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New podcast provides intimate look into the first year of medical school


Providing a rare and intimate look into the daunting first year of medical school, a new podcast follows students at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell as they learn the fundamentals of their profession, from taking a pulse to counseling patients. Entitled "Making an MD: Year One," the podcast, now available on iTunes, gives listeners candid insight into the challenges and the thrills of medical education, as well as the ways in which it is changing to better suit the sensibilities of patients and their families.

"When I attended medical school, more years ago now than I care to admit, we were told to sit down, be quiet and memorize our textbook," said Lawrence G. Smith, MD, the school's founding dean and physician-in-chief at Northwell Health. "Today, thankfully, we're much more focused on training doctors who can provide patients not only with excellent care but also with a genuine feeling that they're being heard. And there's no better way to show this shift than to let people in on what goes on in our classrooms."

The podcast's initial run will consist of 10 episodes – three of which are already available for download – each up to 15 minutes long. It was produced and narrated by National Public Radio veteran Julie Subrin, and will follow members of this year's incoming class as they struggle with the demanding curriculum, overcome their own trepidations, and transform from young and bright students into doctors in training.

"Medical school always seemed like this unmarked door at the end of a long hall – difficult to find and get in and unclear about what lies on the other side," said Sam Butensky, a first-year student who participated in the podcast. "I was so excited to participate in this podcast because I feel like it shows people the rigor and challenges of becoming a doctor as well as some of the really incredible things we get to do here. Overall, I hope that it humanizes the process for listeners as they go on this journey with us."

"Being involved in the making of this podcast has been a great experience – not only do I get to reflect on my own experiences, but I also get to share my passion with others and talk about what I really love: medicine," Shruti Koti, also a first-year student who was interviewed for the podcast.

Earlier this year, the school announced a $61 million gift from Northwell Health trustees Donald and Barbara Zucker, most of which will be used exclusively to support students with ongoing scholarships. Launched 10 years ago, the Zucker School of Medicine quickly became one of the nation's top-ranked medical programs, thanks in large part to its innovative approach to education, focusing on small, group-based experiential learning while stressing a holistic approach to patient care.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

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About the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Established in 2008, the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell was founded by two equal partners: Hofstra University and Northwell Health. The School of Medicine is built upon the strong clinical and graduate medical education programs of Northwell, as well as the robust research and academic programs of both Hofstra and Northwell's Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Currently, the Zucker School of Medicine ranks among top medical schools nationwide for primary care (2018 U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools). The institution comprises more than 2,500 faculty members across 25 academic departments, and enrolls a diverse community of approximately 400 students. For more information, visit

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