ProspectiveDoctor's MCAT Basics

By Sam Smith of MedSchoolCoach

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Category: Science & Medicine

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Subscribers: 15
Reviews: 1

 May 19, 2019
Good podcast and review of MCAT info...but the volume is way too low! Really needs to improve audio quality!


ProspectiveDoctor's MCAT Basics with Sam Smith of MedSchoolCoach covers many topics on the AAMC MCAT. Each podcast is a different topic and may cover up to 3 out of the 4 MCAT sections. The lesson topics are based on the practice material (practice tests, question banks, etc.) put out by the AAMC.

Episode Date
BONUS: Polyatomic Ions and Solubility Rules

This podcast covers the polyatomic ions to know and the solubility rules. Polyatomic ions start at 2:00 and solubility rules start at 6:00.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Sep 16, 2019
Kinetics and Solubility

This podcast covers chemical kinetics and solubility. First, I cover topics within kinetics including: general concept, collision theory, rate laws, and the Arrhenius equation. Then, I break down solubility. Topics in this segment include general concept, solubility product (Ksp), the common ion effect, selective precipitation, and Henry’s law.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Sep 09, 2019
Bonus Episode Interview: Should I Retake the MCAT?

Ken Tao, MedSchoolCoach’s Director of MCAT Tutoring, and Sahil Mehta, Founder and President of MedSchoolCoach, join the podcast to discuss retaking the MCAT. We discuss how to determine if you should retake the MCAT and ways to improve your score.


MCAT and GPA Grid for Applicants and Acceptees to U.S. Medical Schools:

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Big thanks to Ken and Sahil for joining ProspectiveDoctor’s MCAT Basics!

Sep 02, 2019
The Eye: Physiology and Perception

This podcast covers the eye. First, I quickly cover the anatomy of the eye. Then, I break down rods, cones, and the phototransduction pathway. Last, I talk about perception. The topics here include: visual field processing, binocular vs monocular cues, and feature detection (including Magno and Parvo pathways).

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Aug 26, 2019
Immune System: Adaptive

This podcast covers the adaptive immune system. First, I introduce the cells that make up the adaptive immune system. Then, I break down the two branches of the adaptive immune system: 1) humoral immunity, 2) cell-mediated immunity. I end by recapping the whole immune system.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Aug 19, 2019
Immune System: Innate

This podcast covers the innate immune system. First, I introduce the cells that make up the innate immune system. Next, I discuss three important aspects of the innate immune system: 1) anatomical barriers, 2) general inflammatory response, 3) the complement system and describe their role within it.

Innate Immune System Paper:

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Aug 12, 2019
Separation & Purification Techniques

This podcast covers several common separation and purification laboratory techniques that you may see on the MCAT. I have broken this subject down into three different categories: small molecules, proteins, and cells. Within the small molecule category, I cover: extraction, crystallization and recrystallization, and chromatography (TLC and HPLC). In the protein category, I cover: SDS-page, precipitation, isoelectric focusing, and chromatography (size-exclusion, affinity, and ion-exchange). Last, in the cell category, I briefly cover: centrifugation, flow cytometry, and microfluidics.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Aug 05, 2019

This podcast covers circuits in detail. First, I breakdown what I consider to be the most important circuit variables: voltage, current, resistance, and power. Then, I discuss circuit components, including resistors, batteries, capacitors, and switches. Last, I tell you what you need to know about Ohm’s Law and Kirchhoff’s Law.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Jul 08, 2019
DNA Replication and Central Dogma

This podcast covers DNA replication and central dogma. First, I breakdown DNA replication, discussing: conservative, semi-conservative, and dispersive replication, and the DNA replication mechanism. Then, I discuss transcription and translation, including: differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, mechanisms, and cellular location.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Jul 01, 2019
Bonus Episode Interview: Kathryn Henshaw

I interview Kathryn, an MCAT tutor for Medschoolcoach. She runs the @thepremed Instagram page and was a top scorer on the MCAT. We talk about designing a study schedule, study habits, CARS, taking a gap year(s), and answer Q/A’s from Kathryn’s Instagram.


For IG/Student Inquiries: Instagram: @thepremed

Thanks to Kathryn for joining me on the podcast!

