. Hye-Jin Yun is a rising fourth-year medical student, Class President, and Gold Humanism Honor Society inductee at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She has lived in seven global cities and mostly grew up in San Francisco. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in Neuroscience & Behavior from Barnard College of Columbia University. Prior to medical school, her experiences are diverse to include working with the CBS Evening News and UNICEF USA in New York City. Passionate about connecting with people and storytelling, she hopes to mentor forward, educate, and foster conversation across individuals in medicine, healthcare, science, public health, media, policy, business, and humanitarian spaces through the Wonder Woman Passion Project. Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: 4/30/21 | | Donate:
June 23, 2021
Ep65 | MS4 Perspective: Urology
We are keeping the ball rolling with another amazing MS4 match episode! Alek sits down with Dr. Cesar Delgado, MD, and Dr. Hannah Slovacek, MD, two recent 2021 Loyola Stritch School of Medicine graduates that matched into Urology at University of California San Diego (UCSD) and University of Texas, Houston (UT Houston) respectively. Here, Cesar and Hannah reflect on their journey in pursuing a career in Urology, as well as provide tips and recommendations for all stages of the match process. If you are interested in learning more about Urology, you can reach out to Cesar via DM on Twitter @CesarDelgadoMD or Hannah at, or the official American Urological Association website at Episode produced by: Alek Druck Episode recording date: 05/2021 | | Donate:
June 10, 2021
Ep64 | MS4 Perspective: Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
We have another amazing MS4 match episode! Alek and Katherine sit down with Colten Wolf, MD, and Emily Bacalao, MD, two recent 2021 Loyola Stritch School of Medicine graduates that matched into Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery at Loyola Hospital Systems and University of Colorado respectively. Here, Colten and Emily reflect on their journey in pursuing a career in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (colloquially known as “Ears, Nose, and Throat Surgery or “ENT”), as well as provide tips and recommendations for all stages of the match process. If you are interested in learning more about ENT, you can reach out to Colten at or, or the official ENT website at Episode produced by: Alek Druck, Katherine Mott Episode recording date: 05/2021 | | Donate:
June 02, 2021
Ep63 | MS4 Perspective: Vascular Surgery
The MS4 Specialty Series is back! Here to kick things off is Melissa D'Andrea, MD, and John Hallsten, MD, two recent 2021 Loyola Stritch School of Medicine graduates that matched into the Integrated Vascular Surgery track at University of Arizona, Tuscan, and University of California, San Diego, respectively. Melissa and John reflect on their reasons for pursuing a career in Vascular Surgery, as well as provide tips and recommendations for all stages of the match process. Additionally, they provide great insight on how medical students can stand out on their surgery rotations.  If you are interested in learning more about Vascular Surgery, you can reach  to Melissa (@MelissaDAndrea4) or John (@JohnHallsten) via twitter, or go to the American Board of Surgery's webpage at . 
May 26, 2021
Ep62 | Bonus Episode #3: Medical Student Experiences during COVID-19
In the final bonus episode of a three part series, Katherine and Brittany interview current students at the Stritch School of Medicine about how COVID-19 has impacted their medical education. Join us as we talk with current M4, Lauren Lamparter, about her experience finishing her clinical rotations, applying to residency programs, and anticipating ways that the transition to residency may look different from previous years. Post-Recording Update: Lauren will be going to the University of Illinois Chicago for her residency in Emergency Medicine! Episode produced by: Katherine Mott, Brittany Zelch Episode recording date: January 2021 | | Donate:
May 19, 2021
Ep61 | Getting Sued for Malpractice: Dr. Stacia Dearmin
Through personal, firsthand experience Stacia Dearmin, MD has witnessed the impact of unexpected negative outcomes and medical malpractice lawsuits on physicians and other medical professionals. Through her website and counseling company, she now works to support others through the confusion and uncertainty that often follows adverse outcomes and malpractice litigation. Episode produced by: Olivia, Nate Episode recording date: 2/8/21 | | Donate:
May 12, 2021
Ep60 | Bonus Episode #2: Medical Student Experiences during COVID-19
This is the second bonus episode in a three part series where Katherine and Brittany interview current students at the Stritch School of Medicine about how COVID-19 has impacted their medical education. Join us as we talk with current M3, Gideon Levinson, about what it was like to wrap up pre-clinicals, study for STEP1, and begin clinical training during the pandemic. We found Gideon to be a natural motivational speaker, so this is the perfect episode for anyone looking for a little extra juice to help them finish the year (or Dedicated!) off strong. Episode produced by: Katherine Mott, Brittany Zelch Episode recording date: January 2021 | | Donate:
May 05, 2021
Ep59 | Financial Literacy, Student Loans, and House Hacking in Residency with Dr. Will Brundidge
We sit down with Dr. Will Brundidge to discuss financial education from the lens of a resident. Will is a PGY-4 Med/Peds senior at Loyola University Hospital Systems. Outside of spending time with his family, Will has interests in financial independence and real estate. Currently, Will and his wife own and rent out properties in both the California and Chicagoland areas. Through a process known as “House Hacking”, he serves as both a tenant/landlord in a triplex unit to obtain supplemental streams of income to offset his monthly mortgage. We also discuss certain principles of financial education every healthcare-professional-in-training should be aware of, including student loan management, contract negotiations, and financial mentorship. This podcast is for information purposes only; no member of this podcast is a licensed financial advisor.  Recommended resources from Will:  Episode produced by: Alek Druck  Episode recording date: 3/30/21 | | Donate:
April 28, 2021
Ep58 | Supporting Trans Patients Part 2 with Lucas Greeff
In the second part of this conversation, Luke talks about their experiences interacting with the healthcare system, and their thoughts on how we can better support our trans and nonbinary patients. From being mindful of making assumptions about patients’ health needs based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, to having the humility to listen and learn from our patients, there is a lot we can work on moving forward. If you are looking for a primer on how to better accommodate our gender non-conforming patient populations, this is an excellent place to start! Episode produced by: Dave Lee Episode recording date: 7/25/2020 | | Donate:
April 21, 2021
Ep57 | Supporting Trans Patients Part 1 with Lucas Greeff
Lucas Greeff (xe/they) is a dancer, choreographer, and circus artist in the Chicagoland area, who has done some incredible work with Joel Hall Dancers, Blue Fire Dance Collective, and Aloft Circus Arts. They also have personal experience exploring their gender identity, and going through the process of transitioning over the past several years. In this episode, Luke shares their experiences going through HRT (hormone replacement therapy), continuing their performance art work while transitioning, and we celebrate what they have gained from this process. Support for LGBTQ+ Health in Chicagoland: Episode produced by: Dave Lee Episode recording date: 07/25/2020 | | Donate:
April 14, 2021
Ep56 | Global Service in Medicine with Dr. Amy Blair
