Category Archives: Short Coat Podcast

All episodes of the Short Coat Podcast.

Healthcare In Occupied Palestine: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

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[Don’t forget our SCP Key Fob Giveaway…share an episode of the podcast or post a review on iTunes, and send a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com for your free gift–our way of saying thanks for your support!]

The challenges of providing healthcare in an occupied territory

Steve Sosebee and Zeena Salman, MD. Photo by Steve Sosebee (@stevesosebee)

Steve Sosebee is the president and CEO of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. He’s married to Dr. Zeena Salman, a pediatric oncologist working with the PCRF. For 25 years, PCRF has been leading medical missions to help children in the Middle East, helping children get medical treatment abroad, and delivering humanitarian aid. Their recent visit to the Carver College of Medicine gave Short Coats Reem Khodor, Ethan Craig, and Nico Dimenstein a chance to sit down with them to discuss the challenges and realities of working to provide healthcare within the confines of an occupied territory.

Those challenges are sometimes gargantuan, especially compared with the standard of care children receive in the United States. For example, urgently-needed medications and medical equipment being held up in customs; children who must be separated from family members for their cancer treatment because they are not allowed to travel with adults under the age of 55; dealing with the conflicting priorities of the Israeli military and Hamas, which each govern portions of Palestine.

Their passion for the mission–offering better lives to the children of this contested land–is evident. But somehow, any frustration they may feel about the difficulties they and their young beneficiaries face isn’t. Sosebee and Salman have a strikingly matter-of-fact view of the world in which they operate, and are doing what they must for the children and families caught up in a conflict not of their own design.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your experiences with organizations like PCRF or with medical missions abroad? What did you learn from your participation?  Share them at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Healthcare In Occupied Palestine: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

Routines, Right To Try, and Reviews

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What Routines Do Medical Students Find Helpful When Drinking from the Firehose?

Photo of a girl gazing at a castle in the clouds
From her perch among the clouds of medical school, Yolanda stared longingly at the residency program of her dreams, knowing deep down inside that her inability to establish a study routine would doom her to a life of *shudder* psychiatry.

Listener Meghan is about to start med school in the fall, and is thinking about what sort of regular habits medical students like Aline Sandouk, Tony Rosenberg, and new co-host Jayden Bowen use to keep them on track.  Not only do we look at some routines they use (and debate whether they’re even helpful), but we also have a suggested routine for the new student.

What Every New Medical Student Needs to Know about The ‘Dean’s Letter.’

And Dave, who’s begun writing dean’s letters (or ‘Medical Student Performance Evaluations’) for students who will be looking for jobs this year, has some sobering news for his co-hosts: they are, themselves, already writing them.  Dave thinks most first-year medical students have never heard of this important document, nor do they know what will be in it…and how it could help or hinder their efforts to land that plum residency.

This Week in Medical News

Dermatologists are less accurate in diagnosing melanomas than the stupidest artificial intelligence…but don’t cancel your derm dreams yet.  Meanwhile, patients get the ‘right to try‘ from the Trump administration…but is bypassing the slow FDA approval process almost completely a good idea, or will the bad actors in medicine end up lining their pockets on the hopes of their desperately ill patients?

We Want to Hear From You

What are your med school routines?  Did your school read you in on the MSPE when you started?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Routines, Right To Try, and Reviews

Another Test Anxiety Killer, Physician Bias, and Suspicious Meat

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Her snacks were delicious, but you’ll never guess her secret ingredient.

smug cat photo
Photo by evilsatu

Irisa Mahaparn, Tony Rosenberg,  Aline Sandouk, and  Rachel Schenkel–a crew of rising M3s and an MD/PhD candidate–were on hand this time to help answer some listener questions. Arman writes in to give us his method for combating test anxiety, and Jen wants to know what med students learn about physicians’ bias against obese patients. Plus, our Short Coat Podcast keyfob giveaway is still kicking–listen to find out how to get one of your very own for free.

But first, Irisa has strong feels about her local community supported agriculture subscription, so she made us some snacks.  Most of them were delicious.  One of them was…well, surprising is a word for that one, given Dave’s reaction.

This Week in Medical News

Dave learned this week about one company that says cockroach milk is a superfood.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you want free advice from people who’ve been there? Leave a message at 347-SHORTCT, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

Continue reading Another Test Anxiety Killer, Physician Bias, and Suspicious Meat

Family Strife, Chuck’s Pro-Life, & the Ebola Bureaucracy Knife

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Our Short Coat Podcast keyfob giveaway is still happening!  Post the show somewhere on the internet where pre-med and med students hang out, and email a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com, and we’ll send you one with our thanks!

