Sophia writes:

Dear Vincent

this is a message to help you increase your subscribers on youtube. I honestly don’t see a reason why you can’t reach 25,000. Neither do I believe your listeners are not subscribing because they don’t care. I just think the way you tell us is not as practical and people forget. These are my suggestions:

  1. don’t tell people to find you on youtube with your initials. Just tell them to google your name on youtube. That’s how I found you. I could never remember what you said by the time I had to look for your channel
  2. remember that most people are listening while doing other things and are not in front of a computer so by the time the show is over they forget. why don’t you tell people to subscribe just before you say goodbye, so people remember and don’t forget? (it works!)
  3. you need to “sell” your channel. don’t just tell people to subscribe. tell them what they’re missing by not doing so. I just found out that your channel has great stuff, like the parasitic diseases lectures and virology in Spanish!
  4. why don’t you do a competition and give out something (like a TWIV mug) for everyone who subscribes by a deadline?
  5. advertise your channel on your facebook page so it comes in our feed and on your website (say, next to the patreon link) so people can SEE it and click on it before they forget

these are my suggestions

please do talk about the weather on TWIV. if people don’t like it they can skip and fastforward. it’s not a live show (so why are they complaining?)

good luck!

Sophia, Greece

Trudy writes:

Hi TWiVers,

Quick question. Are any of the people who complain about the weather small talk actually TWiV patrons?

Just a thought.


P.S. It is currently 48 degrees Fahrenheit and cloudy here in Atlanta, Georgia.

Anna writes:

Hello, Team TWiV!

I wanted to respond to Dickson’s comment on a recent TWiV that MCAT scores are predictive of graduation in medical school. Even if MCAT score did predict likelihood of not completing medical school, that would be a fairly meaningless prediction: the non-graduation rate for medical school is very low (4%, according to the AAMC), in part because once an individual has been admitted to medical school, the school itself is invested in seeing them graduate. A more meaningful metric would be whether MCAT scores can predict a person’s board scores (i.e. USMLE Step 1, Step 2, etc.), since board scores more closely determine a person’s likelihood of getting into the residency they want to get into (I realize that using a standardized test to predict outcome on another standardized test is not great, but it’s the best proxy we’ve got). Studies have found there is no correlation (Giordano et al 2016,, a negative correlation (Roy et al 2016,, or at best a weak correlation (Gauer et al 2016, between MCAT scores and board examinations. There is also some concern that the MCAT is a racially biased metric, as well, although that is controversial. I’m not advocating that MCATs be removed completely from med school admissions–after all, a good MCAT score could provide redemptive value for a student who struggled with grades early in undergrad–but I think the exam is sometimes given more weight than is appropriate, and sometimes used inappropriately as a screening value with no other context considered.

Anecdotally, I personally have only known of three people who were asked to leave medical school. I do not know the circumstances for two of them, but the third was not permitted to progress after failing, multiple times, a class which required showing empathy to patients, which an MCAT would not have predicted.

It is snowing beautifully here in Madison, at a reasonably comfortable 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Happy Thanksgiving to you all–and to those outside the US, Thanksgiving is a holiday in which the States celebrates that a long time ago some immigrating asylum seekers made it to America and were graciously helped by the folks already here.



MJR writes:

Please ignore Andy from Rochester and other complainers, and “keep doing what you’re doing”.  TWIV (and the rest of the TWI(x) family of podcasts) offers the opportunity to eavesdrop on reasoned conversation between smart people discussing interesting things that matter (plus some less important but humanizing chat, e.g., panelists’ local weather and science-themed emojii) – a pleasant contrast to most contemporary media content.