For students interested in pursuing a healthcare career to serve communities in need both international and domestically, the process of finding an organization and travelling can be complicated yet incredibly rewarding. Aaron and Rasa speak with Dr. Amy Blair, a well-traveled faculty member at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine about her global experiences who provides stories of her service experience abroad and tips for students to find their own path to international service. Dr. Amy Blair is an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Assistant Dean of Medical Education at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and practices Family Medicine in Maywood, Illinois. She became the Director of the Center for Community and Global Health (CCGH) in 2008.  Dr. Blair became involved in global health training as an undergraduate and continued to seek experiences to immerse and serve in local and international communities throughout medical school and residency. As a faculty, she has been a visiting professor and volunteer clinician in local and international settings in Central America and the Caribbean, South America, and Southern Africa. As Director of the CCGH, she hopes to inspire and support medical students who have a passion for health equity and envision local and global service as a part of their medical careers.‌ Episode produced by: Aaron Deng, Rasa Valiauga Episode recording date: February 2021 | | Donate:
March 31, 2021
Ep55 | Bonus Episode #1: Medical Student Experiences during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has touched the lives of nearly everyone on the globe and has drastically changed how we live and interact on a daily basis. Join Katherine and Brittany as they speak with medical students on what the pandemic has meant for their medical education and the impact it’s had on medical student experiences. Stay tuned for three bonus episodes, including this one, where they speak with students at the Stritch School of Medicine from each class, starting with students in their preclinical years and working their way up to a fourth year student who applied to residency during the pandemic. In today’s bonus episode, Brittany and Katherine speak with Anisha Sharma and Guy Olson about how they are navigating their first and second years of medical school, mainly from home. While every medical school is handling the pandemic a little differently, let us show you how it has impacted our students and sit with us as we contemplate how it may change medical education for years to come. Episode produced by: Brittany Zelch, Katherine Mott Episode recording date: January 2021 | | Donate:
March 24, 2021
Ep54 | Leadership in Medicine with Nicolette Codispoti
Have you ever wondered how a medical student, low on the totem pole in the very rigid hierarchy of healthcare, can seek out opportunities for leadership in medicine? If so, then this episode is for you! Brendan and Brittany chat with Nicolette Codispoti, a second-year medical student at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. She shares how she has pursued various leadership roles, both within medical school and beyond in the broader healthcare landscape. Nicolette is originally from Long Island, New York and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a major in Biology and certificates in Gender and Women’s Studies, Global Health and Leadership. Following undergrad, Nicolette completed two masters degrees, in Public Health and in Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. While completing her Master’s of Science, she also worked as a Research Associate at Clinical Outcomes Solutions, where she supported several clinical trials. Nicolette has a passion for women’s health and medical education and is intimately involved in both areas at Loyola as the President of the Academic Medicine Interest Group and the Mentorship Chair for the Society of Women’s Health. Outside of Stritch, Nicolette serves on the Committee of Medical Education for the Medical Student Section of the American Medical Association, as well as Education Chair for the Medical Student Forum on Female Sexual Dysfunction. Her past and current leadership experiences led to her latest position, in which she was selected to serve as the first medical student on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Professionalism in Medicine. You can connect with Nicolette on Twitter at @nmcodispoti. Episode produced by: Brendan Connolly and Brittany Zelch Edited by: Shawn Choe Episode recording date: November 2020 | | Donate:
March 17, 2021
Ep53 | Emotional Intelligence with Dr. Ramzan Shahid
Dr. Shahid is an expert on the topic of emotional intelligence. In this episode, he shares with us what it means to have emotional intelligence and how developing this important skillset can help physicians become effective leaders, build strong relationships with patients, develop resiliency, and perform well under stress. Improving your emotional intelligence starts with knowing your strengths and weaknesses. You can start here with these brief assessments: To learn more about the topics of EI and Resilience, check out the review videos Dr. Shahid has posted: About our guest - Dr. Ramzan Shahid received his B.S. from University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1992 and his M.D. also from UIC in 1996.  He completed his Pediatric Residency training in 1999 from Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL.  Dr. Shahid's entire 20 year career has focused on graduate medical education and academic pediatrics.  He has an interest in emotional intelligence (EI) and has given several presentations and workshops on using EI skills to promote the development of resilience.  Additionally, he has published several articles and a book chapter on this topic. Episode produced by: Mara and Monica Episode recording date: November 2020 | | Donate:
March 03, 2021
Ep52 | Pediatric Bioethics with Anesthesiologist Dr. Alyssa Burgart
Dr. Alyssa Burgart is a board certified pediatric anesthesiologist and bioethicist. She specializes in pediatric anesthesia and pediatric abdominal transplant anesthesia. She also has a joint appointment in the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, serves as the Co-Chair of the LPCH Ethics Committee and as a member of the SHC Ethics Committee. She provides ethics consultation services for people of all ages. Her ethics interests include pediatric ethics, organ transplantation, communication skills, disability rights, women's healthcare access, adolescent decision-making, ethics education, and excellence in ethics consultation. Dr. Burgart is active on Twitter, where she comments on Anesthesiology and Bioethics issues. You can follow her at @BurgartBioethix. Episode produced by: Emily Hagen, Brendan Connolly Episode edited by Shawn Choe Episode recording date: 09/21/20 | | Donate:
February 17, 2021
Ep51 | Switching Specialties During Residency - From Internist to Pathologist
Dr. Imran Uraizee is currently a Clinical Instructor and fellow in surgical pathology in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) and is board certified by the American Board of Pathology. He plans to complete a cytopathology fellowship at LUMC in the upcoming academic year. He graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry and served as an intern in internal medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC). He completed his residency training in combined anatomic and clinical pathology (AP/CP) at UCMC and served as chief resident. Dr. Uraizee curates surgical pathology cases and questions for Loyola Pathology's @HallwayPathQuiz Twitter account and can also be followed at his personal handle, @IUraizee3MD. Episode produced by: Rasa Valiauga, Emily Hagen Episode recording date: 12/19/20 | | Donate:
February 03, 2021
Ep50 | Dr. Anthony Fauci - Beyond Physician Leadership: Values, Virtue, and Character
