Category Archives: Uncategorized

Episode 028: What Cultural Competency Really Means

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You’ve practiced how to extract from a patient their chief complaint.  You’ve memorized lists (and lists and lists) of drugs, treatment modalities, and other interventions.  You’ve learned all the physical exam skills on the test, and you’ve got every organ system down pat.  You even remember the Kreb’s cycle.

Japanese Apothecary Mannequin by Curious Expeditions

Now, your patient has walked into the exam room looking for help with her headache (although she turns out to have none), doesn’t appreciate your blank stare when she says her soul is lost, and is very confused about why you’re treating her clearly ‘hot’ illness with a ‘hot’ medicine.  Time for a psych consult?

Nope.  Time to delve into the patient’s cultural beliefs about illness, treatment, and doctors, and reach some sort of understanding between you and your patient that allows for a good outcome.  That’s what cultural psychiatrist Hendry Ton, the Medical Director of the Transcultural Wellness Center and Director of Education at UC Davis School of Medicine Center for Reducing Health Disparities, advised UI student Lisa Wehr to do when she encounters a patient whose beliefs just don’t line up with those taught by Western medicine.

Recommended:
National Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS) Standards in Health and Health Care

Listen to Episode 028: What Cultural Competency Really Means.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 026 – ‘Fake Patients’ and Students: a Meeting of the Minds

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Few students like exams.  That probably wasn’t close-to-mind when, in 1999, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which accredits medical colleges, decreed that the Carver College of Medicine would incorporate clinical skills assessment into the curriculum.  Then, in 2004, the National Board of Medical Examiners began using the Step II Clinical Skills test as part of the United States Medical Licensing Examination.  This Step, one of the three that seeks to ensure students are becoming competent doctors, required students to demonstrate their clinical skills on live actors.  These actors played standardized roles so that the examination results would be meaningful.

So it was that the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and MD programs across the country, created the Performance-Based Assessment Program.  The PBA program was charged with preparing third-year students for this new exam. They did this the exact same way the NBME did it: by hiring actors to portray patients with various complaints to test what third- and fourth-year students had learned about interviewing such patients.

Since then the program has grown tremendously.  Now they don’t just test medical students, but they teach them as well.  Things like general physical exam skills, PE skills specific to male and female patients, communication skills, and a lot more.

On this episode, students Cole Cheney, Senuri Jayatilleka, Michael Zhang, and Keenan Laraway joined simulated patients JC Luxton and Mary Nell Jackson meet for a little debate and an exchange of views on their roles as students and ‘fake patients.’ 

Listen to Episode 026 – Who Are These People, Anyway? Simulated Patients and Students.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 021: Match Day!

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The Haugsdals compare their match results.

This week, we talk about Match Day, the big day when medical students find out what they’ll be doing for the next few years after graduation.  It’s a big deal, and to help us make sense of it, CCOM Registrar Damien Ihrig and fourth-years Jaclyn and Michael Haugsdal and Natalie Ramirez sit down to hash it out.  It’s both magical and stressful, but at the end you have a job that you love…hopefully.

Listen now to Episode 021: Match Day!

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 016: Temple Grandin – My Experience With Autism: A Medical Look at How People with Autism Think

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Temple Grandin was born in Boston, and was diagnosed with high functioning autism when she was 2 years old.  She didn’t talk until the age of four, and like many children who are different, found fitting in to her neurotypical peer group difficult. In 1965, at the age of 18, she invented what she called a hug machine, or squeeze box, which she designed to alleviate stress through application of deep pressure stimulation. The pressure is similar to a hug, but not as overwhelming as hugs given by other people.   The device, inspired by her observation that cattle being prepared for inoculation grow calm when they are confined in a so-called squeeze chute, is still in use today in several therapy programs around the country.

Today, Temple Grandin is a doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University.  She is a leader of both the animal welfare and autism advocacy movements.  In the Spring of 2012, she addressed an audience at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

Listen (2 hours, but worth it!):  Temple Grandin – My Experience With Autism: A Medical Look at How People with Autism Think

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 015: Chuck Huss and Wilderness Medicine

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Mt. Everest, part of the Himalayan Mountain range is the highest mountain on the planet.  Those who attempt to climb to the 29,000-foot-high peak are a pretty hardy bunch; past 26,246 feet, climbers are challenged not just to climb but to survive.  Exhaustion can occur just from the effort of breathing, never mind the dangers associated with lack of oxygen, extreme cold, and falling off the mountain.  Climbers who die near the top are most often entombed there, because to bring their bodies back would entail too great a risk for other climbers.

Iowa City emergency medicine physician Chuck Huss is a veteran mountaineer who has participated in expeditions to high peaks across the globe, including four expeditions to Mt. Everest.  He has served as expedition physician on several trips, and has an incredible wealth of knowledge on international travel, mountaineering, and global medicine.  He sat down recently with med student Asitha Jayawardena to talk about his experiences in the wilderness.

Listen: Episode 015: Chuck Huss and Wilderness Medicine

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 010: Delivering High-Quality Healthcare in Poor Countries, With Dr. Paul Farmer

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Recently, the University of Iowa was lucky enough to get a visit from Dr. Paul Farmer. Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, is a founding director of Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and has undertaken research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer is the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and the United Nations deputy special envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.

Farmer and his colleagues in the United States and in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho and Malawi have pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings.

The medical students were able to get some time with Dr. Farmer for a little Q&A on the challenges he and Partners in Health face when working in such settings.

Listen:  Delivering High-Quality Healthcare in Poor Countries, With Dr. Paul Farmer

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 009: A New Semester

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Classes have just started again at the college, and that means a new class of students has joined us for what promises to be a whirlwind of a semester.  Over the next few weeks, students will be adjusting to the new demands placed on them by this intense experience we call medical school.  We’ll hear from some first years, who we caught up with during the college’s Annual Student Organization Fair, about their concerns about their new lives. Then, we’ll take note of the sizable portion of medical students who might not have studied the sciences before.  How will they get through the massive amounts of very unfamiliar information heaped upon them?  We gathered together a group of these so-called non-traditional students to talk about their experiences coming into medical school. Finally, we’ll hear a new feature on the show—the Medical Student Government update. Photo by Rosefirerising

Listen: http://podcast.uiowa.edu/com/osa/009ANewSemester.mp3

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Introducing: The Short Couch!

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The Short Coat presents The Short Couch with Natalie:

Med school is a challenge, a character building exercise, and sometimes, just a 4-year suck-filled existence. Whatever you wanna call it, it’s definitely not a time to go it alone. My friends, this is when we outta call in the reserves. The generations of med students and fully pimped doctors who’ve already made their way to residency somehow. So, don’t reinvent the wheel! Send the Short Couch your problems, and we will get you solutions! Or at least some decently thought-out suggestions from those who have been there.

But seriously, we welcome your questions, problems, or whatever you’ve got concerning life in medical school. Not just academics, but all of it. Want to see how others have handled serious long distance relationships or coming to terms with “just passing”? Well, call us at (347) SHORT-CT (that’s (347) 746 7828)—and if you want us to obfuscate your voice we can do that if you tell us to—or email us at theshortcoats@gmail.com, or come yell it at Jason and David in 1193 MERF. We’ll find people to talk. We have our ways.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Top 10 Countdown!

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Followers of The Short Coat,

For our first episode, we’re going to feature a top ten list of your favorite medically themed songs. To the right, you’ll notice a poll we’ve put together here at Short Coat HQ. You can either select one of those songs or feel free to suggest another song in the comments here and we’ll add it to the tally. Then we’ll count them down on the show.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.