So why did I crate a Medial School "Vlog" series on Youtube? (I am using the term Vlog in air quotes on because my videos are NOT traditional Vlogs but they are instead reflections of my journey through medical school, which I hope can inspire and educate the next wave of physicians. I find the idea of filming my every move or filming me take a dump is not very helpful and is somewhat narcissistic, although it is quite popular. Further, it goes against my philosophy of trying my best at being 100% with everything I do. However now that my rant is over, we can get back to the article.)
To really understand why I created this Medical School "Vlog" series I need to go back a few years and tell you a story. So after completing my bachelors degree at Boston University I jumped right into preparing for my MCAT. This transition period in my life was one of intense introspection and growth. Serendipitously my cousin had sent me a video by Elliot Hulse. I absolutely loved his videos and watched countless of his videos over the next couple of years. No doubt he has some silly videos, but I was impressed by his presence and energy he exuded in his videos. Further, since I am such a book worm, and I love sharing the life changing knowledge I pick up through my reading, the idea of starting my own YouTube Channel began germinating.
Furthermore, public speaking has always been a weak point of mine. At my high school we were required to give a public speech every year as part of my english class. I was absolutely abysmal. I seemed to get worse as the years progressed. I had a slight improvement during my time at Boston University but I got away with my lackluster public speaking skills because of the technical nature of my presentations I needed to give.
However, I aggressively worked on improving my public speaking and it improved to the point where I had earned an award for an oral presentation I gave about my research and maybe people came up to me afterwards and said how much of a "natural" I was (I talk about this in more detail as part of the AAMC Aspiring Docs Blog here).
Even though, I had made substantial strides with my public speaking, I knew there was further room to improve. Especially since being able to articulate myself clearly is very important as a working physician and to be able to effectively translate knowledge to as many people as possible.
It is clear to my peers and I that making YouTube videos has improved my public speaking skills. It has helped me feel more confident and eloquent while sharing my views during CBL, presenting a case back to my preceptor and even during my Year 2 OSCE exam. I still cringe at how terrible my original videos of this series, but when I see the progress I have made I am quite proud.
It has been extremely enjoyable being able to share what I love and improve my public speaking, but there has been an unintended side effect of creating this Medical School Vlog Series. It is the power of reflection.
Funny enough this is something that the Faculty at UBC really stressed throughout the portfolio portion of our curriculum. Being completely honest I thought initially this was hogwash, but as I have gone through the program I have experienced the profound benefit of reflection. I find myself re-watching my old videos not to increase my view count or because I am narcissistic but because it helps me see what my headspace was at in that moment of time. Further, it gives me definitive proof of how well I am at closing the "action gap," which I have discussed in a previous blog post (Read More: Wednesday Wisdom My Experience is what I agree I attend too).
Learning and growth is a non-linear and cyclical process. So reflection is an integral component of making sure you are maximizing your learning. This process does not need to be public or onerous. It can be as cliche as having a journal, creating a poem, song or piece of art to capture your state of mind at that moment.
- Public Speaking is a skill that will improve with practice
- Reflection is an integral component of learning
- Reflection should be unique to you! It can be journaling, but it could also be writing poetry etc.
If you can’t sustain it, it’s not worth it.
I am a medical student who is obsessed with the Be Activated Muscle Activation Technique, mastering movement and understanding what makes humans thrive.