Checking the Boxes: Should You Give Up Your Job To Do Research?

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Sometimes the requirements aren’t required.

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“I love my work.” Photo by Smithsonian Institution

Annie wrote in to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask Kaci McCleary, Erik Kneller, Gabriel Conley, and Marissa Evers if she should give up her 10-year job as a radiology tech so she’d have time to do research before applying to medical school.  As is often the case with these kinds of questions, the answer is no!  But maybe yes.  In some cases.

Later in the show, we say to hell with this brave new world of collaboration-not-competition, and battle to the death!   Will neurotoxin triumph over infinite sausage?

This Week in Medical News

We discuss the recent Medscape Physician Lifestyle and Happiness Report and find out who will be happier: neurologist Kaci, or urologist Gabe.  Also, we find out what they will drive, and how many friends they won’t have.  A Pennsylvania Democrat introduces The Stable Genius Act (tempting…). And we find out how the weather and the holidays impacts the blood supply and what the Red Cross wants you to do about it (hint: it involves giving blood now).

We Want to Hear From You

It’s coming up on application season!  What questions do you have? Is our advice to Annie useful or rueful? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.   Continue reading Checking the Boxes: Should You Give Up Your Job To Do Research?

Making Clerkships Work

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Are clerkships a grind, or a boon?  It’s up to you.

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Photo by m.a.r.c.

The second-year students are moving from the pre-clinical curriculum to the clerkships this week.  This transition is exciting–after all, seeing patients is what they’ve come to medical school to do, and now it’s finally happening.

Pat Brau, Kylie MIller, Brady Campbell, and Levi Endelman discuss some of the things they’ve learned in their Transition to Clerkships week, and Dave has some advice for them on how to get the most out of clerkships and how to get good evaluations for their ‘dean’s letter’ that will make them shine for future residency directors.

This Week in Medical News

Of course, one thing that is helpful if you’re seeing a patient is being able to tell if they’re truly sick.  That becomes second nature at some point, but even lay people can do it.  That skill will come in handy for those in California who subscribe to the idea that raw water is a good idea.

We Want to Hear From You

Transitions are exciting and tough…what makes changes easy or harder for you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Taking Advice is Hard To Do

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Giving advice is easy.  Taking it?  Not so much.

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Photo by Maurits Verbiest

Listener Arman calls back to thank us for some good advice we gave him on continuing his hobbies and interests outside medical school!  Nevertheless, he notes how difficult it often is to take advice, even when we want it, and wonders if we know why?  Of course we do, and Levi Endelman, Tony Rosenberg, Mark Moubarek, and Rob Humble are willing to advise him.  And Samuel paints doctors with a broad brush when he writes to tell us his worries about the kinds of people who go to medical school and the sorts of things they do when they get those precious letters after their names and the prestige to go with them.

This Week in Medical News

The WHO and others are ready to add ‘gaming disorder‘ to the International Classification of Diseases, to the dismay of many experts (and little ol’ us).  And researchers in India are taking a 2014 internet hoax to its logical conclusion and trying to decide if ‘selfitis‘ (the obsessive taking of selfies) is a real concern, as well as how people use them to prop themselves up.

We Want to Hear From You

Wanna show us your best duck-lips selfie?  Need some advice that you won’t take? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Taking Advice is Hard To Do

Winter Break, Guts and Brains, and Yahoo! Answers

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And all through the house…

answers photoIt’s winter break at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.  For most people, that means there are a couple weeks to relax and rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and familial relations.  Despite a lack of available co-hosts, The Short Coats never take a break, which is why Dave had to invite fellow student affairs staffers Chris Roling (Financial Services) and Kate McKenzie (Admissions) to  join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and physician assistant student and noob co-host Paul Kretkowski on this week’s show.  To give Chris and Kate the full experience, we visit with the fine patients at the Yahoo! Answers Doctor’s Office to hear and answer their questions on concussions, nail gun injuries and impressive DIY treatments, and the potential dangers of floor pizza.

This Week in Medical News

Our humble state of Iowa is home to a new effort to create nanovaccines for influenza which promise to eliminate many of the current vaccine’s downsides while increasing its effectiveness.  More evidence that the gut and brain are intimately linked. And the scandal of the CDC’s banned words might have been a trifle overblown.

We Want to Hear From You

Have something you want us to talk about on the show? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Winter Break, Guts and Brains, and Yahoo! Answers

Man Flu and Other Struggles

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As the semester wrapped up, Dave didn’t feel it was necessary to ponder great questions or debate contentious issues, so this week’s show is pretty newsy…and there’s never a shortage of things to talk about there.  Of course, Dave had to make up a stupid game for Erik Kneller, Erick Schnieders, Irisa Mahaparn, and Kaci McCleary to play, in which they pimp each other on non-medical topics.

This Week in Medical News

Ever heard of bagel-related hand injuries?  Avocados can also wreak havoc on unwary knife-wielders, which is British chain Marks & Spencer excuse for offering UK citizens seedless avocados.  Significant progress has also been made in the fight against tropical illnesses as a result of the 2012 London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases.  We discuss the idea that moving to Canada may solve American MDs’ paperwork woes, even if the countries’ respective healthcare systems each have their benefits and drawbacks.  A UK surgeon decides it’s cool AF to carve his initials in his patients’ livers, although the patients themselves disagree.  And man flu is real.  Of course it is.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have any suggestions for future show topics? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Man Flu and Other Struggles

Night Float: Choosing a Specialty

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Choosing a Speciality

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Photo by Ryan Dickey

From an early age people are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Whether they knew it all along or discovered their career path along the way, medical students have made a commitment to the answer, “I want to be a doctor.” As soon as that answer is given, however, an equally challenging question awaits. “What kind of doctor do you want to be?”

