Category Archives: Short Coat Podcast

All episodes of the Short Coat Podcast.

Putting on your #MedBikini

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A study is only as good as its methods, and the #medbikini study wasn’t pretty bad.

Maybe you heard:  some researchers tried to help vascular surgeons understand that their social media profiles might contain “unprofessional” content.  Things like wearing swimsuits and swearing and drinking  *shudder* alcohol. Especially by wymmin! Okay, maybe it was better intentioned than that, but join Aline Sandouk, Eric Boeshart, and Ananya Munjal as they explore the ideas and the execution behind this now-retracted ‘study.’

Listener Logan wrote in to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask why he’s getting the impression from the questions on his secondary applications that there is a divide between specialties and service.  

And Ananya talks about her recently launched arts journal for medical learners, The Appendix. It’s not just for CCOM students, either! Any health science student can join the fun!

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

When Doctors Do Harm ft. Danielle Ofri, MD

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Hippocrates set a high bar.

A portrait of Dr. Danielle Ofri, Author of When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error

Dr. Danielle Ofri–NYU professor of medicine, Bellevue Hospital internist, and author of great renown–joined us this time to talk about her new book, When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error.  Examining medical errors is a something all good physicians do–sometimes on a stage in front of their colleagues but often surreptitiously. However, “mistakes were made” simply isn’t acceptable to most patients and lawyers. Meanwhile, the shame felt by practitioners who make mistakes is not only unhelpful but hinders their development and can contribute to burnout and depression.   Because of the consequences of shame are so dire, Dr. Ofri argues in her book that confronting mistakes in a humane, understanding, and open fashion is vital. 

Not many years ago, a headline grabbed her attention:  medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States.  How can that be? she wondered.  If people were dying at that rate, wouldn’t physicians have noticed this earlier?  Of course, it turns out that the story of medical error is much more complicated than that headline would lead one to believe, and set Dr. Ofri on the path to this latest book.  Join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M4 Marisa Evers, M2 Jessica De Haan, and M4 Anne Nora for this discussion on the sources of error, the causes, and the ways to understand and learn from the inevitable.

We also discuss her and her colleagues’ experiences fighting COVID-19 in New York City and learning about the disease in real time.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

MD/MBA: Why Physicians Must Know More About Business

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Does a physician need to know everything about healthcare, even the *shudder* money stuff?

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Photo by free pictures of money

Physicians go through years and years of school to be great at this calling, so why on earth would anyone want to tack on an MBA, too? Co-host Gabe Conley decided to do just that. He’s been thinking about this for a while, but hadn’t pulled the trigger on the idea. Then, as he was about to become a fourth-year medical student, SARS-COV-2 came along and gave him a nudge in the right direction. Gabe explains why he thinks it’s vital to understand business principles as a physician–and it’s not just to make more money.

And Dave prompts Gabe and his fellow co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Brandon Bacalzo, and Madi Wahlen to answer some conversation starters. As a result, some conversations were started and we all learned a thing or two.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

How A Young FAmily Should Think About The Risks Of Med School

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No doubt about it, this road to becoming a physician has financial risks

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Photo by anathea

It feels risky to go to medical school, and for someone with a young family, like our listener who sent us their question to theshortcoats@gmail.com, those risks can feel existential. After all, if things don’t go as planned, the financial payoff of this calling might not be realized and the debt would be crippling. And Dave, as an inveterate catastrophizer, has sympathy for that worry. But is it the right way to be thinking about this endeavor? Brandon Bacalzo, Mariam Mansour, Levi Endelman and co-host newb Elias Kovoor are here to tell you why it can be better to go for it without fear. (We have done other episodes that focus on the concerns of parenting in medical school from a mom’s perspective and from a dad’s).

Another listener question (Dave forgot to make up names for these anonymous submissions) asks, how the heck are you supposed to “do the research” when looking for a medical school? We have some good suggestions for that, too.

And Dave, aware the his med student friends are always looking to save money at the grocery store, puts together a taste test–can the co-hosts distinguish between store vs. national brands, and which do they think is better?

We Want to Hear From You

Any responses to the stuff we talked about? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

What med students do when they don’t know the right answer

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It feels risky to be wrong…here’s how to get used to that

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Photo by sk8geek

[Don’t forget to share the show with your friends and family–send a screenshot of the share to theshortcoats@gmail.com to get a free thank you gift from Dave!]

The Socratic method–teaching using questions–is a big part of medical education. It’s also often a big adjustment that medical students have to make when arriving at med school. Why is this method so important to med school profs, and how do you get comfortable speaking up in front of everyone when you know you’ve got no idea? Short Coats Emma Barr, Nick Lind, Holly Conger, and Tim Maxwell have all been there!

Also, since Dave is a news junky, he has the gang play a headline mashup game. Come along as we find out the controversial views of a professor about the function of bones!


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This Week in Medical News

In the race to re-establish supply lines in the midst of the pandemic, The White House paid the Texas company $7.3 million for test tubes which turned out to be unformed soda bottles. And fears of out-of-control coronavirus transmission due to BLM protests fizzles.

We Want to Hear From You

Have a question we can answer? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s how this show is YOUR show!

The Right (and Wrong) Ways to Get Help with Your Application

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[Once again, our circumstances force us to endure mild sound quality issues. Sorry, but that’s round-table podcasting in the pandemic age. You’ll be alright.]