Loyola University Chicago hosted Dr. Anthony Fauci for a conversation about humanism in medicine and we got permission to share the interview with you! He talks a bit about the COVID 19 outlook as well as his own career. At the end he gives advice for current medical students entering the workforce about the many opportunities there are for people with medical degrees. Episode produced by: Nate Episode recording date: 1/28/2020 | | Donate:
January 29, 2021
Ep49 | Achieving Success in Academic Medicine - From a Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgeon
Dr. Elizabeth Mueller is the division director of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPRMS) at Loyola University Medical Center and incoming president of the American Urogynecologic Society (AUGS). She is a renowned expert in female pelvic floor dysfunction, with over 80+ publications and 15+ grant-funded research initiatives. Notably, she is the first AUGS president to graduate from a urology residency. As demonstrated by the litany of these academic accolades, Dr. Mueller understands what it takes to be a successful physician. In this podcast, we dive into nuts and bolts of her success story. Interestingly, Dr. Mueller’s path to medicine was fairly untraditional. Originally, she started her career as a critical care nurse in the ICU. After saving up enough money to go to college, she found an interest in the math and sciences, and graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla. She worked for Procter and Gamble for six years, climbing the ranks of the engineering and business world to eventually lead a 120 person department with a $13 million/year operating budget. In reflecting on the satisfaction she felt during her days as an ICU nurse, she made the decision to apply for medical school at age 36. She would then graduate from St. Louis University School of Medicine and complete a urology residency and urogynecology/FPRMS fellowship at Loyola. Captivating, insightful, and knowledgeable, Dr. Mueller is known as an amazing mentor inside and outside the OR. Tune in for discussions on what it takes to achieve such success in the world of academic medicine. Episode produced by: Alek Druck, Josh Lewis Episode recording date: September 30th, 2020
January 20, 2021
Ep48 | Blazing New Trails and Staying Grounded: Words of Wisdom from Neurosurgeon Dr. Boockvar of Netflix's "Lenox Hill"
Dr. John Boockvar is a neurosurgeon and Vice Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery at Lenox Hill Hospital in NY, which is featured in a Netflix-original docuseries called “Lenox Hill” (released June 2020). He is also a professor of neurosurgery and otolaryngology at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He has an extensive list of awards, lectures, papers, and research accomplishments. Currently, he is a co-principal investigator of ongoing clinical trials testing a new delivery method of targeted drug treatment for common types of brain cancer. Prior to joining the Northwell in 2014, Dr. Boockvar was a professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience, the co-director of the brain and spine tumor program at the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a neurosurgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital. In 2014, the Feinstein Institute opened a research center, of which Dr. Boockvar is the co-director. In this role, he heads the neuro-oncology research program. The Feinstein Institute  focuses on helping startup companies test ideas to treat or diagnose brain tumors. He has also conducted basic research to study cancer stem cells in the context of brain tumors, as well as methods using neural stem cells to treat brain disorders. Dr. Boockvar is passionately committed to offering patients proven and better therapy. Episode produced by: Emily Hagen, Rasa Valiauga | | Donate:
January 08, 2021
Ep47 | Dismantling Racism Utilizing the Power of the White Coat: White Coats for Black Lives
In this episode, we talk to Jessica Simpson, a second-year medical student at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and founder of the Loyola chapter of White Coats for Black Lives, about the WC4BL organization, racism in healthcare, and how to begin having meaningful conversations and take action to combat this systemic issue. Jessica L. Simpson, M.P.H. is a second-year medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine (SSOM). She grew up in Maryland and earned her Bachelor of Science degrees in Biology and Community Health from the University of Maryland College Park. Jessica earned a Master of Public Health degree from her parents’ alma mater, the University of Louisville. Prior to medical school, Ms. Simpson worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for five years in HIV-related surveillance, national survey analysis, and emergency preparedness and response, including deployments to Sierra Leone for the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak and the Emergency Operations Center at CDC Headquarters for the opioid epidemic. Early in her career, Ms. Simpson has authored more than 10 peer reviewed abstracts, quick stats, or data briefs and has been the recipient of several federal, state, and academic awards. During her first year of medical school, she was a Co-Coordinator for the high school mentor program, Health Professionals Recruitment and Exposure Program (HPREP) and continues to mentor her mentees. Currently, Jessica volunteers at the CommunityHealth Clinic (CHC) in Chicago, the largest volunteer-based free clinic in the nation, providing gynecological medical care under the supervision of attending physicians. She also volunteers as a phlebotomist at the CHC. Jessica is the founder and President of the White Coats for Black Lives Chapter at SSOM and Vice President of the Integrative Medicine Student Interest Group. She believes that storytelling has the capacity to change heart and minds by igniting action which leads to meaningful change. For that reason, Ms. Simpson organized the White Coats for Black Lives photo collage project in solidarity for Black Lives at Loyola University Chicago. Jessica enjoys yoga, meditation, gardening, cooking, traveling, running, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. She invites you to connect with her on Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Episode produced by: Rasa | | Donate:
December 25, 2020
Ep46 | Non-Traditional Paths to Medicine: From PhD to Dr. Dr.
This episode features Dr. Travis Nielson who started his medical career after obtaining his Doctorate in biology. For those non-traditional wondering if medicine is the right path for you, take a listen!  Episode produced by: Shawn Choe | | Donate:
December 11, 2020
Ep45 | Tackling Physician Suicide, In Loving Memory of Nicole Marie Walls
Dr. Pamela Wible is a family physician born into a family of physicians who warned her not to pursue medicine. She soon discovered why—to heal her patients she first had to heal her profession. Fed up with assembly-line medicine, Dr. Wible held town hall meetings where she invited citizens to design their own ideal clinic. Open since 2005, Wible’s community clinic has inspired Americans to create ideal clinics and hospitals nationwide. In between treating her own patients and helping doctors launch community clinics, Dr. Wible devotes herself to medical student and physician suicide prevention. She has investigated nearly 1,300 doctor suicides and her extensive database and suicide registry reveals highestrisk specialties—and solutions. Dr. Wible runs a free doctor suicide hotline and has helped countless medical students and physicians heal from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicidal thoughts so they can enjoy practicing medicine again. Dr. Wible speaks widely on health care delivery and physician suicide prevention. Episode produced by: Rasa, Dave, and Aaron | | Donate:
November 27, 2020
Ep44 | What’s it like to be a traveling doctor? - Locum Tenens with Dr. Carrie Reynolds
