Category Archives: Uncategorized

Second Looks and Fantasy Gap Years

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As CCOM’s second-look day (which we call Get Acquainted Day) approaches,  Aline Sandouk, LJ Agostinelli, Miranda Schene, and Danial Syed discuss the benefits–to both the student and the school–of taking a second look at the schools they’ve been admitted to.  And listener Caven wants us to talk about our fantasy gap years.  Can our co-hosts articulate the benefits of gap year jobs that Dave made up for them?  Spoiler–they sure can.


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This Week in Medical News

UC Berkeley biologists have found a way to genetically engineer brewers yeast so that they pump out dank medicines.  Texas Republican state representative Bill Zedler has some pointless thoughts about why vaccines aren’t needed in the US.  And we discuss what Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers have to offer med students.

We Want to Hear From You

If you could do anything you want–and you can–what would you do during your gap year? 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.

We Want to Hear From You

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!

Continue reading Listeners Revolt!

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.

We Want to Hear From You

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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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!

We Want to Hear From You

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!

Continue reading What Skinny Doctors Don’t Get About Their Obese Patients

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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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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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.

We Want to Hear From You

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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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.”

We Want to Hear From You

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.

Continue reading Man Ovens, Shoring Up Weaknesses, and Ditching the MCAT

Owning a Visible Disability during Med School Interviews

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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.

We Want to Hear From You

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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A Crucial Health Professions Pipeline Pt. 2

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More great stuff from the SHPEPers at CCOM

Our visit with pre-health students in the Carver College of Medicine’s Summer Health Professions Education Program continues as co-host Teneme Konne talks with SHPEPers Asjah Coleman, Kirsten Grismer, Ahone Koge and Margaret Mungai.  Before the show, Teneme also visited with two of Iowa City’s homeless population, and gained some insight into their lives as well as the reasons they are living on the streets.

Plus, we play a game of Mafia, SCP style.  Will the hospital administrator, the attending, or the resident escape death? And who is the mystery disease that threatens them all?  Dun, dun, duuuunnnn.

This Week in Medical News

Also, we discuss LGBTQ+ health disparities, and a review of the evidence that criminalizing drug use has negative effects on efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and other illnesses.

We Want to Hear From You

Were you lucky enough to take advantage of a SHPEP program, or are you looking forward to participating in the future? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading A Crucial Health Professions Pipeline Pt. 2

Interview Prep, Opening Up, and Death.

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And no, that’s not the three stages of your med school application.

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’tis the season to be applying to medical school. Which is why we got so many listener questions to address on this episode (thank you!)  Listener Magnus wanted suggestions for how to prepare for MMI and regular admissions interviews, so we invited our resident experts, Amy A’Hearn (from CCOM med student admissions) and Tom O’Shea (from CCOM physician assistant admissions, for his experience with MMI interviews) to help out.  They, along with Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Marc Moubarek and new co-host Shakoora Sabree, also answered questions from listeners Cameron and Sarah about whether opening up about personal/political views and sexual orientation is okay on applications and in interviews.  And listener Jake wanted to know how med students learn to cope with death.

In reference to Sarah’s question on being open about sexual orientation in your application, we weren’t able to find out how many med students identified as LGBTQ+ in the US, but we did note that many prospective students are reluctant to disclose their identification for fear of discrimination.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have something to add to the discussion, or a question we can answer? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

Continue reading Interview Prep, Opening Up, and Death.