Our own Claire Castaneda won first place in the Carver College of Medicine’s Carol A. Bowman Creative Writing Contest for Medical Students, and her piece caught Dave’s eyes and heart.  She talks with Aline Sandouk, Melissa Chan, and Tony Rosenberg about the dynamics of family strife and the pressure they can exert to follow one career path over another.  Meanwhile, Aline expresses her feelings on being left behind by her original classmates as she continues her MD/PhD studies.

And considering that most doctors still don’t (and mostly, can’t) know much about how medical marijuana should be prescribed, Dave subjects his co-hosts to a pop quiz.

This Week in Medical News

NYU Langone Medical School lost two of their community to suicide in one week, in the ongoing tragedy of physician and student suicide.  What Maryland doctors could face as the bar for juries to decide medical malpractice is lowered.  Is Iowa’s US Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, trying to pressure Supreme Court judges to retire in order to one day secure a Roe v. Wade busting win for pro-life conservatives?  Ebola is back, just in time for the Trump administration to dissolve the office responsible for preparing for pandemics.

We Want to Hear From You

Med school interview season is coming!  Can we help you with your med school admissions question? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Family Strife, Chuck’s Pro-Life, & the Ebola Bureaucracy Knife

Emily Silverman, MD, and The Nocturnists

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A live stage show featuring the stories of healthcare providers is now a podcast you’ll love.

EMILY SILVERMAN, MD
Dr. Silverman is an academic hospitalist at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where she seeks out projects that resurrect the narrative soul of medicine. (Photo: http://thenocturnists.com/team/)

The day-to-day of internship, residency, and an MD career doesn’t allow much time to process the effect it’s having on the practitioner.  Rushing from one patient to the next, putting out the fires even while drinking from the firehose, and being selfless in service to the patients’ needs means that one’s own stories are buried, neglected.  More and more, however, medicine is acknowledging the need for practitioners to examine and tell their stories so that they can learn from them, teach their lessons to others, and show colleagues that they are not alone.  In 2015 Dr. Emily Silverman was in her second year of her internal medicine residency at UCSF.  She found herself with a little more time following her frenetic intern year, and with her own stories that had gone untold and unexamined.  She started to write, first in a blog she called The Nocturnists.  Then, in 2016 she organized the first live storytelling session with her colleagues.

Now, in 2018, those live sessions–held in theaters with fun music and a bar, but most importantly, distant from the hospital– are playing to sellout crowds.  Not only do the shows allow for catharsis, but for community.  And because Dr. Silverman isn’t ready to allow The University of Iowa to be a satellite venue (and believe us, we asked), we’re grateful that The Nocturnists is also a podcast!  Each episode feature a piece from the live show, followed by a relaxed, thoughtful discussion between Dr. Silverman and the storyteller.  Her email to Dave earlier this spring to tell The Short Coats about The Nocturnists was a wonderful break from the usual pitches for Caribbean med schools and Ivy League pay-to-play programs; and it gave Kylie Miller, Brendan George, Marisa Evers, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe a great opportunity to discuss what it is The Nocturnists are thinking about.

We Want to Hear From You

If you could get up on stage and tell your story, what would you say?  Well, we have a stage!  Tell the world–call 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Emily Silverman, MD, and The Nocturnists

Night Float: Finding Mentors, Being a Mentor

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Mentorship–both giving and receiving–is a crucial part of being a resident

Keenan Laraway, MD
Keenan Laraway, MD

Short Coat Podcast veteran Keenan Laraway, MD (CCOM ’15, Internal Medicine), returns to the microphone to give his insights into one of the most important parts of residency–finding and being a mentor.  As you listen, note how much credit he gives to his mentors for their influence on him, and how much emphasis he gives to teaching medical students himself.  Medical residency (and undergraduate medical education, partially) operates on an apprenticeship model, in which the experience and advice of one’s colleagues is integral to one’s own development.  Seeking out those relationships is therefore vital.

Helpful links

AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have mentors to whom you turn for advice and example? Tell us about them at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Night Float: Finding Mentors, Being a Mentor

Tests, Tact, and Turpentine

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Everyone gets anxious about tests.  And med school features a lot of tests.

chemicals photoThe news that students at Oregon Health and Science University will now be subject to ‘compassion tests‘  in order to graduate got Dave thinking about test anxiety.  As schools pile on the examinations, how do students deal with the stress?  Dabin Choi, Gabe Conley, Claire Casteneda, and Erik Kneller discuss meditation, sleep, prayer, and eating habits that keep them from letting the fear derail them.