In the second episode of Night Float, Dr. Tony Chung (R1: Ophthalmology), Dr. Travis Snyders (R2: Internal Medicine), and Lisa Wehr (M4) discuss the process of choosing a specialty. Some medical students will have an ‘aha’ moment, while many others will face a timeline and search more for a ‘tipping point’ that favors a particular choice. The resident physicians share their own experiences with decision making and encourage students to explore their options through making early connections, asking questions, gaining experiences, and not being discouraged or dissuaded even when the process involves navigating unsolicited advice or looping back around.

Helpful links

AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.

We Want to Hear From You

How are you going about making your choice of specialty? What questions do you have about specialty choice? In general, what would you like to hear from residents about their medical school or residency experiences? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Night Float: Choosing a Specialty

Admissions Bias Against Alternative Medicine?

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For medical school admissions, package study of alternative medicine carefully

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Photo by showbizsuperstar

Chrissa wrote in to say that she believes that complementary and alternative medicine systems should be more important to mainstream, Western medicine.  In fact, she’s studying Ayurvedic medicine, and she wants to know if she should talk about it in her future medical school admissions applications and interviews.  Gabe Conley, Patrick Brau, Elizabeth Shirazi, and Derek Bradley (along with several other co-hosts I put the question to) offer their advice to Chrissa, which is, sure, but be careful how you do it.  And we find out just how much our crew knows about Ayurvedic medicine with a little pop quiz.

This Week in Medical News

Researchers publish results that show bacteria may have been busy developing resistance to Ampicillin even before it was made available for prescription in 1962.  Modern Americans are preparing for bloody combat by learning battlefield medicine.  And we consider evidence that surgical patients may be more aware of pain than Dave is real comfortable with.

We Want to Hear From You

Did Dave offend you with his jokes about CAM? Are you studying CAM or have an interest in using it in your practice some day? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Admissions Bias Against Alternative Medicine?

Preparing for Residency Interviews

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Preparing for Residency Interviews

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Photo by Matt From London

Welcome to Night Float! In this series  of special episodes, resident physicians take a break from the demands of their days (and nights) to offer information, guidance, and support to medical students and to share their residency experiences. Fourth year medical students are currently in the heart of residency interview season, and they are doing all they can to secure a position through the residency match process. In the first episode of Night Float, Dr. Desiré Christensen (R2: Psychiatry) and Dr. Matt Maves (R1: Pediatrics) discuss their interview experiences and offer suggestions about how to prepare.

Helpful links

AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.

Doximity – Doximity is a network of physicians and medical students.

FREIDA – FREIDA is the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your residency interview stories? What suggestions do you have for medical students preparing to match? Medical students, what questions do you have about the residency application process?

Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Preparing for Residency Interviews

Bropocalypse 2017

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The national #MeToo conversation continues

creepy man photoDave found himself hosting with another group of women, so what better time to talk about #MeToo and the powerful people being taken down by their sexual harassment and abuse of their less-powerful victims?  Erin Pazaski, Hillary O’Brien, Laura Quast, and Liza Mann weigh in on why this seems to have staying power in the news cycle, and why it seems to destroy some powerful men and not others.  Plus, since this is a group of friends who, through med school, have come to know each other well, Dave challenges each to answer questions as their friends would.

This Week in Medical News

Speaking of creepy, The University of Miami has a problem on its hands with a medical student who’s been posting other students’ social media pics of their car selfies and beach photos on websites where other folks are excited by such things.  A New Hampshire doc loses her license after refusing to use an EHR because she’d rather practice ‘medical art’ (and not properly tracking her prescribing practices).  And more medical schools want to hear from premeds what they think about the national debate on the ACA and the individual insurance mandate.

We Want to Hear From You

Your thoughts and comments are important to us!  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Bropocalypse 2017

More Surgery for Better Global Health: Dr. Mark Shrime

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Is surgery too expensive for global health?

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Is surgery ‘too expensive’ for global health?

Mark Shrime is an otolaryngologist (and American Ninja Warrior competitor) who may just be on the leading edge of change in the way global health sees surgery.  In this conversation with Tony Mai, Amanda Manorot, Brian Wall, and Hadeal Ayoub, Dr. Shrime argues that the way surgery is used in international development to date–surgeons fly in for two weeks, do their thing, and fly back out–doesn’t do much to allow their host countries to develop their own surgery skills.  For his part, he’s managed to arrange his work at Harvard to allow him two months abroad helping to strengthen health systems in countries like Congo, Haiti, Cameroon, and Madagascar.

The problem is, policy-makers see surgery as ‘too expensive,’ disregarding it as a tool for global health intervention.  Ebola and Zika therefore get all the attention.  But analysis of the cost-effectiveness of surgery as a tool in global health efforts belies this view, and shows the burden of surgical diseases may be as high as a third of the global total.  Fortunately, Dr. Shrime has good advice for future surgeons who face a system that embraces Relative Value Units as a measure of physician performance, and yet want to pursue work outside their hospitals to effect global healthcare change.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your thoughts on the effort to elevate surgery as a global health intervention? Any thoughts on who we should interview next? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com to share your ideas.

Continue reading More Surgery for Better Global Health: Dr. Mark Shrime

Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.