Jun 24, 2019

This podcast covers thermodynamics. First, I discuss the four laws of thermodynamics, as well as their application on the MCAT. Then, I break down enthalpy, Gibbs free energy, and entropy (briefly). Lastly, I cover the three types of heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Jun 17, 2019
Cell and Tissue Types

This podcast covers cell and tissue types. First, I discuss the difference between eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. I further break down these categories and talk about the differences between animal, plant, fungi, protozoa, archaea, and bacterial cells. Next, I talk about each of the four main tissue types: epithelial, muscle, connective, and nervous. The bulk of this section covers epithelial tissue.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Jun 10, 2019
Renal Physiology

This podcast covers renal physiology. I start with a brief introduction to renal anatomy, then discuss in detail renal physiology. Next, I introduce three hormones (ADH, aldosterone, and ANP) that effect the kidneys and discuss their effects on the nephron. Lastly, I talk about measurements of renal function.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

Jun 03, 2019
Psychosocial Development and Identity

This podcast covers identity and psychosocial development. First, I will define a few terms you may see on the MCAT regarding identity. Next, I will breakdown the following theories of identity development: Erickson’s psychosocial development theory, Freud’s theory of psychosexual development, Paiget’s development theory, Kohlberg’s moral development theory, George Herbert Mead’s the I and the me, Cooley’s looking glass self, and Vygotsky’s social development theory.

Please email me if you have any comments or concerns:

Thanks for listening!

May 27, 2019
Functional Groups: Physical and Chemical Properties

This podcast covers the main functional groups you will see on the MCAT. First, I will cover different physical properties (boiling point and solubility) of compounds containing the 8 most common functional groups: alcohols, ethers, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids, esters, and amides. I then mention the difference in reactivities of different carboxylic acid derivatives. Last, I’ll introduce a few less common functional groups that you may see on the MCAT.

For comments and concerns email:

Thanks for listening!

May 20, 2019

This podcast covers topics within electromagnetism. First, I will talk about charge and electric fields. This will include discussions on static charge, the amber effect, and electric potential. Then, I will introduce magnetism. I will discuss the concept of magnetism, force applied by a magnetic field, the right hand rule, and the magnetic characterization of different materials.

1. Electrostatic force is INVERSELY proportional to the distance between charges squared
2. Amperes = Coulombs/Second

For comments and concerns email:

Thanks for listening!

May 13, 2019
BONUS: Cell Differentiation

This bonus episode briefly covers cell differentiation. What are the mechanisms of cell differentiation? How does a stem cell know what type of cell to differentiate into? Listen to find out.

Apr 25, 2019
Psychology and Sociology Theories

Episode 15: Psychology and Sociology Theories

This podcast covers the most important psych/soc theories on the MCAT. First, I will discuss social theories: functionalism, symbolic interactionism, conflict theory, social constructionism. Next, I will talk about theories of emotion: James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, Schachter-Singer, Lazarus. Last, I will discuss a few different theories of motivation including: Drive-Reduction, Incentive, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and more.

Apr 23, 2019
The Reproductive System

Episode 14: The Reproductive System and Development

This podcast covers a few topics within the reproductive system and development. I will discuss the following topics: spermatogenesis/oogenesis, the menstrual cycle, and development (from fertilization to birth). 

Good luck to those of you taking the MCAT soon!


Apr 16, 2019
Atomic Chemistry

Episode 13: Atomic Chemistry

This lecture covers basic quantum theory, quantum numbers, hybridization, types of bonds, and nuclear decay.  

Apr 08, 2019
Light and Optics

Episode 12: Light and Optics

This lecture covers light and optics. It is a physics heavy podcast. I talk first about photons. This includes an introduction to the photoelectric effect and the work function. Next, I briefly talk about waves. Last, I discuss some of the physics applications of light: polarization, diffraction/reflection, and lenses.

Apr 01, 2019
Learning and Memory

Episode 11: Learning and Memory

This lecture covers learning and memory. I will discuss: the different types of memory (short term, working, and long term), the structures in the brain related to memory, and learning. My discussion on learning will mostly focus on conditioning. I will talk about both operant conditioning and classical conditioning in detail.

Mar 26, 2019
The Endocrine System

Episode 10: The Endocrine System


This lecture covers the endocrine system. I go over types of hormones and their function, describe different structures within the endocrine system, and briefly discuss a few endocrine system disorders.

