Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Power and Perils of Prestige in Med Ed

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Name recognition is great, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

ivy league photo
So Fancy!

Listener Morgan wrote in to ask what we thought about Ivy League schools with high name recognition, and whether it should be an important factor in her decision on a school to attend. MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and M2s Greta Becker, Mariam Mansour, and Brandon Bacalzo discuss what they’ve learned about the value of big name schools and compare them to the education Morgan would get at the lesser-known schools.

We discuss the future of The Short Coat Podcast, namely our plans for livestreaming video of our recording sessions at The Short Coat Student Lounge. Join the SCP Lounge so you can be a part of the show, and we’d love to hear your ideas for such a venture.

And we visit the saddest place on the Internet to give the crew a chance to practice answering medical questions, including how riding the bus affects fertility and recent developments in the war on hydrogen peroxide.

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!

Choosing Your Clinical Education: Community Hospital or Academic Medical Center?

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On this episode, M2s Nathen Spitz and Sahaana Arumugam, M3 Emma Barr, and MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk reminisce about simpler Halloween times, when the only thing to worry about was whether your costume was going to be on the sexy branch or the non-sexy branch of the decision tree. Emma gives us her thoughts on why it was a good idea to do her ‘core’ clinical clerkships (like Internal Medicine, Psych, and Peds) at community hospitals in Des Moines instead of at our academic medical center closer to home.

It’s time to vote in the US, and we reflect on why students absolutely must not ignore politics, and just how easy it is to get involved.

And, anticipating his friends’ need to one day be decision makers in medicine (and perhaps politicians?) Dave forces them to fight to the figurative death.

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/PhD worries: Transitioning to the Lab

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Next semester Madi Wahlen will enter the PhD phase of her MD/PhD journey, and the though to that transition makes her kind of nervous. Fortunately, both she and Aline Sandouk were on this week’s episode, allowing space for Madi (and co-hosts Levi Endelman and AJ Chowdhury) to ask Aline questions about her experiences transitioning to the PhD phase. How did she handle the transition? How did she find a lab to work in? What kinds of specialties to MD/PhD students typically go into? Aline knows!

Reminder to US Listeners: Vote! Time is running out to get your absentee or mail-in vote counted. Head on over to http://ballotpedia.org to research candidates, find out how voting works in your state at http://vote.org, and know that Dave and The Short Coats love you for your engagement in the process of choosing our leaders.

And Dave gives the gang a fill-in-the-blanks quiz on weird research he found. What do mosquitos and people both hate enough to stop having sex? What do coked-up bees and people tend to do more of? And what preference do chickens and people have in common? Dave has the answers.

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!

On Top or Down Low: The Status Hierarchies in Medicine ft. Tania Jenkins, PhD

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What you should know about the super hierarchical world of medicine

Have you ever wondered what the world of medicine would look like to an ethnographer? To University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Professor Tania Jenkins, perhaps it looks like a ladder of status, from the lowly med student to the exalted attending (and even higher). For her book Doctors’ Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession, Professor Jenkins spent years looking at the construction and consequences of those distinctions for doctors before, during, and after their training, especially among American, international, and osteopathic residents in two US hospitals.

Cohosts Emma Barr (M3), Bryn Myers (M2), and Greta Becker (M2) discuss with Dr. Jenkins why status hierarchies seem so important in medicine, what they accomplish and inhibit, and why they may be short-changing the system, the practitioners, and the patients.

Dr. Jenkins also helps us answer a question from “Glisten Rumpybottom” about the future of medicine as the scope of practice for mid-level practitioners like nurse practitioners and PAs continues to expand. Is this a safety issue or a turf war?

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!

Chronic Conditions in Medical School

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What having a chronic health issue means to medical students varies…except that it will make them even better doctors.

Listener Michael has type one diabetes and “an incredibly rare form” of epilepsy. He’s pretty open about this and plans to use his experience to inform his education on patient care. He got in touch to ask us to discuss chronic health conditions and how they interact with medical school and the patient experience. We were lucky enough to find a few medical students to offer their own journeys for discussion to cohosts Emma Barr, Aline Sandouk, and newbies AJ Chowdhury and Alex Belzer.

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!

The Doctor is Burned Out ft. Jeff Moody, MD

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We are honored to talk with author and physician Jeff Moody, University of Iowa College of Medicine class of ’92, and urologist, here to talk with us about physician burnout, It’s the topic of his new book The Doctor is Burned Out:  A Physician’s Guide to Recovery.

Co-hosts Madi Wahlen, Aline Sandouk, Ananya Munjal, and Nicole Hines talk about ‘wellness,’ the ways that med students and physicians look at medicine and medical education that contribute to burnout, like the dangers of maximizing everything you do and a reliance on external metrics for success, why some specialties are more likely to have burnt out docs than others. Dr. Moody also encourages us to understand our own value to the system–in dollars–as a way to ask for solutions for burnout. He encourages us to remember that our lives effect burnout, too–docs and students aren’t exempt from adverse childhood experiences, divorce and other stressors of life! And of course, we talk about his prescription for how to fix burnout if it happens to you.

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!

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.