Category Archives: Uncategorized

Getting there from here, a novel recipe, and future projects

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Drawing by Annie Rempel.

[We’re now available on Spotify and RadioPublic!]

Co-hosts Tim Maxwell, Aline Sandouk, Annie Rempel, and Mackenzie Walhof confront pictures of their younger selves and offer themselves the advice they should have gotten at the start of their med school journeys. Listener Darius asks us for the best options to progress from his current work as an EMT-B/paramedic to medical school–among our suggestions is to check out the AAMC’s list of post-baccalaureate programs, including Iowa State University’s excellent but reasonably-priced option.  Dave offers up his own Recipe for Med School Success–a concoction he’s pretty sure no-one has ever thought of, but which his skeptical co-hosts end up enjoying–and promises an e-book with them all!  Submit yours to be part of it and get it free!

Annie also tells us about her recent arts-and-medicine exhibit at The Examined Life Conference, called Snapshots.  A follow-up to her Stanford Honors in the Arts show, it’s a series of drawings and interviews offering “realistic glimpses into the inspirational life stories of those affected by Huntington’s Disease.”

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What’s your favorite weird snack? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Poor: a deadly diagnosis in America, ft. Sarah Smarsh

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A look at the people valued more as functioning machines than as people

Sarah Smarsh

This past week, the Carver College of Medicine hosted its 12th annual Examined Life Conference.  Our featured presenter, journalist and memoirist Sarah Smarsh, grew up in a family of farmers and teen mothers in Kansas.  Her family, laborers trapped in a cycle of poverty, made the kinds of choices that poor people must make in rural America–whether to eat or seek medical attention, for instance.  Decades of inattention–and scorn–from politicians and the media have widened this class divide, and have sent the inexorable message that their voices don’t matter.  Ms. Smarsh’s recent book, Heartland: A Memoir of working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, tells the tales of her family’s struggles with poverty, addiction, workplace injuries, and family violence that many economic and political elites don’t have the background or will to truly understand.

Though Ms. Smarsh has managed to escape the cycle, she has retained her citizenship in–and love for–that largely unexplored country, and offers a deep look at what it’s like to be poor in the wealthiest and most powerful society on the planet. Our executive producer Jason T. Lewis, Rob Humble, Gabe Conley, Teneme Konne, and Christopher Portero Paff talk with Ms. Smarsh about what the working poor are facing, how our willful lack of understanding shapes our perceptions of their struggles, and why it’s crucial that medicine encourages and welcomes them as providers.

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Your voice does matter.  So call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Nebraska has questions.

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Jennifer Andersen, a sociology PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, teaches a course called Sociology of Health and Health Care.  She reached out to us to propose that her students would send in questions for us as an extra credit assignment, which was a great idea we jumped on because it meant Dave would barely have to prepare for this show…I mean, it’d be a great education opportunity for her students’ young, fertile minds.

Ahem. Aaanyhow, her students really stepped up with some great topics for Aline Sandouk, Aditi Patel, and new co-hosts Kelsey Anderson and Jacob Chrestenson.  So come along with us as we dive into questions like, have you ever had to do something in med school that wasn’t ethical,  is it better to come to medical school with an open mind about your eventual career, and what’s it like working with different attendings all the time? They’ve got answers to all these queries and a lot more.

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What do you want us to talk about on a future show?   Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Listeners Revolt!

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We love listener feedback…even when it’s negative 🙂

And this whole obesity thing is really great for generating negative listener feedback.  For instance, Marlene thought our comments on nutrition were mostly wrong.  And Laura didn’t seem happy with what we thought was our neutral stance on keto, either, as she’s having some success with it…although a lack of carbs looks just as bad as a bunch of carbs.  We could ride this obesity gravy train all the way…but Dave is le tired.

Fortunately for our egos, a while back we managed to give some good advice to Victoria on interviewing , who called back to give Irisa Mahaparn, Aline Sandouk, and newbs Justin Hababag and Annee Rempel some GREAT news!  Go, Victoria!

This Week in Medical News

Are you ready to share your brains with other people?  Are you ready to drink your own urine?  Are you ready to not choose a medical school based on it’s ranking in US News & World Reports?  We think hard about those important questions.

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Have we stepped on your sacred cow?  Are you happy with our advice? Have we done anything useful today? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Ambien Dreams

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This week, listener Jen sent us an article from JAMA in which the author bemoans his tendency to let the electronic health record (coupled with his data-entry difficulties) dominate his attention at the expense of his ability to really see and empathize with his patients.  The cost: missing clues that indicate a patient’s progressive decline and family dynamics that contribute to the condition.

Meanwhile, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend find themselves chewing on sleeping pill side effects, causing us to wonder–why is Ambien still on the market, unless it’s to create really great slam poetry?  And we practice our teamwork in a mobile game called SpaceTeam, proving perhaps that not all such games make for good podcast fodder–you decide, but don’t @ us, we already know the answer.

This Week in Medical News

Will we see a shift in the standard of care for appendicitis, now that a Finnish study has backed up the mounting evidence that it can often successfully without surgery?  And a study on the high costs of poor healthcare around the world suggests that fixing it will cost 6% of the cost of doing nothing.

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Do you have suggestions for what we should talk about on SCP? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Pick your favorite!

