Category Archives: Uncategorized

Flyover Country? Far From It!

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Things happen in Iowa. They really do. That’s why Dave put together a little trivia contest for his co-hosts–Sahaana Arumugam, Emma Barr, Aline Sandouk, and Brandon Bacalzo–to test their knowledge of the excitement that is Iowa.

But first, we discuss the news that, as alleged by a whistleblowing nurse, a doctor in Georgia has been forcing sterilization on women at an Immigrations Customs and Enforcement detention center. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but we note with concern how America treats incarcerated people. And we discuss Brandon’s research experience on a horse tranquilizer’s potential as treatment for psychiatric disorders.

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!

Liver Bits, Cold Glocks, and Cancer of the Cancer

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“He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news.”

Photo by firepile

Co-hosts Nathen Spitz, Brandon Bacalzo, Mariam Mansour, and Greta Becker rehash their recent microbiology exam which they say kicked their butts, and how they deal with that nasty feeling. Dave discusses what Naegleria Fowleri means to him. Nathen and Mariam reminisce on their experiences with patient instructors and standardized patients.

And the gang practices giving bad news to their patients, using made-up diseases with names created by neural networks and assisted by their attending “Dr. Etler.”

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!

BONUS: The challenges of Refugee Healthcare with Dr. Akihiro Seita

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The UN Relief and Works Agency has a tough job, especially in Palestine.

In this bonus episode (recorded prior to the US pa we talk with Dr. Akihiro Seita, the Director of Health and WHO Special Representative to The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.  He joins thanks to our Global Health Programs unit and its director Robin Paetzold as well as the University of Iowa Lecture Committee.  MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 Abby Fyfe, MD/PhD student Ossama Abu-Halawa, and our former intern Joel Horne, who has a strong interest of his own in global health, talk with Dr. Seita about the difficulties of providing refugees with healthcare when everything seems stacked against their health.

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!

does a DO Degree Ruin your Speciality plans?

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Listener Shivam wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask his question: does becoming a DO hinder one’s chances in competitive specialties? MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Sahaana Arumugam, M2 Nathan Spitz, and M4 Marisa Evers weigh in, while Dave uses his tiny brain to try and parse the National Residency Matching Program’s statistics to find an answer.

Photo by chaddavis.photography

The gang considers whether it would help their anxiety to adopt an alter ego to overcome their anxiety surrounding upcoming events. Then Nathan clues them in to the defacing of the famous George Floyd mural in Minneapolis by a medical student. All that and a smattering of Ellen Degeneris news–is she cancelled?

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Are we cancelled because we angered you? Or did we do okay in the discussion? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Then, call home. They miss you.

A COVID Puzzle in a Rural Iowa Community

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Why was the Hispanic population in Clarion, Iowa seeing so many more infections?

Wright County Courthouse, Clarion, Iowa. Photo by Brandonrush (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

Dr. Michael McLoughlin, internist at Clarion Clinic, was puzzled. Why were 95% of the patients who showed up with novel coronavirus infections Hispanic? And what interventions would best help his community?

Meanwhile, M2 Abby Walling was looking for a summer project centering on health disparities after her overseas global health experience was cancelled.

Global Health Programs Director Robin Paetzold knew them both (Dr. McLoughlin graduated from CCOM in 2013), and helped get them together to find answers and develop solutions. M4 Sophie Williams-Perez, M2 Ananya Munjal, and M4 Marisa Evers sat down to talk to Abby and Dr. McLoughlin to discuss what they found.

As a bonus, Dr. McLoughlin discusses his life as a rural medicine practitioner in his town of 3,000.

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!

Recess Rehash: Is Academic Medicine Right For You?

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[SCP has been given a week off–thanks, pandemic/economic collapse!  We’ll be back next week, but here’s a pre-pandemic rerun to enjoy.]

Academic medicine–in which a physician works at a university and may have research and/or teaching duties in addition to patient care–is but one of the fulfilling options available to medical students.  What’s that lifestyle like?  That’s the question an anonymous listener (who we’ll call Dr. Piledhigh Erandeeper) wanted our help answering. Fortunately we have Miranda Schene and Sahaana Arumugam (both in our Medical Scientist Training Program, so they know a thing or two about academic medicine) on hand to tell us–including co-hosts M1 Brandon Bacalzo and M2 Mason LaMarche–what they know about this career option.

Plus Dave puts his co-hosts through a game of Doctor Forehead, featuring some of the more interesting oddball medical stories he ran across prepping for this week’s show (see the next section for those links).

This Week in Medical News

The President’s new budget could be another nail in the coffin for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.  Mayo applicants get acceptance letters that the institution later had to rescind, causing one of the disgruntled victims to create a crowdfunding campaign.  And if you’re in the market for “global elite” DNA, then…well, you’ve already missed your chance.  And from our game:

We Want to Hear From You

Is there a MD career niche you want to know more about? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Is Academic Medicine Right For You?

AAMC ‘s VITA interview tool…is it Really Vital?

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Listener Soma let us know that the AAMC has released an interview app for medical schools to collect videos of applicants answers to some standard questions. Their website says the tool addresses the needs expressed by its member schools during the upcoming interview season. Soma wondered, what do we think?