Carrie Reynolds is a pediatric gastroenterologist and host of the excellent podcast “Hippocratic Hustle” where she interviews women physicians who have found their freedom through entrepreneurship and side-projects. Recently she transitioned from a private practice w2 job to working as a locum tenens physician and she joined us on the podcast to discuss the ins and outs of locums work. Here are some links to websites and organizations mentioned in the show: Episode produced by: Nate | | Donate:
November 13, 2020
Ep43 | Disability Advocacy and the Community Emergency Services and Support Act (CESSA) - Justin Cooper
In this episode we sit down with Justin Cooper, a prominent advocate for disabilities rights in the state of Illinois. In this discussion, we talk about the Community Emergency Services and Support Act (CESSA), a potential state bill that would offer an alternative emergency response system for mental or behavioral emergencies to disabled Illinoisans.  We cover a broad range of topics including many of the myths surrounding this bill, the history of how it came to be, and how it may benefit Illinoisans. Justin also describes some of his other efforts to improve the rights of disability community. A little bit of background about Justin - Justin has worked together with Access Living since 2014, an organization whose mission statement includes "...igniting disability power and pride, providing critical services, and breaking down systemic barriers to create a stronger, more inclusive society." As part of his work with Access Living, Justin is the president of the Young Professionals Council (YPC).  This group is comprised of multiple disciplines (including healthcare providers, lawyers, architects, and more) and whose goals includes utilizing professional networks to advocate and support the disability community. Justin is also heavily involved with Advance Your Leadership Power, a group whose focus is on combating racial inequalities.  For more information on many of these topics please see the links below: CESSA: CESSA Virtual Lobbying Week: YPC: YPC Facebook Page: YPC IG Page: @ypcalchicago Justin's IG Page: @mrcooper82
October 30, 2020
Ep42 | Treating Patients with Opioid Use Disorder
In this episode, we interview Dr. Nate Kittle, a family medicine faculty member at The Wright Center National Family Medicine Residency program at HealthPoint. Combining his passions for community health and bioethics, Dr. Kittle is especially interested in treating patients with opioid use disorders. Tune in to learn about the different approaches that Dr. Kittle utilizes to humanistically and ethically treat such patients and the associated challenges. This episode is a follow-up to Dr. Kittle’s talk called, “Treating Patients with Opioid Use Disorder” that he gave to third year medical students at the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine earlier this month. It was also an Ethics Grand Rounds talk and celebrated the 20th anniversary of Loyola’s Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics & Healthcare Leadership. Dr. Kittle can be reached at: He is very willing to email with students about their questions regarding family medicine or addiction medicine, or other related topics. Episode produced by: Emily Hagen & Josh Lewis (interviewers), Brendan Connolly (interview preparation), Shawn Choe (podcast editor) | | Donate:
June 26, 2020
Ep41 | Supporting Children with Special Needs - Sharon Pike
Raising a child with special needs brings many joys and challenges. On this episode we hear about it firsthand from Sharon Pike, who has a daughter with special needs. Through her experience navigating the healthcare system with her daughter, she was inspired to start Operation Homefront. This organization pairs medical students with special needs children and their families, for an immersive experience that broadens perspective and helps future doctors learn how to better support their patients with special needs. Additionally, Sharon works at Easterseals, an organization dedicated to providing resources to people with different abilities. She is an amazing advocate and we are lucky to learn from her and share her message with you all.  Get in contact with Sharon: 630-479-7230, Episode produced by: Josh and Mara | | Donate:
April 25, 2020
Ep40 | Medical Myths: Undocumented Immigrants and Healthcare - w/ Dr. Mark Kuczewski
Immigration: you may have strong opinions about it on one side or the other, but how much do you actually know? And what does undocumented immigration have to do with medicine? For this episode, we sat down with Dr. Mark Kuczewski, a lead bioethicist at Stritch School of Medicine and an expert on the intersection between undocumented immigrants and the American healthcare system. Dr. Kuczewski covered a broad number of topics in this interview, including common myths about the demographics of immigrants in the U.S., medical school admissions for DACA students, and much more. Tune in to learn something new! Links from the episode: Episode produced by: Brendan Connolly and Emily Hagen | | Donate:
March 27, 2020
Ep39 | What happens if you don’t match? SOAP - Dr. Liza Brecher
If you are interested in learning more technical details of the SOAP we highly recommend these videos on the NRMP website: SOAP for Applicants Video SOAP for Programs Video How the Matching Algorithm Works Liza a first year resident in Family Medicine at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, IL. She graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2019. She is passionate about reproductive health and caring for underserved populations. In her off time she loves to read, cook, and explore Chicago! Episode produced by: Nate, Alek | | Donate:
March 15, 2020
Ep38 | Medical Myths: Admissions - Dean Nabers
It's time once again for every pre-med's favorite topic...admissions! For the latest episode in our Medical Myths series, Brendan, Emily, and Raj--safely on the other side of the admissions hurdle--sat down with Darrell Nabers, the Dean of Admissions at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, to de-mystify the process of getting that desired acceptance. So set aside those MCAT books and give yourself a quick break from Student Doctor Network to tune in! Episode produced by: Brendan Connolly, Emily Hagen, Raj Ramini | | Donate:
February 28, 2020
Ep37 | Race and Loss in Medicine: Hermona Abera
In this episode, we sat down with a third year medical student Hermona Abera to discuss two topics in medicine which are all too familiar to her - racism and loss. Listen along as we explore the types of discrimination Hermona has faced before and during medical school, the losses she’s experienced, and how she’s dealt with both. Episode produced by: Rasa, Neal | | Donate:
January 25, 2020
Ep36 | Disability in Medicine: Adam Wadina (M4)
In this episode we sat down with Adam Wadina.  Adam is a 4th year medical student applying to neurology residency. He was born missing his left hand, and this has shaped his medical school experience and overall life outlook in many ways. He has become very passionate about disability ethics, and hopes his experiences can help further the discussion in the future for both patients and doctors who face long term disability. In today’s conversation, Adam talks about his experiences through medical education, and shares his insights on how we view and discuss issues around disability. For resources and support for parents of children with limb deformities, Adam recommended checking out The Lucky Fin Project:
January 18, 2020
Ep35 | Non-Traditional Paths to Medicine: Law to Medicine
This episode is for those who love school. We have a special guest Robert Canning who decided to obtain his JD and MBA and then pursue medical school. He is currently a first year student at Stritch School of Medicine. Listen as he shares his story about being a lawyer by day and EMT by night prior to beginning medical school. Hope you enjoy! Robert Canning is a first year student at Stritch School of Medicine. He received his JD/MBA degree from the University of Connecticut, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and History from Wake Forest University while being part of pre-hospital emergency medicine since 2004.