Mar 18, 2019

This bonus episode covers the recent news regarding the 3rd patient ever cured of HIV - technically considered a sustained remission. I will discuss some background on HIV-1 necessary to understand how the cure works. Then, I will discuss the paper detailing the cure and talk about its implications.

CORRECTION: HIV-1 Viruses can be dual tropic. Viruses that are dual tropic can use both coreceptors.

Mar 15, 2019
Study Types and Research Design

Episode 9: Study Variables and Types

This lecture covers study variables and types. I discuss different study variables: independent variable, dependent variable, correlation variable, confounding variable, odds ratio, and more. Next, I talk about different types of studies: experimental, observational, case-control, cross-sectional, cohort, and more. Lastly, I discuss different types of bias that influence the results of an experiment.

Mar 11, 2019
BONUS: Organic Chemistry Mechanisms to Know

This bonus episode briefly covers the highest yield organic chemistry mechanisms and reactions on the MCAT. I will talk about: SN1/SN2, Carbonyl Addition/Substitution, Aldol Condensation, Oxidation/Reduction of Oxygen Containing Species, Fischer Esterification/Saponification, and E1/E2.

Feb 27, 2019
Social Groups

Episode 8: Social Groups

This lecture covers social groups. I will discuss the different types of social groups, social networks, organizations, interactions within groups, and cultural groups (assimilation, integration, marginalization, and separation). 


Feb 25, 2019
Genetics: Gene Expression

Episode 7b: Genetics- Gene Expression

This podcast is the second in a series of lectures that cover genetics. This podcast is mainly focused on gene expression. I also cover patterns of inheritance and genetics laboratory techniques (PCR, qPCR, Blotting, etc.).

Feb 19, 2019
Genetics: Chromosomes, Meiosis and Mitosis, and Inheritance Patterns

Episode 7a: Genetics- Chromosomes, Meiosis and Mitosis, and Inheritance Patterns


This podcast is the first in a series of lectures covering genetics. I cover the following topics: brief history of basic genetic principals, evolution, chromosomal theory (including mutations), mitosis and meiosis, and inheritance patterns. 


Feb 11, 2019
Enzyme Kinetics, Inhibition, and Categorization

Episode 6: Enzymes

This podcast covers enzyme kinetics, inhibition, and categorization. I will cover the different types of enzymes that are likely to show up on the MCAT. This includes a review of international categorization (oxioreductase, hydrolase, lyase, etc.) and biologically categorization (phosphorylase, synthase, synthetase, etc.) of enzymes.

Feb 04, 2019
Biomolecule Structure, Naming, and Function

Episode 5: This lesson covers biomolecule structure, naming, and function. I talk about steroids, nucleotides and nucleosides, carbohydrates, fatty acids, and more. 

Jan 28, 2019
Metabolism: Gluconeogenesis, Pentose Phosphate Pathway, and More

Episode 4b:

This lesson takes a further look into metabolism. It covers Gluconeogenesis, Glucose Homeostasis, the Pentose Phosphate Pathway, and Ketosis.

Jan 18, 2019
Metabolism: Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, Electron Transport Chain

Episode 4a: Metabolism- Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, and the Electron Transport Chain

This podcast covers glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, and the electron transport chain. I cover each process in detail and cover what you should memorize. This is a very information dense podcast. 

Jan 15, 2019
Acids and Bases

Episode 3: Acids and Bases

 This episode covers acids and bases. The following topics are covered: definitions, pH calculations, quick logarithm calculations, titrations, buffers, and the blood buffer system. Some of the material is very basic, but it is all important for the MCAT.


A lewis acid is an electrophile - accepts e pair

A lewis base is a nucleophile - donates an e pair

(Thanks for the correction, David)

Jan 14, 2019
The Nervous System

Episode 2: The Nervous System

This episode covers the Nervous System, a very important topic for the MCAT. The following topics are covered: brain structure, neurotransmitters, imaging techniques, cortex anatomy (with function), language centers, myelin producing cells, and more.

Audio Sources:

Tactus Therapy-


Jan 09, 2019
Amino Acids

Episode 1: Amino Acids

In episode 1 I cover the broad topic of amino acids. I cover the following topics within the podcast: charge and net charge, substrate pocket binding, structure, hydrophobic hydrophilic, abbreviations, protein folding and protein stability, mutational notation.



Jan 09, 2019