Category Archives: Short Coat Podcast

All episodes of the Short Coat Podcast.

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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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.  

This Student’s Shame is Changing Our Curriculum

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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.]

Doctors and medical students often have an identity based on perfection and infallibility.  Often it that identity comes from their own expectations of themselves, and sometimes it comes from external sources.  Whatever the source, it’s both motivating and problematic to feel shame when mistakes are made,  or when knowledge is imperfect.

Fourth-year student and future OB/Gyn doc Luci Howard visited with MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and M1s Caitlin Matteson, Morgan Kennedy, and Emerald Dohleman to talk about her project to create a curriculum about shame and medical student identity.  Her shame–as a first-gen college graduate, as a perfectionist, and as someone who’s made mistakes–was holding her hostage in some ways, but now her curriculum works to illuminate and combat the negative effects of shame in medical education, and it will soon be integrated into the College of Medicine’s curriculum. Her work means that future medical learners will learn how to react productively and rationally when they inevitably achieve less-than-perfection.  


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You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

We Want to Hear From You

Would you be willing to share experiences that have felt shameful in order to help others? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

Continue reading This Student’s Shame is Changing Our Curriculum

Crush It In Your Zoom Interview

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Your future could include video conference interviews. Avoid (at all costs) giving interviewers a reason to say no.

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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.

Are Zoom interviews the future? They could be, if some sort of magic doesn’t intervene in the course of the pandemic. Meanwhile, everyone has a love-hate relationship with video conferencing, and Dave fears that those on the sharp end of the interview may not have the technology and skills to shine brightly.

So, with the help of Brandon Bacalzo, Sahaana Arumugam, Nathan Spitz, and Claire Carmichael (all M1s who, like you, are in the thick of virtual everything right now), we collect our thoughts on how you can remove the distractions and subconscious biases that could sink your interview.

We Want to Hear From You

What advice would you give for virtual interviews? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com! We need to hear from YOU!


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

Continue reading Crush It In Your Zoom Interview

Exploring Your New Med School City

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Moving to a new place can be daunting–but it’s an amazing opportunity!

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.

Listener Noodles (not her real name) is planning to go to med school in a new state, perhaps. What’s it like, she wondered, moving to a new state for med school? And Lex Turesboreme is back to ask how MSTP student Miranda Schene and M1s Brandon Bacalzo, Maggie Jakubiak, and Kenzie McKnight deal with an inevitable part of med student life–their families’ medical questions.

Got a question we can help with? Call 347-SHORT-CT or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We’ll talk about it on the show!


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

This Week in Medical News

A Texas nursing home medical director has decided it’s a good idea to do what he’s calling an “observational study” of the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine on his elderly patients with COVID-19. And we can’t help but discuss the president’s thoughts on disinfectant and the VP’s coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx’s rather visible reaction:

Continue reading Exploring Your New Med School City

How the Sausage is Made: Why Doctors–and Students–Must Engage In Politics

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Policy is not sexy. I mean, it’s not saving lives, or curing disease, or making groundbreaking discoveries. But it isn’t a stretch to say that policy is as important as any of these, because politicians are making decisions about health and healthcare that affect millions of patients and their physicians. The laws they come up with determine what you can do for your patients, how you practice medicine, how you get paid, what kinds of care are legal or illegal, and much, much more. Seems like something doctors should pay attention to, perhaps even get directly involved with.

M4 and future surgeon Sarah Eikenberry got a glimpse of the process as the first student to take the Carver College of Medicine’s new advocacy clerkship. Think you know how a bill gets passed? You might be surprised to know that Schoolhouse Rock didn’t tell us the whole story. Her self-assigned project for the clerkship was to get a bill passed in the Iowa state legislature to include the Stop The Bleed campaign in public education in Iowa. That turns out to be a pretty big project! Was she successful? What did she learn? Where do things go often off the rails?


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have an interest in public policy? Tell us about it at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We’d love to know more!

Continue reading How the Sausage is Made: Why Doctors–and Students–Must Engage In Politics

Recess Rehash: Why you’re better off on day one not knowing what kind of doc you want to be.

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[Due to one thing or another, we didn’t record last week.  So here’s a re-run.  Hey, if Radiolab can do it, so can we.  Enjoy!]

Med school may be a trying experience, but it’s made so much better by the lifelong friends you meet.  That’s the case for today’s co-hosts, Kylie Miller, Olivia Pittman, Danielle Schilling, and Erin Pazaski, all M4s.  Their experience turns out to be a good thing for listener Coleman who wants to know if he should already know what his specialty will be on his first day at med school this coming fall, or if not knowing will disadvantage him in some way.

Also discussed: their upcoming Match Week (perhaps to be cancelled due to COVID-19), and the bad advice they’ve gotten on how to appear confident and competent as lady docs.


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

This Week in Medical News

The director of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, offering advice on reducing the spread of COVID-19, was the source of some internet amusement this week.  And perhaps one day you’ll do your residency at Walmart!

We Want to Hear From You

What bad advice have you gotten on how to present yourself as a woman? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Why you’re better off on day one not knowing what kind of doc you want to be.

the crudest patient

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Dave wants to help his co-hosts–M1s Nathan Spitz, Cody West, and newbs Chris Halbur and Eli Schmidt–in their journey to physician-hood, so he puts on his medical educator hat and visits Yahoo! Answers.  He also discovers that when discussing his complaint with the doctor, he wants to be the crudest possible kind of patient.

Senorina Espanole (not her real name) writes in to tell us what she’s doing to keep busy and help her community while being socially distant.  And Dave explains why toilet paper hoarding might not actually be what’s happening.


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

This Week in Medical News

In another sign that the old rules which society and even medicine function were, to some extent, arbitrary, the FDA has relaxed the blood donation guidelines for gay men.  Doctors treating patients with COVID can’t get adequate PPE, or tests, and now they can’t even get paid.  And the White House fax machine ran out of paper but because we live in THE FYOOOOTTTUURE, luckily hospitals can email their COVID testing results in!

We Want to Hear From You

Senorina Espanola sent in a question–what about you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s what good listeners do!

Continue reading the crudest patient

What We’re Still Doing, What Brings Us Joy

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Dave asked listeners what they’re doing to help out in the time of COVID-19 and got some responses back to talk about.  These things, whether big or small, directly related or tangential to this public health crisis–even if it means staying at home–are all part of an unusual effort among the people of the world to contribute to a greater purpose.  Whether it’s making PPE, making explainer videos, picking up garbage outside, or staying home, it’s all important.

Which reminded Dave of a New Yorker article on why many people find it so difficult to believe that this massive effort of social distancing and lockdowns is a good idea.

And we talk about the things that still are able to bring us joy even when we can’t venture out of the house.


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

We Want to Hear From You

What is bringing you joy these days? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading What We’re Still Doing, What Brings Us Joy