January 13, 2020
Ep34 | Non-Traditional Paths to Medicine: From Marketing to Med School
This series is especially for pre-meds pursuing or thinking about pursuing a non-traditional path to medicine. Our guest for this episode is Cheryl Zhang, who transitioned from a career in marketing to being a student at Stritch School of Medicine. She shares her stories, thought process, post-bac program experience, and tips and tricks about applying to medical school. We hope you enjoy! Cheryl Zhang is a first year medical student at Stritch School of Medicine. She worked in marketing for a few years before attending a formal post-bac program at the University of Michigan. She was then accepted to Stritch School of Medicine for class of 2023 and is currently the president of the M1 Class Board. Episode produced by: Shawn | | Donate:
December 14, 2019
Ep33 | Medical Myths: Women's Sexual Health with Jen Romanello
Welcome to "Medical Myths,"  a new series on the Medicus podcast where we explore misinformation and common misunderstandings in the healthcare world, with the goal to help dispel common myths and promote education and awareness. Today’s episode focuses on women’s health, specifically women’s pleasure and pain. We interviewed Jen Romanello, a medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago who has previously done extensive work in women’s health, which she considers a passion. Before medical school, Jen was an Ambassador at Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC. In this role, she created a panel with local physicians and health educators open to the public titled, "I LIKE IT: A Conversation on Female Pleasure and Sexual Communication" on raising the consciousness of how women can more readily identify and communicate what is pleasurable for them in their own lives. She has worked at a global fertility practice doing clinical research and also served on the organization’s ethics committee. She keeps a blog about exploring the intersection of bioethics, women’s health, and identity, and she graduated from the George Washington University with B.S. in Biological Sciences and a minor in Applied Ethics. So, how "cliterate" are you? What myths about women’s health are you holding onto? Tune in to find out! Correction to episode: The urologist cited in the podcast has a fellowship in “Male and Female Sexual Dysfunction” not “Sexual Medicine” Links from episode:
December 06, 2019
Ep32 | Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy - Dr. Timothy Buckley
In today’s episode we dive deep into the topic of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy, one of the newer emerging modalities in the field of medicine.  We sit down to discuss with Dr. Timothy Buckley, a clinical psychiatrist at the Edward Hines VA system to discuss the what the current research is telling us, why this is so exciting for the field of psychiatry and how this new therapy will fit into medicine in the future. Before we hop into our discussion, we wanted to make sure that our listeners understand that this episode is intended to be for general informational purposes only and is not to be interpreted as an endorsement for use.  Dr. Buckley’s discussion today is not meant to represent the views or policy of the VA hospital system, but are rather an expression of his own academic interests in this evolving therapeutic modality. Furthermore, listeners should be aware that the inappropriate use of these compounds carry real consequences including both the potential for physiologic harm as well as potential legal ramifications, as these substances are currently considered schedule 1 drugs by the DEA.  With that said, please enjoy this discussion with Dr. Timothy Buckley Bio - Dr. Buckley grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He attended Western Michigan University where he received a BA in English and Spanish. He then worked with the mentally ill in rehabilitation centers for several years before returning to school to obtain a medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine and later did his residency in psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in Geriatric Psychiatry from NW University. He now works at Hines VA medical center and teaches Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine. Links from episode - great review article on the potential for psychedelics as a therapy
November 23, 2019
Ep31 | Dying with Dignity - A Discussion on Palliative Medicine with Dr. Aziz Ansari
The terms “hospice” and “palliative care” are frequently associated with end stages of dying and can be misinterpreted as giving up or losing hope, but it could not be further from the truth.  In fact, hospice and palliative care are not synonymous and do not have to be mutually exclusive.  Listen as we discuss the differences between hospice and palliative care, debunk some common misconceptions, and explore the benefits of these routes of treatment. Dr. Aziz Ansari is an Associate Professor of Medicine and is the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Clinical Optimization and Revenue Integrity at Loyola University Medical Center. He graduated from Midwestern University and completed his residency training at Loyola University Medical Center. He is a practicing and board certified hospitalist and palliative care physician. Dr. Ansari teaches frequently on the role of primary palliative care in improving health care delivery, primary communication skills in serious illness, opioid management and the role of cultural humility in challenging one's implicit biases at the bedside. He has over a decade of speaking and teaching experience.
November 11, 2019
Ep30 | Patient Perspective: Moonwalking Through Breast Cancer
To honor breast cancer awareness month, we sat down with Alice Moon, Devon and Peter Moon to get a patient’s perspective on being diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer as a 26 year old woman. We talk about various topics such as dealing with cancer, navigating the healthcare system, and handling side effects of chemotherapy treatment. Alice is a 26 year old patient who graduated with a masters of science in nutrition from University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She has various interests such as cooking, walking on the beach and enjoying spending time with friends and family. Instagram: @moonwalkingtc Episode produced by: Shawn Choe | | Donate:
October 26, 2019
Ep29 | Experiences From a One-Year Fellowship at a Rural Bolivian Clinic
Medical students Megha Srivastava and Andrea Escobar spent a whole year working at a free clinic in rural Bolivia for their global health fieldwork fellowship. You can find out more about the clinic and the fellowship here: Episode produced by: Nate | | Donate:
October 18, 2019
Ep28 | Women Leaders in Medicine - Dr. Shikha Jain
Women have made up at least 40% of medical students in the US for over 25 years, yet this is not reflected in medical leadership.  Women account for only 18% of hospital CEOs and 16% of all deans and department chairs.  While the reasons behind this discrepancy are numerous and the potential solutions even more complex, there is hope.  We sat down with Dr. Shikha Jain, a hematology and oncology physician at Rush University Medical Center, to discuss some of these barriers to women leadership and some questions we all should be asking ourselves as we shape the future of medicine. Dr. Jain has also written for several organizations including Doximity, KevinMD, ASCO Connection, and completed a year as a Doximity writing fellow. Additionally, Dr. Jain has peer-reviewed publications on her research interests,  which include gender equity, career advancement for women, increasing underrepresented minorities in medicine, the impact of social media on medicine, and GI oncology. Her clinical research focus includes precision oncology, immunotherapy, neuroendocrine tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma.
October 12, 2019
Ep27 | MS4 Perspective: Obstetrics & Gynecology
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) specialty episode, we investigate the field of obstetrics and gynecology (Ob/Gyn). Our specialty series with 4th year medical students consists of three parts. Part I consists of a discussion about the field. Here, we will learn about the reasons why our guests have decided to pursue a career in this specialty, likes/dislikes about the field, and common stereotypes surrounding the field. Part II explores what it takes to match into the field. Our discussions in this section include ways in which medical students can become a competitive applicant for this specialty, tips for rotations in this specialty, advice on structuring your curriculum, and ways to evaluate which residency programs to apply to. Part III is the general advice section. Here, our 4th year students will reveal the secrets to success for each year of medical school, as well as advice for pre-med students, gap year students, excelling on board exams, and more. Our guest in this episode, Andy Chen, is completing his medical education at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Andy is a graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, and majored in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics. Andy took four years off after college to work on his medical school application. During this period, he would take the MCAT multiple times, went on a medical mission’s trip, and obtained EMT certification. Andy’s journey to medicine has been published in the “Inspiring Stories” section on the AAMC website, which can be found at the following link: Andy provides great insight into the world of Ob/Gyn, delivering a unique perspective of a being a male applicant/provider. He highlights the importance of women’s health and the variety that Ob/Gyn can offer. For advice, tips, and a glimpse into the lives of medical students pursuing a career in Ob/Gyn, follow along!
September 28, 2019
Ep26 | Patient Perspective: Surviving Pediatric Cancer
In this episode, we sat down with fellow Medicus team member Dave Lee to discuss his experience with pediatric cancer (specifically ALL).  Dave shares his perspective as a former patient and now as a physician in training.  We get into some pretty interesting discussions (I especially enjoyed his thoughts on the role that labels play in our identification process).  Additionally, we are excited to start bringing in the new M1 members of the team.  On this episode, we are joined by Shawn Choe! We are excited to have him as well as all of our new members.
