- College of Medicine Communique Student Affairs Students
Second-year UCF M.D. student Aaishwariya Gulani and her former college roommate, Swathi Raman who attends medical school at Temple University both admired physicians who were skilled at communication and team-building, but weren’t sure how to learn those “soft skills.” So faced with isolation from COVID-19, they developed a series of podcasts that are getting the attention of medical students nationwide.
They call their podcasts MS5 (anchor.fm/ms5-podcast) to stand for a fifth year of medical school. Since August, they have produced 12 podcasts.
“So far it’s been so fun to interview guests on leadership, teamwork, networking and building relationships,” said Raman. Topics include navigating the hierarchy of the medical profession and self-branding as well as academic issues such as medical education curriculum and the challenges of virtual learning. They have interviewed expert guests from across the country, including New York University, University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania.
The experience has been eye-opening for both. “We were blown away by how similar our experiences were with other medical students,” said Gulani. “I could really relate to the many issues students brought up about the need to fine tune their speaking and personal skills to be well-rounded doctors.”
They are particularly proud of a series they did on Women in Medical School, which covered topics such as juggling parenting and studies, and the transition from undergraduate studies to the challenges of medical school. Student reviews of the podcast has been positive with reviewers giving the series a five-star rating for its helpful content.
With the availability of free podcasting apps, Gulani said most of their commitment is time and trying to balance podcast production with their studies. They spend up to four hours writing and editing the interviews. Gulani’s undergraduate degree was in business, a perfect fit for developing and marketing the podcast. They both decide on the guests to interview and Raman edits the podcast.
The students say the project has reinforced their belief that soft skills – attitude, personality, motivation and manners – are part of being a skilled physician. “We hear about successful doctors within medicine, and we all know some role models who are so good at engaging with their teams – but no one ever tells you how,” said Raman. “What we have to remember is that medicine is like any other profession, which means being able to work with peers and staff members in a team.”
The MS5 Podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and all other major podcast platforms. It can also be found on Instagram and Twitter @MS5_Podcast and anchor.fm/ms5-podcast.