Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.

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!

Continue reading Is AOA racially biased?

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.

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

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.

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!

Continue reading Owning a Visible Disability during Med School Interviews

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.

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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.

Med School Youtubers, Pre-Med Experiences, and Overcoming Shyness

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So many listener questions!

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Photo by ♥S♥M♥C♥A♥V♥Z♥

Listener Amari returns to ask Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Tony Rosenberg and Mark Moubarek–what do they think of med school YouTubers?  Is it advisable to broadcast your life during med school in an age when everything you do online has a permanent risk associated with it?  Of course, there are some recommendations for residency program directors in searching social media for candidates’ info.

Next up, Jordan is looking for advice on great pre-med activities that will teach him as well as look great on his application.  And Richard is both shy and working in a lab, and he’s worried that it will be difficult for him to make connections with doctors for things like shadowing.

We Want to Hear From You

Have you ever regretted your social media footprint professionally? What pre-med activities would you recommend to Jordan?  How can Richard break out of his shell?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Med School Youtubers, Pre-Med Experiences, and Overcoming Shyness

Why You Might Want to Wait to Apply to Medschool

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Your Med School Application is Too Important to Rush

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Don’t look for a reason this image is here. I just liked it. Photo by Dominic’s pics

Listener Hanna wrote in to ask an important question: is it better to apply this year despite possibly ending up in the second tier of applicants due to a late MCAT score, or should she just wait until next year?  Good question, Hannah!  Aline Sandouk, Irisa Mahaparn, Tony Rosenberg, and admissions counselor Dan Schnall (in absentia) have the answer.

Another listener, Amari (and we hope we’ve spelled that right), phoned in to the Short Coats Hotline to find out if there is a medical school equivalent to the infamous Freshman 15 many undergrads suffer through, and if so, what she could do about it when she starts her journey in medical education.

Med students aren’t, in general, known for being good liars; they tend to be a pretty ethical bunch.  But perhaps they suspend their morality enough to fool each other with lies about their time in medical school.  We’ll see about that, as they play Two Truths and a Lie.

We’re still giving away keyfobs if you post a review somewhere and send a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com, and we’ve begun collecting recipes for our future Recipes for Med School Success cookbook.

This Week in Medical News

Researchers discover what might be a vaccine to treat diabetes…and it’s already in use around the world, though not in the US.  And the US Supreme Court ‘s decision  to uphold the most recent version of Trump’s travel ban won’t hurt patients seeking medical attention at all, unless they need a geriatrician, nephrologist, cardiologist, internist, critical care specialist, nurse, medical technician…hmm, that seems like rather a lot.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you need advice?  Do you have questions about medical school?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Why You Might Want to Wait to Apply to Medschool

Relax or Prepare? Advice for Incoming Med Students

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Spoiler alert:  don’t “prepare” during the summer before you arrive at medical school.

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What incoming med students should be doing before med school starts. Photo by Janitors

Listener Amanda is like many medical students–anxious and worried. In her case, she wonders if she won’t be as prepared for med school as her classmates when she starts in the fall, because they are “ahead” of her due to their experience and former careers.  We’ve got you, Amanda:  Aline Sandouk, Hillary O’brien, Erik Kneller, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe are here to help.

Also, which of our hosts are on team Yannie or Laurel?  It doesn’t matter, because Dave did some sophisticated analysis and discovered something about the morphing audio clip that has the internet arguing again.

This Week in Medical News

The netflix series 13 Reasons Why returns for season 2 today as we record this, and Netflix has announced it’s response to mental health professionals’ concerns with the content.  Speaking of mental illness, Blue Cross Blue Shield has released a new study that says diagnoses of major depression are on the rise.  Henrietta Lacks–who was the unconsenting donor of the amazing HeLa cell line used for just about every kind of study of every kind of disease these days and whose descendents we spoke with in 2013now has a portrait in the National Portrait Gallery.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have a question we can help answer?  Do you need advice?  We’re giving away answers for free (along with SCP key fobs)!  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Relax or Prepare? Advice for Incoming Med Students

Parenting Fails, Pro-Life Wins, Free Laser Gifts

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It’s time for a change, whether we want it or not.

Oh, gosh.  It’s Kaci McCleary and Amy Young’s last show as co-hosts.  Irisa Mahaparn and Teneme Konne join them to discuss their impending moves to Colorado and Minnesota. Also, they lament Iowa’s new Fetal Heartbeat Bill and what some observers believe will be an associated collapse of OB/Gyn in Iowa should the law go into effect.  But life goes on, and Amy–a relatively new parent–talks parenting fails.  Luckily for her little Sammy, and sadly for his own children, Dave has her beat.  And listener Corey reaches out on Facebook to tell Dave he’s wrong. Shocker.

Plus, Dave reveals how you can get free swag Dave made with frickin’ laser beams…listen to find out how.

This week in Medical News

Meanwhile, Indiana is recommending that it’s citizens get vaccinations before traveling to…Kentucky and Michigan?  Trump’s old doctor finally admits that his former patient really did dictate his note that praised the then-candidate’s health.  And the Golden State Killer is nabbed by a DNA ancestry website, while privacy advocates fret.

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If you’re a future OB, are you concerned about or celebrating Iowa Republicans’ strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Continue reading Parenting Fails, Pro-Life Wins, Free Laser Gifts

Reactions, Reagents, and Repose

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How much is lab medicine a part of medical school?

laboratory test tubes photoRemembering a recent episode in which we spoke briefly of colored test tubes, Adee writes in with a question for Hilary O’Brien, Erik Kneller, Mackenzie Walhof, and Rob Humble–what, if anything, do medical students learn about laboratory science? And we got a lot of feedback on our recent discussion of unwanted sexual attention from patients, all of it pretty good!  Which is nice…thank you, listeners!

We also see if the co-hosts have the skillz needed to translate patients’ chief complaints into…well, something that resembles a chief complaint.

This Week in Medical News

Oh, patients.  You lying liars.  But  one company in nearby Coralville thinks they have cracked the code, and will offer a test that they promise will determine not just whether you’re lying about alcohol and tobacco use, but how much you’re lying.  And an Australian euthanasia advocate wants to give people the option to go beyond the veil (if that’s their wish) in a futuristic pod.

We Want to Hear From You

We give free (useful?) advice! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Reactions, Reagents, and Repose