September 16, 2019
Ep25 | Hypnosis, Acupuncture, and Integrative Medicine
On this episode we take a look into complementary and alternative medicine. Does hypnosis actually work? Can a certain herbal medicine make me live longer? These are some of the questions we ask Dr. Kit Lee, a Family Medicine physician at Loyola University Medical Center. While medical education programs spend little class time addressing non-traditional therapies, the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative health reports that about 38% of adults and 12% of children currently use some type of complementary and alternative (CAM) therapy.  To shed some light onto CAM therapies like chiropractic/osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, aromatherapy, biofeedback therapy, biofield therapy, herbal medicine, hypnosis, meditation, naturopathy, and yoga, we brought in a champion of CAM therapy, Dr. Lee. Dr. Lee completed her undergraduate and medical education at Northwestern University, and completed her residency at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, IL. She is board certified in medical acupuncture and is a certified yoga instructor. Additionally, she has professional training in mind, body spirit medicine and training in medical hypnosis. If you have wanted to hear some of the research, science, and anecdotal testaments behind complementary and alternative medicine, be sure to give this one a listen! Episode produced by Alek | | Donate:
August 31, 2019
Ep24 | Dr. Kamran Mirza - "#twitterhomework, #103%, #pathology, and more"
If you've ever watched any crime show, you're probably familiar with the stereotype of the pathologist - alone in the recesses of the hospital, dissecting the deceased. Thanks largely to this stereotype (we are looking at you CSI), this has lead to the misconception that pathology is boring and lonely. But in the real world, this could not be further from the truth.  We sat down with Dr. Kamran Mirza, a clinical pathologist, to discuss why this medical specialty can be just as rewarding and challenging as other specialties, and why medical students should consider it.  In our discussion, we get into a host of other topics such as the future of medical education, how to develop a meaningful and engaging career, how technology can enhance learning and foster collaboration and much more. If you’ve never considered pathology as a career, you will definitely want to listen to this episode. About Dr. Kamaran Mirza Dr. Mirza, MD, PhD is completed medical school at Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan and his graduate training at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  His residency was in combined anatomic and clinical pathology, followed by fellowships in hematopathology, thoracic pathology, and medical education at the University of Chicago.  He is currently a hematopathologist, assistant professor of pathology, associate director for the pathology residency, medical director of molecular pathology, and director of the medical student pathology clerkship at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine-Chicago. Follow Dr. Mirza at  @KMirza on Twitter @ kam5.2 on instagram  Or you can check out some of his published articles here  "My Classroom is empty: Is that a problem?" "#Twitter Homework" "Meeting Kristoff"
August 23, 2019
Ep23 | MS4 Perspective: Pediatrics
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) specialty episode, we investigate the field of Pediatrics. Our specialty series with 4th year medical students consists of three parts. Part I consists of a discussion about the field. Here, we will learn about the reasons why our guests have decided to pursue a career in this specialty, likes/dislikes about the field, and common stereotypes surrounding the field. Part II explores what it takes to match into the field. Our discussions in this section include ways in which medical students can become a competitive applicant for this specialty, tips for rotations in this specialty, advice on structuring your curriculum, and ways to evaluate which residency programs to apply to. Part III is the general advice section. Here, our 4th year students will reveal the secrets to success for each year of medical school, as well as advice for pre-med students, gap year students, excelling on board exams, and more. Our guests in this episode, Tara Funk and Hannah Friedman, completed their medical education at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Tara is a graduate from Baylor University, and completed a dual degree in business and pre-medicine. To prepare for her application for medical school, she did research and scribed in an emergency department after graduating. Tara has always had interests in medicine, and originally had thoughts of becoming a veterinarian before realizing that medical school was her true calling. Tara also “couples matched” with her partner, who is currently in an emergency medicine residency. A native of Colorado, Hannah completed her undergraduate degree at Wellesley College with a degree in psychology. She would then spend two years at Yale University as a research fellow before applying to medical school. Hannah says she has always wanted to be a pediatrician, and is excited to pursue her dream career. Today, both Tara and Hannah are in their first year of Pediatrics residency at the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado Boulder respectively. For advice, tips, and a glimpse into the lives of medical students pursuing a career in Pediatrics, follow along! Episode produced by: Alek | | Donate:
August 18, 2019
Ep22 | MS4 Perspective: Ophthalmology
Nolan Adams is a 4th year student at the Loyola Stritch School of Medicine who will be entering Loyola's ophthalmology residency after a transitional year program at Presence Resurrection Hospital. He is originally from Rockford, IL and entered medical school after a gap year working as a Certified Nursing Assistant following his graduation from Northwestern University. He found ophthalmology early in his first year at Loyola and enjoys helping other students discern if ophthalmology is a good fit for them, as well as helping them through the application process. Episode produced by: Nate | | Donate:
August 09, 2019
Ep21 | Community Health - How Free Clinics Provide for Low-Income Individuals
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard a lot of debate about the skyrocketing cost of healthcare in the United States. With the expansion of Medicaid and other reforms that were a part of the Affordable Care Act, many people gained access to government-subsidized health insurance,. But that doesn’t mean that going to the doctor is any cheaper.  In the complex web of insurance, citizenship status, and income instability many patients fall through the cracks. For those people, Community Health and many other free clinics around the country are providing healthcare completely free of charge, no insurance required.  How can they afford to see all these patients for free? Where do the patients get medications, labs, or even surgery? Vicki Chester and Ava Zeligson from Community Health answer all those questions and more on today’s episode. You can find out more information about the clinic at Episode produced by: Nate, Rasa | | Donate:
August 02, 2019
Ep20 | MS4 Perspective: Neurology
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) specialty episode, we investigate the field of Neurology. Our specialty series with 4th year medical students consists of three parts. Part I consists of a discussion about the field. Here, we will learn about the reasons why our guests have decided to a pursue a career in this specialty, likes/dislikes about the field, and common stereotypes surrounding the field. Part II explores what it takes to match into the field. Our discussions in this section include ways in which medical students can become a competitive applicant for this specialty, tips for rotations in this specialty, advice on structuring your curriculum, and ways to evaluate which residency programs to apply to. Part III is the general advice section. Here, our 4th year students will reveal the secrets to success for each year of medical school, as well as advice for pre-med students, gap year students, excelling on board exams, and more. Our guests in this episode, Jennifer Novak and Harjot Hansra, completed their medical education at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Jennifer graduated from the University of California Irvine with a degree in economics and psychology. Although she had a passion for neuroscience, Jennifer studied for the LSAT before realizing that medicine was her true calling. She then completed a post-baccalaureate pre-med program at San Francisco State, and applied to medical school the year after. Harjot’s interest in medicine began at a young age—some of her earliest memories consist of going to the library with her parents and flipping through pictures in cartoon anatomy books. Her interest persisted throughout high school and college, and she eventually graduated with a degree in neuroscience from the University of Southern California. Today, both Jennifer and Harjot are in their first year of Neurology residency at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Arizona respectively. For advice, tips, and a glimpse into the lives of medical students pursuing a career in Neurology, follow along! Episode produced by: Alek Druck | | Donate:
July 26, 2019
Ep19 | The Anatomy of Dr. Dauzvardis
Anybody who has taken an Anatomy course can tell you about their eccentric Anatomy professor. It seems that a unique personality is a prerequisite to teaching this course that has been a vital part of the medical school curriculum for so long. On this episode of Medicus, Neal and our guest host, Hye-Jin Yun, welcome Dr. Dauzvardis, anatomy professor at the Stritch School of Medicine. Together they discuss Dr. D’s journey to becoming an anatomy professor and the experiences that shaped him into becoming an educator for student doctors. We also dive into how the instruction of anatomy has changed throughout the years, Dr. D’s peculiar interests, and much more. Tune in because this was a fun one! Michael Dauzvardis, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Medical Education at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.  He holds a doctorate in anatomy and has been recognized by the Stritch students with numerous teaching awards. | | Donate:
July 20, 2019
Ep18 | Summing Up the USMLE Step 1
We're back! Alek, Neal, Josh, Nate, and Mara have all made it to the other side of the Step 1 exam. We took a few weeks off for studying and recovering but we are happy to be back, and this time with some new Medicus team members! Meet Rasa and Dave, fellow med students here to help us create new Medicus content to bring to you each week. On this episode we recap our experiences with the USMLE Step 1.  Interesting follow-up to our discussion: | | Donate:
July 12, 2019
Ep17 | Why Would a Physician Get an MBA?