Of course, that no matter what we think, it seems like applicants will probably have to do it anyway. But M2s Mariam Mansour, Greta Becker, Kayla Kruse and Nikitha Pothireddy are on hand to consider. Hmm…what DO we think of a new item for applicants to put on their to-do list in order to apply to medical school? What DO we think of a set of what appear to be screening questions that could be asked in some other interview format, such as a live virtual interview? What DO we think of a tool which seems to add another item to med schools’ to-do list? What DO we think of a tool which seems at a glance to be similar to another tool that was tried and cancelled for Emergency Medicine residency applications due to lack of interest from programs and applicants?

Also, in light of a surge of COVID-19 cases that seem to be driven by young people eager to discard social distancing and masks to hang out with their buds in bars, we discuss the fairness of asking a screening question during interviews about whether the applicant has been doing the right thing to protect others.

This Week in Medical News

The first person to be treated for sickle cell disease with CRISPR in the US has gotten great news. On the other hand, investigators using fMRI to look at brain function have gotten some bad news.

We Want to Hear From You

Obviously, our discussion on questioning applicants on their bar-hopping habits might have other viewpoints we didn’t cover. What did we miss? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

What Every Med Student Needs To Know About Being a Leader ft. Brent Lacey, MD

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Being a physician leaves you no choice–you ARE going to lead.

A portrait of Dr. Brent Lacey wearing his white coat and smiling
Dr. Brent Lacey is a gastroenterologist who is passionate about helping physicians succeed with business and personal finances. As a physician, he understands how overwhelming it can be to step out of clinical training and into a career, and he has seen firsthand the lack of education on how to run a practice and manage finances. That’s also why he founded The Scope of Practice website. http://www.thescopeofpractice.com/

One of the critical job responsibilities of being a physician is leading a team. Those teams can be small–such as those that are caring for patients–or huge–like those that lead healthcare systems. No matter what, learning how to lead a team–and how to be lead–is as important as any medical knowledge a medical school can impart.

Dr. Brent Lacey is a leader himself, a gastroenterologist, a Naval officer, and physician career coach. He knows a few things about leadership, and he talks about these topics and more on his show, The Scope of Practice Podcast. He visited with MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M4 Holly Conger, and M2 Nathen Spitz to talk about what makes great leaders in medicine, how to be a great team member, and–very important for you future interns out there–why having a goal of just surviving the first months of your intern year is not good enough.

Dr. Lacey wasn’t just helpful in our conversation, but he’ll also email you a set of resources just for SCP listeners! Thanks, Dr. Lacey!

We Want to Hear From You

What lessons are you learning about teamwork and leadership? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

Is Academic Medicine Right For You?

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Photo by simpleinsomnia

Academic medicine–in which a physician works at a university and may have research and/or teaching duties in addition to patient care–is but one of the fulfilling options available to medical students.  What’s that lifestyle like?  That’s the question an anonymous listener (who we’ll call Dr. Piledhigh Erandeeper) wanted our help answering. Fortunately we have Miranda Schene and Sahaana Arumugam (both in our Medical Scientist Training Program, so they know a thing or two about academic medicine) on hand to tell us–including co-hosts M1 Brandon Bacalzo and M2 Mason LaMarche–what they know about this career option.

Plus Dave puts his co-hosts through a game of Doctor Forehead, featuring some of the more interesting oddball medical stories he ran across prepping for this week’s show (see the next section for those links).


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 President’s new budget could be another nail in the coffin for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.  Mayo applicants get acceptance letters that the institution later had to rescind, causing one of the disgruntled victims to create a crowdfunding campaign.  And if you’re in the market for “global elite” DNA, then…well, you’ve already missed your chance.  And from our game:

We Want to Hear From You

Is there a MD career niche you want to know more about? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Is Academic Medicine Right For You?

Step 1 is Pass/Fail. Now what???

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explosion photo
Photo by ˙Cаvin 〄

Does making Step 1 pass/fail change everything?

The news that the USMLE changed the all-important Step 1 exam–which many residency programs have been using improperly to stratify applicants and which can affect one’s specialty choice–to pass/fail starting in 2022-ish caused quite a bit of shock and consternation last week.  Sure, some celebrated the change as a victory, but there’s just one liiiiiittle problem: the more competitive residency programs feel they need some standardized measure to base their choices on.

Several listeners wrote in with questions on the change, and the underlying concerns those questions addressed was the uncertainty left in the wake of this change–to wit, “what am I to aim for if there is no three-digit score I can point to as a mark of excellence?”  Though the powers-that-be are essentially responding, “we’re working on it, we’ll get back to you on that,” there are some possibilities to consider.   And we shall, with the help of M4 Matt Wilson, MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Hannah Van Ert, and M1 Nathen Spitz.

Special thanks to listener Terrified Chihuahua and everyone who reached out with questions on this sudden shift in the medical education landscape!


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 are your thoughts on how a pass/fail Step 1 score will change medical education and the residency application process? Did we miss anything? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

Continue reading Step 1 is Pass/Fail. Now what???