Hi, my name is Richie. I'm in my fourth year of study at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. I'm originally from Burien, WA and that is where I am currently located as I wait to start my Internal Medicine residency training program in July 2016. I enjoy helping students master difficult subjects, and I have had multiple tutoring experiences (both paid and volunteer) in college and medical school. I've also worked as an MCAT tutor and Gross Anatomy TA in the past.
I have a B.S. in Cell Biology from Western Washington University and an M.S. in Physiology from the University of Cincinnati. I am most passionate about subjects that can be applied to human medicine, including Anatomy, Physiology, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Pharmacology and Microbiology.
I believe that rote memorization is ineffective. It is better to seek to truly understand the fundamental principles of a topic and then use that information to reason out the best answer on a standardized test. My goal as a tutor is to give my students that fundamental understanding, and also teach the "test-taking skills" that are an unfortunate requirement for academic success today.
Education & Certification
Undergraduate Degree: Western Washington University - Bachelors, Cell Biology
Graduate Degree: Ohio State University-Main Campus - Current Grad Student, Medicine (M.D.)
MCAT Biological Sciences: 14
MCAT Physical Sciences: 11
MCAT Verbal Reasoning: 12
Hiking the Cascade mountains, cooking, buying cheap cars on craigslist.
Q & A
What might you do in a typical first session with a student?
Establish goals and a timeline and discuss strategies to achieve those goals. Then pick a topic to cover which can be completed during the initial meeting, which will then allow reflection on progress.
If a student has difficulty learning a skill or concept, what would you do?
Approach it from a different angle. For example if they are struggling with the cranial nerves, we could try mnemonics, fill-in-the-blank diagrams, going over function vs. structure, practice questions, etc.
What is your teaching philosophy?
Promote active learning by using questions. This occurs both in verbal form throughout a teaching session and also by liberal use of written practice questions.
How can you help a student become an independent learner?
By teaching learning skills, rather than facts.
How would you help a student stay motivated?
By setting concrete goals at the beginning, and using regular feedback to demonstrate progress.
What strategies have you found to be most successful when you start to work with a student?
Use the initial visit as more of a planning session, discussing goals and strategies. Determine learning styles and use what works for the particular situation.
How would you help a student get excited/engaged with a subject that they are struggling in?
Focus initially on one small aspect of the topic and seek mastery in that, which encourages the student that understanding the overall subject is achievable.
What techniques would you use to be sure that a student understands the material?
Practice Questions. You need to constantly be answering questions (formally or informally, to yourself or others) or you will never know what you don't know.
How do you build a student's confidence in a subject?
Demonstrate progress concretely, using things like practice tests or review sessions.
How do you evaluate a student's needs?
During an initial tutoring encounter, by having an intentional planning session.
How do you adapt your tutoring to the student's needs?
Trial and error of teaching styles, and by being flexible in terms of hours/location.
What types of materials do you typically use during a tutoring session?
All topics- practice questions, diagrams. Anatomy- unlabeled photos, drawings and pro-sections. MCAT- review books, practice tests.
How do you help students who are struggling with reading comprehension?
Encouraging practice with summarizing the "main point" of articles encountered in daily life (this is specifically for improving MCAT Verbal Reasoning score).