The Trainees Who Don’t Fit the Med Ed Mission


Should medical education make a larger space for trainees who don’t want to see patients? 


  • Medical schools’ mission is to create doctors that treat patients. In that context, the options provided for trainees who don’t see that as their own mission may be limited.
  • However, those options do exist–should schools acknowledge them?  Should schools promote those options to their students?
  • Listener Nicole asks what prerequisites she can take at a community college, if any. 

Even during medical school, Alison Yarp, MD, felt as though her personal career goals didn’t reflect those of the school she intended–she did not want to see patients and practice individual medicine! But she was in med school already. She wanted to be in medicine, but given how much blood, sweat, and tears she’d already spent on that, how could she change directions? What would she even change directions toward? Eventually, she settled on psychiatry…and hoped it would be right for her.

Following her intern year, Dr. Yarp resigned from her psychiatry residency and seek a new path. It was then that she decided to build MARCo Community, a private and exclusive social network for trainees of any level who don’t feel like they fit with the typical medical education narrative.

Dr. Yarp got lucky this past year. She found a new specialty that fit her goals nicely, and sought a new match in a residency she hadn’t been aware of during medical school–preventive medicine. M1s Matt Engelken, Tracy Chen, Grant Stalker, and Alec Hanson talked with her about the difficulties of finding a career in medicine when the path fully acknowledged by medical education is narrower than what actually exists.

Also, can Listener Nicole do any of her prerequisites for medical school at a community college?

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