Also in the news, a GQ interview with comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish espouses an unusual cure-all the government doesn’t want us to know about: a teaspoon of turpentine.  Can this week’s co-hosts do her one better by convincing Dave that the effects of various other household and industrial chemicals are government-suppressed remedies?

This Week in Medical News

Why can’t Dave stop himself from succumbing to the lure of science’s newest form of clickbait: the ‘we-found-a-new-organ’ article? One man’s sexually transmitted disease clearly made the BBC’s headline editor clap his hands together with a gleeful tactlessness.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you suffer from severe test anxiety?  What do you do for it? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

Continue reading Tests, Tact, and Turpentine

The Truth About “Primary Care” Statistics

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How to Think About Med Schools’ Primary Care Statistics

doug e fresh photo
Doug E Fresh Photo by Jason Persse

Listener Lavender BloodPoison (not their real name) sent us a message saying they were impressed by CCOM’s Primary Care residency match statistics.  And while many schools that serve states like ours do love primary care, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics,” as the saying goes.  How should one interpret match statistics in light of the fact that many who appear to match in primary care will go on to specialize after their first year residency?  Lisa Wehr, Teneme Konne, Aline Sandouk, Amy Young, and Kaci McCleary are here to drop some truths about the so-called “Dean’s Lie” (less a lie as much as it is a truth that doesn’t tell the whole story).

Also, Meldor returns to give us an update (congratulations, Meldor!), though we mourn losing her to another school.  So we console ourselves by dishing on the medical scientist training program lifestyle.

This Week in Medical News

A program that uses hip hop to educate black youth and their parents on stroke is showing some successes.  The new CDC director has a shady research past.  Surgery centers are getting some attention as  risky places to get surgery.  And as promised, we go over some Match 2018 statistics.

We Want to Hear From You

Why is primary care or specializing attractive to you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We love your comments and questions!

Continue reading The Truth About “Primary Care” Statistics

Putting the Anxiety Cart Before the Horse

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Anxiety about your competitive specialty ambitions in your first year isn’t worth it.

anxiety photoListener Luis wrote in expressing his anxiety that his med school–which he’ll begin attending this fall–doesn’t have the prestige or programs to support his desire for a competitive specialty like ophthalmology.   If that’s the case, he wondered, what can he do to increase his chances of obtaining his dream career?  Fortunately for Luis, Irisa Mahaparn, Gabe Conley, Brendan George, Jason Lewis, and new co-host Andres Dajles were on hand to give Luis the advice and encouragement he needs…and a tiny dose of tough love, too.

Also, Dave indulges in his interest in tech startup culture by having his co-hosts pitch to him random product ideas for random people.

This Week in Medical News

Did an astronaut’s genetic code change after being in space?  Of course not.  Should med students upgrade their stupid brains with “cognitive prosthetic” implants?  Anything to pass that test!  Should Dave have his brain turned to glass when his stupid body is ready to kick it so he can be uploaded to the cloud someday?  Er…ask again later?

We Want to Hear From You

Would you get a chip in your head if it made you a better student?  Or is there a line you just won’t cross? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Putting the Anxiety Cart Before the Horse

Lack of Empathy: A Med School Dealbreaker?

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Everyone knows: doctors have to have empathy…right?

empathy photo
Photo by Pierre Phaneuf

Listener Mo wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask us if a lack of interest in dealing with the foibles of patients–with their anti-vaccine beliefs, their non-compliance with treatment, and reliance on the latest internet fads–means he should reconsider his med school dreams.  Lucky for Mo, Kaci McCleary, Irisa Mahaparn, and newbs Melissa Chan and Dabin Choi were on hand to propose some paths forward for non-empathetic med school applicants, as well as outlining some of the less obvious areas empathy comes in handy they might want to think about.  There isn’t a lot of wiggle room in this area…but there’s a little, and maybe Mo can squeeze into those cracks and come out with an MD on the other side.

This Week in Medical News

Is the ubiquity of IV saline an example of institutional inertia?  And in response to this article, the gang explores the institutional and systemic barriers that AMCAS and some schools’ admissions committees have erected against disadvantaged students.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you a disadvantaged applicant worried about your grades, money, and connections? Tell us your story at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Lack of Empathy: A Med School Dealbreaker?