With 500 medical students getting an MD/MBA combined degree every year, along with many attending physicians enrolling in executive MBA programs, it is increasingly common to see practicing physicians taking a role in healthcare administration. Today we invited Nelly Gonzalez who pioneered her own dual degree program here at Loyola to talk about her experience and the importance of having people with clinical experience in administrative roles. Nelly Gonzalez-Lepage is currently a 4th year MD/MBA student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She graduated from University of California Berkeley with a double major in Molecular Cell Biology and Cognitive Science. She has over 8 years of work experience in health policy, management, research and public health. She is a 2016 Schweitzer Fellow and 2019 MOLA Scholar (Medical Organization for Latino Advancement).  She will be applying to residency this fall 2019. Also, you might recognize that we are joined by a new host and producer for this episode. Dave is a dual degree student at Stritch, working on his MD as well as a master's in public health with a focus on policy and management. Before starting school, he has worked as a scribe in an emergency department and rheumatology clinic, and briefly worked in healthcare tech. Links for the topics we discussed: Episode produced by: Nate Burstedt | | Donate:
April 19, 2019
Ep16 | The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Islamophobia - Amal Kassir
In September 2018 our local chapter of Physicians for Human Rights hosted an event where guest speaker Amal Kassir gave a talk called “The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Islamophobia.” A few members of the Medicus team were at this event and we thought her message was worth sharing, so we’ve decided to play the audio from this event on the podcast. She delivers her message with a mixture of poetry and storytelling about her experience growing up as a Muslim-American, her extended family living through Syrian Civil War, and the importance of empathy. Amal Kassir is a Muslim Woman, born and raised in Denver, CO to a German-Iowan Mother and a Syrian Father. She is an international spoken word poet, having performed in 10 countries and over 45 cities. She has conducted workshops, given lectures, and recited her poetry in venues ranging from youth prisons, to orphanages to refugee camps to universities to churches to community spaces for the public. She designed her own undergraduate degree called 'Community Programming in Social Psychology' and she is a major proponent in education and building individual agency in particularly underserved and vulnerable populations, especially through writing. She hopes to take part in the global effort for literacy in war-struck areas and refugee camps, Insha'Allah.  You can see Amal's TEDx talk here: Amal Kassir's Social Media Links: Facebook Instagram Twitter Website For the introduction to this episode we are joined by Abdallah, the president of a local chapter of Physicians for Human Rights, an organization that “works at the intersection of medicine, science, and law to secure justice and universal human rights for all.” You can find out more information about them at Outro Music: Chillin Hard - Kevin Mcleod  Episode produced by: Nate Burstedt | | Donate:
April 12, 2019
Ep15 | MS4 Perspective: Internal Medicine
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) specialty episode, we investigate the field of Internal Medicine. Our specialty series with 4th year medical students consists of three parts. Part I is a discussion about the field. Here, we will learn about the reasons why our guests have decided to a pursue a career in this specialty, likes/dislikes about the field, and common stereotypes surrounding the field. Part II explores what it takes to match into the field. Our discussions in this section include ways in which medical students can become a competitive applicant for this specialty, tips for rotations in this specialty, advice on structuring your curriculum, and ways to evaluate which residency programs to apply to. Part III is the general advice section. Here, our 4th year students will reveal the secrets to success for each year of medical school, as well as advice for pre-med students, gap year students, excelling on board exams, and more. Our guests in this episode, Dipan Karmali and Dhruv Kumar, are completing their medical education at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Episode Produced by: Alek Druck | | Donate:
April 05, 2019
Ep14 | Healthcare on the Hill - Working for the AMA
Listen as current medical student Blake Murphy coaches us on how to get educated about healthcare policy and become involved in advocacy. Serving as this year's Government Relations Advocacy Fellow (GRAF) for the American Medical Association (AMA), she has been learning how policy is informed and enacted at the national level. Our discussion will leave you eager to become involved with issues impacting healthcare delivery and patients across the US! Stay up to date on healthcare and policy news with these resources recommended by Blake- Axios Vitals Newsletter: AMA Morning Rounds:  Politico Pulse:  Episode produced by Alek Druck and Mara Peterson. | | Donate:
March 29, 2019
Ep13 | Healthcare Behind Bars
If you ask most medical students why they decided to go to medical school, there’s a good chance that they will say it was, at least in part, to help an underserved population.   While every patient population has its own unique features and challenges, one demographic that is often overlooked is prison inmates.    In this episode, we sat down with Dr. Chad Zawitz (Assistant Professor at Rush University Medical Center, and Director of Infectious Diseases at Cook County Jail) to discuss the fascinating world of correctional medicine.  He shares his insights from his 15 years of experience working at Cook County Jail, which happens to be the largest single-site jail in the US, housing approximately 6500 detainees at one time.  In this interview, Dr. Zawitz explains how healthcare in the prison system works, the differences in how he approaches medicine in the jail setting (including many of the challenges that he faces), and the barriers his patients face after rehabilitation.  Throughout our interview, Dr. Zawitz shares impactful stories where he recalls some of his most formative patient encounters.  Some of the stories you will hear are graphic, yet educational. For a humbling learning experience, take a listen to this correctional medicine episode!
March 22, 2019
Ep12 | Becoming a Resilient Physician
Many physicians will tell you that there will come a time where you are so fatigued mentally, physically and emotionally that you begin to lose sight of why you pursued a career in medicine in the first place.  These moments are extremely challenging and can leave you feeling isolated, disengaged from your work, and full of more questions than answers.  In this episode we sat down with Dr. Greg Ozark, the Vice President/Assistant Dean of Graduate Medical Education at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine.  In our discussion, he shares his strategies and insights on how to remain grounded through the highs and lows of this high-stress occupation.    Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review!  If you have learned something from this podcast then be sure to share Medicus with a friend!  We would love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Comment below or feel free to contact us here: | | Donate:
March 15, 2019
Ep11 | Should Step 1 Be Pass/Fail?
