1) Why did you start Lean On?
There are many reasons why I started Lean On, but generally, I wanted to ensure premeds were getting useful advice at the right times for the right price. Going into medicine is expensive, but getting advice on how to optimize your application shouldn't be.
2) What was your premed experience like?
I actually never knew I wanted to be premed until halfway through college! At the beginning of my time at UCSD, I was bioengineering and then after my sophomore year, having volunteered in a hospital, I realized that medicine was my calling.
Long story short, after dealing with a grumpy old man in recovery, helping leprosy patients in rural India, and dodging terrorists and giant bugs during the tropical monsoon season, I realized that medicine was my calling. There's no better feeling for me than helping a single patient; it is fulfilling in and of itself.
Deciding to go premed halfway through college left me in a bit of a scramble. I had to ensure I had taken the right classes, that I was talking to the right professors who would write solid letters of recommendation, and that I had sufficient time to prepare for my MCAT. In fact, when I declared I was going premed to my advising office, they grimaced and asked, "Really? You're an engineering major. Why would you go premed?" As it turned out, I didn't find support where I was expecting it from, so I had to go and hunt for it elsewhere.
That is when the idea of Lean On took root, unbeknownst to me.
3) What was the hardest part of the application cycle for you?
Figuring out how to optimize my application and ensure I had all the aspects of a good doctor covered. As a traditional premed, I was trained to focus on science, so most of my application was cut-and-dry. Turns out that medicine is more than just science - there's an art to it; a softer side that is often hard to demonstrate. I had to consult a plethora of resources and advisors, but I finally churned out an application that unlocked thirteen interview invites and multiple acceptances.
4) What's something fun you do in your spare time?
In what little spare time I have, I love to play my guitar. She's a Taylor acoustic with a sweet mid-range that soothes the soul, a low-end that provides just enough 'umph', and a lilting upper range that just hangs in the air. When things get hectic, I usually take 10 minutes and just finger pick my way back into tranquility. When you're in medical school, it's always good to have an anchor that brings you back down.