We got some lovely responses back from listeners of last week’s show (in which we discussed racism in America and in medicine), including a most important one from Cachae on the best ways to talk to your black friends about racism (hint–it’s not asking them to educate you).

And Cam wanted to know whether he could ask an admissions office member for feedback on his primary application before he submits it instead of getting a rejection after. Wouldn’t it be more efficient?

And Dave and his co-hosts–Abby Fyfe, Nick Lind, Madeline Cusimano, and newb Holly Conger–exercise their minds with a game of Would You Rather.


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This Week in Medical News

Science made Dave mad again, with a study on how bald men are more susceptible to poor outcomes from COVID-19 because of the androgens that make them bald–except they didn’t control for one itty-bitty variable! And that study of hydroxychloroquine that found that it’s more deadly than other treatments, thus halting trials around the world? Turns out we shouldn’t trust it much.

We Want to Hear From You

So, how’s it going? Do you even read these questions down here? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

Timing a peace-corps gap year, and Racism and Medicine

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Photo by Fibonacci Blue

A group of public professionals, infectious disease professionals and community members are pushing back on the common perception that #BLM protests will unnecessarily exacerbate the pandemic. This news leads to a discussion of racism in America. NB: The discussion should speak for itself, but this is the age of internet outrage. So we acknowledge that when it comes to talking about racism in America, there are few better ways to go wrong than by doing so with a room full of white people. And yet, a handful of white people on a podcast that’s minimally planned is what we had to work with in the moment. We hope we got it mostly right, and whatever we didn’t, we hope that your feedback will be in the spirit in which the discussion took place–heartfelt, sincere, and with an eye towards a future free of white fragility, fear, and especially marginalization.

But before all that, we were blessed with listener question from Kayla, who’s looking forward to some gap years in the Peace Corps. What should she do about the resulting timing problem that creates for her future medical school application?


We Want to Hear From You

So, in our discussion on racism, what did we get wrong, and what did we get right? Express your constructive criticism at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

the activities Admissions Committees Love to See

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Whatever will the neighbors think?! Photo by Teresa Trimm

Logan wrote in to comment on what we call ‘box-checking,’ the idea that med school admissions committees only want applicants who’ve done all the best activities and lots of them, and that applicants must participate in activities that “stand out” if they want any chance of getting in. Co-hosts Nick Lind, Aline Sandouk, Emma Barr, and Sally Haeberlin discuss what adcomms really want.

Also, we visit Yahoo! Answers for those odd questions we love so well. Shouldn’t docs carry tranquilizer guns?


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Dave made these, and he wants to give one to you. Just share an episode online and send a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do something nice for us!  We deserve it?

This Week in Medical News

Half of Americans don’t plan on getting vaccinated for SARS-COV2 when a vaccine becomes available to them. And many Americans are experiencing major symptoms of anxiety and depression.

We Want to Hear From You

Your questions are important to us. Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s what good listeners do!

Applying: Your Experience Is A Bonus, If You Can Tell The Right Story

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[Would you like a FREE Short Coat pin made by Dave’s own two hands? Share an episode of SCP online and email a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com!]

Listener Christy has several years as a South Carolina emergency department nurse under her belt. But for a while now, she’s been planning to change careers, with her sights set on an MD. She very much wants, however, to be able to discuss her current work during interviews without coming across as a know-it-all.

We don’t often do this, but Dave decided to invite Christy on the show as a co-host to talk about it, and with Short Coats Anna Wilcox, Camilla Koczara, Greta Becker, and Hannah Steenblock, suggest some strategies to her live and in-person.

As a special bonus, Christy’s been working with COVID-19 patients, so we get to find out a little about her experience on the front lines.

Plus we enjoy a poorly thought-out exercise straight from Dave’s brain on ethical dilemmas. This is your chance to find out: would the co-hosts allow the kitty to live or get that extra penis they’ve been dreaming of?


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This Week in Medical News

While we’re all staying at home and not driving very much, the rate of motor vehicle accident fatalities In March somehow went up compared to last March. And citizens pinning their hopes for COVID-19 treatment on hydroxychloroquine might want to have a re-think.

We Want to Hear From You

If you have questions, comments, or concerns you want to tell us about, call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We’re here for you!

More Signs that Med School Will Be Different This Fall

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[This episode is brought to you by Pattern. We hope you’ll check out their disability insurance offerings for docs at http://patternlife.com/partner/shortcoat.]

As many of us are, The Short Coats–including this week’s M1 co-hosts Nathen Spitz, Maddie Wahlen, and Caitlin Matteson–have been gazing into their cracked crystal ball to discover the new shape of medical school amid the pandemic. In a previous episode, the crew prognosticated on how interviews would change (and how you can be sure those changes won’t scuttle your chances for interview success), for instance…and it turns out we were right! Adding some certainty to that, the Association of American Medical Colleges has cancelled all its conferences until July of 2021. So yeah.

Sandgroper Largemun, an anonymous listener from Australia, wants to know some ways that he can stand out in medical school to land that choice residency. Good thing you wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com, Sandgroper, because we have ideas for that!


This Week in Medical News

Dave thinks heartthrob Dr. Fauci’s sun is setting as a leading member of the President’s COVID-19 task force. What do you think?

We Want to Hear From You

Has your outlook changed at all since the lockdowns began? Are you feeling optimistic? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.