Every medical student knows of that one hurdle that can make or break their aspirations of getting into the specialty or program of their choice. It’s the bane of existence for every medical student in their first two years of medical school. That hurdle is the USMLE Step 1. The United States Medical Licensure Exam - Step 1, is a standardized exam that is administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) and the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB). It was created to assess the ability of medical students to apply basic science fundamental concepts to the practice of medicine. The entire exam is divided into three steps, but in this episode we will be primarily be focusing on Step 1, which is typically taken after the second year of medical school.  On this episode of Medicus, Dr. Josh Hopps joins Nate and Neal to talk about the history and philosophy behind the exam, the controversies surrounding it, its place in medical education, and the changes that it might be undergoing in the years to come. Sound effect is "DunDunDunnn.wav" by copyc4t - available at | | Donate:
March 08, 2019
Ep10 | A Physician's Balancing Act
Part of being a physician is establishing a balance between personal life and work life. On this episode of Medicus, Dr. Bernadette Aulivola joins us to discuss how she is able to manage her roles as a mother and wife, while also being a physician in the demanding field of vascular surgery. Dr. Aulivola also dives into a variety of other topics such as her clinical area of interest, which is to save legs from requiring amputation with techniques to improve blood flow, as well as the progression of women representation in surgical specialties. Did we also mention that Dr. Aulivola practices transcendental meditation? Tune in to Medicus to learn more about how this amazing multitasker does it all! Follow Dr. Aulivola on twitter @baulivola Follow Loyola Vascular Surgery @loyolavascular | | Donate:
March 01, 2019
Ep09 | Caring for Veterans - The VA Healthcare System
There are many different types of hospitals in the United States, most of which fall under the broad categories of for-profit, not-for-profit, and government-owned (Department of Veterans Affairs "VA"). Although only a select demographic can utilize government-owned hospitals, our VA hospitals are a major component of the US healthcare system. From the US Department of Veteran Affairs website, “The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,243 health care facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,062 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program.”  We brought in Dr. Haralampopoulos, an internist at the Edward Hines Jr. VA hospital in Illinois for over a decade, to shed light on the VA system. She shares how medicine is practiced at the VA, discusses working with the VA’s patient population, and reasons why one should pursue a career at the VA. | | Donate:
February 22, 2019
Ep08 | Valentine’s Special Pt. 2: Being a Parent in Medical School and Residency
Welcome to Part 2 of our Valentine’s Day Special!  Here we explore what it’s like to be a parent while attending medical school and residency. For insight into this topic, we have brought in two “physicians in training” who have a three year old daughter and another baby on the way. We sure learned a lot from our incredibly talented and dedicated guests, and know you will too!
February 15, 2019
Ep07 | Valentine’s Special Pt. 1: Relationships and Marriage in Medical School
In the Part 1 of our Valentine’s Day Special, we learn about managing relationships and getting married while in medical school. We discuss the obstacles, thought processes, and joys of planning a wedding from the perspective of two amazing (and hilarious) guests. From doing long-distance, transitioning to new jobs and cities, and having their perfect wedding, they've done it all. | | Donate:
February 15, 2019
Ep06 | MS4 Perspective: Emergency Medicine
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) specialty episode, we investigate the field of Emergency Medicine. Our guests in this episode, Shea Boles and Chase Thorson, are completing their medical education at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Shea is a native of Sonoma, California, and completed her undergraduate degree at Santa Clara University. Before coming to medical school, she worked as a scribe in an Emergency Department. Shea is part of the Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) with commitments to work as a physician in the Air Force upon completion of her residency at UC Davis. Chase is from Seattle, Washington, and completed his undergraduate degree at Gonzaga University. Following graduation, Chase went on to teach English in France for a year, and scribed in an Emergency Department upon his return to the States. Both Shea and Chase are passionate about the ideas of advocacy and community integration that comes with being an Emergency Medicine physician. For advice, tips, and a glimpse into the lives of medical students pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine, follow along!
February 08, 2019
Ep05 | Undocumented Physicians - DACA
Medical training is a stressful process. Sometimes we get lost in the grind and rely on taking each task one at a time, only focusing on what is directly in front of us. When we let our own stressors consume us it is easier to forget about the challenges that others around us are facing. It can be a shock to find out that our classmates are also dealing with difficult circumstances outside of school. In this episode, we interview Aaima and Cesar about the challenges of being an undocumented immigrant and physician in training. Read more about this topic and our guests:
February 01, 2019
Ep04 | Bioethics and Faith in Medicine
One of the most difficult questions that patients can ask a healthcare provider is “why me?”. To complicate things further, this question is often posed with spiritual or religions undertones, i.e. “why is X, Y, Z god doing this to me?” While healthcare providers seek to treat the physical, at one point in their career they will be challenged to respond to questions of spiritual and religious doubt. This is no easy task, as studies have shown that spiritual care is an enigmatic area for healthcare providers with multiple barriers ($=activity; John Hardt, Ph.D. is the Vice President for Mission Integration for Trinity Health Illinois and Associate Provost for Mission and Identity at Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division.  In his capacity as Vice President, he is responsible for the implementation, growth, and assessment of Trinity Health’s mission and ethics portfolio across the region. His grant research has focused on Ignatian spirituality and the formation of physicians and launched The Physicians’ Vocation Program, a four-year program for medical students at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine interested in exploring the concept of vocation in their own lives as future doctors. For more info on Dr. Hardt and this episode topic, visit
January 25, 2019
Ep03 | Must-Hear Discussion on Medical School Admissions
For students hoping to go through the rigorous process of becoming a physician, the challenge begins before they even set foot in a school. Navigating the application process is a daunting task. In 2018, medical schools in the US admitted, on average, just 4.1% of the applicants to their school ( That translates to 41% of the total 52,777 applicants claiming a spot in the first year class at a medical school this year. With thousands of qualified applicants vying for less than 200 spots, how does an admissions department approach the process of selecting the young men and women who will become future doctors representing their institution? To find out, we sat down with Sunny Nakae, former Assistant Dean for Admissions at Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine. Sunny Nakae is Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Associate Clinical Professor of Health Sciences at the University of CA Riverside School of Medicine. Prior to her role at UCR, Dr. Nakae served as Assistant Dean for Admissions, Recruitment and Student Life at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. She has been in medical education since 2001 and loves sharing in the journeys of students. Dr. Nakae is a passionate ally and advocate for social justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion in medicine.
January 18, 2019
Ep02 | MS4 Perspective: General Surgery
In this 4th year medical student (MS4) specialty episode, we investigate the field of General Surgery with two students who are pursuing this as a career. Our guests for this episode, Steven Marincel and Allison Zarnke, are completing their medical education at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. For advice, tips, and a glimpse into the lives of medical students pursuing a career in General Surgery, follow along!
January 11, 2019
Ep01 | A Deep Dive into Medical Education, Med-Peds, and Much More
On this episode of Medicus, Dr. Nate Derhammer joins us to talk about medical education and how it has changed since when he was a student. He also discusses his role as the residency program director of Med-Peds at Loyola and offers his perspective on how students can do well in their clinical years of medical school, as well as match into Med-Peds for residency. You won't want to miss this!
January 09, 2019