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What Skinny Doctors Don’t Get About Their Obese Patients

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Let’s just keep talking about treating obesity

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Photo by rawdonfox

Fifi Trixiebell (not her real name) wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking us to discuss what medical students learn about nutrition, and whether they think the keto diet is just another fad.  Luckily, Madeline Slater, Emma Barr, Kyle Kinder, and newbie Sam Palmer–M1s all–just had a unit on nutrition so that’s an easy one.  But Fifi Trixiebell had written in before, a message which–despite his policy of answering every listener question–Dave had passed over.  Why did he ignore it?  He’s not sure; it was a while back, but it may have triggered him (though, to be clear, it wasn’t Fifi’s fault).  We also discuss an article from HuffPo about the “unique and persistent trauma” doctors visit upon their obese patients.

Plus, with the announcement of the 2018 Ig Nobel Prizes, we cover the weird winners in medicine; and Dave puts his co-hosts to the test on their knowledge of past winners.

This Week in Medical News

Sure, when a person is stressed out, the cortisol and adrenaline circulating in the blood mediate the body’s responses, but what about mitochondrial DNA?  Perhaps your mom really is trying to kill you!

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Have you ever heard from a perfect stranger how to fix your life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Are physicians hopeless in the face of the obesity epidemic?

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Obesity may not be hopeless, but it is very difficult for physicians and sufferers

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Photo by MaAtE

Listener Hannah wrote in after shadowing physicians, noting that many of the morbidly obese patients she observed resisted their doctors’ advice to lose weight.  Is there any hope that doctors can treat this intractable illness when patients don’t “want” to do the work?  Aline Sandouk, Claire Casteneda, Kylie Miller, and newbie Ali Hassan offer their views and what they’ve learned so far about treating this difficult disease.

Also, in Dave’s constant quest to ‘contribute’ to his co-hosts clinical skills, we visit the saddest place on the Internet, Yahoo! Answers, so they can practice their patient education techniques.

This Week in Medical News

Congratulations, Sperm Donor #2757!  You’re the father of 45 girls and boys between the ages of 1 to 21 years old, and your generosity has made things very weird!  And we discuss yet another questionable beauty practice, the vampire facial, which OH COME ON NOW, HOW IS THIS EVEN A THING?

We Want to Hear From You

What are your views on the obesity epidemic…is it hopeless? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Is AOA racially biased?

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Residency applicants get boosted by AOA, but it could be racially biased

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Photo by jurvetson

Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Aditi Patel, and newbie Madeline Slater are on hand to answer listener questions, such as J’s query about the utility of post-bacc programs for med school applicants, and Chelsea’s question about the use of primary literature in medical school curricula.  We also discuss how membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society boosts residency applicants’ competitiveness, and what some schools are doing to ensure they don’t leave out minorities underrepresented in medicine.

Plus, have you considered acquiring a medicine bag of polished stones from everyone’s favorite MD, Gwyneth Paltrow?  With the news that her company GOOP has settled a lawsuit in several states alleging some of their products make questionable health claims, we explore some of the items promoted at their recent convention.

This Week in Medical News

Hospitals are tired of shortages of vital medicines, so some are banding together to make them by forming their own non-profit drug company.

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Do you know anyone who uses GOOP products? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Man Ovens, Shoring Up Weaknesses, and Ditching the MCAT

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Should you fix a bad grade, or concentrate on making your strengths even stronger?

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Photo by Thad Zajdowicz

Activia (not her actual name, though it probably should be. Feel free to take that name, anonymous caller) emailed us at theshorcoats@gmail.com to ask whether she should retake her physics classes (which she took while coping with other unfortunate life-related stuff) or concentrate on getting great grades in other courses.  In addition, she wanted to know if admissions committees REALLY take into account extenuating circumstances?  Well, you’re in luck, Activia!  We’ve got answers from non-traditional first-year students Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Emma Barr; and our friendly admissions staff Dan and Amy chime in, too.

We also play a game of Psych! while Dave tries to use their performance to make judgements about their personalities.  Can he do it?  No he can’t, though he notes with concern Kyle’s suspicious ideas about male anatomical structures  and function.  Too late, Admissions, you said yes!

This Week in Medical News

Facebook has become known as a place where you can find any number of suspicious ideas, but it seems ready to judge so-called alternative health pages as unworthy of its platform.  And we discuss an article that argues the MCAT should no longer be used because of a legal concept called “disparate impact.”

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Have you just started medical school?  What’s been the best and worst parts of your new life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Owning a Visible Disability during Med School Interviews

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Photo by davitydave

On today’s show, we’ll answer a question from listener Victoria about having a feeding tube during med school interviews–should she worry that it will make her look weak and infirm, and thus not a good applicant for med school?  Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, Jayden Bowen, Marissa Evers and Gabe Conley tell her why she should OWN it by not being the first to mention it!  Go Victoria!

Meanwhile, Mark tells us what he did to overcome his sadness in the past year after his wife moved to pursue her own medical education in California while he finishes up at CCOM, and what he’s learned by adopting his new unconventional lifestyle.  Go Mark!

This Week in Medical News

A CNN story about an alleged “medical kidnapping” of an 18-year-old brain aneurysm patient shocked many, but it turns out the story wasn’t as simple as the article made it appear.  And reaction to New York University’s plan to make tuition absolutely free to all medical students forever took the med ed world by storm…but some aren’t buying that it will have the ostensible consequences of lowering the barrier for underrepresented minorities and encouraging more to go into primary care.

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Did NYU’s announcement move it higher on your list of schools to apply to? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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