Recess Rehash: Emily Silverman, MD, and The Nocturnists

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A live stage show featuring the stories of healthcare providers is now a podcast you’ll love.

EMILY SILVERMAN, MD
Dr. Silverman is an academic hospitalist at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where she seeks out projects that resurrect the narrative soul of medicine. (Photo: http://thenocturnists.com/team/)

The day-to-day of internship, residency, and an MD career doesn’t allow much time to process the effect it’s having on the practitioner.  Rushing from one patient to the next, putting out the fires even while drinking from the firehose, and being selfless in service to the patients’ needs means that one’s own stories are buried, neglected.  More and more, however, medicine is acknowledging the need for practitioners to examine and tell their stories so that they can learn from them, teach their lessons to others, and show colleagues that they are not alone.  In 2015 Dr. Emily Silverman was in her second year of her internal medicine residency at UCSF.  She found herself with a little more time following her frenetic intern year, and with her own stories that had gone untold and unexamined.  She started to write, first in a blog she called The Nocturnists.  Then, in 2016 she organized the first live storytelling session with her colleagues.

Now, in 2018, those live sessions–held in theaters with fun music and a bar, but most importantly, distant from the hospital– are playing to sellout crowds.  Not only do the shows allow for catharsis, but for community.  And because Dr. Silverman isn’t ready to allow The University of Iowa to be a satellite venue (and believe us, we asked), we’re grateful that The Nocturnists is also a podcast!  Each episode feature a piece from the live show, followed by a relaxed, thoughtful discussion between Dr. Silverman and the storyteller.  Her email to Dave earlier this spring to tell The Short Coats about The Nocturnists was a wonderful break from the usual pitches for Caribbean med schools and Ivy League pay-to-play programs; and it gave Kylie Miller, Brendan George, Marisa Evers, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe a great opportunity to discuss what it is The Nocturnists are thinking about.

We Want to Hear From You

If you could get up on stage and tell your story, what would you say?  Well, we have a stage!  Tell the world–call 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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SHPEP: A Crucial Healthcare Professions Pipeline

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Mentorship and Examples are critical.

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Photo by quinn.anya

The Summer Health Professions Education Program, SHPEP, has become a summer tradition at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.  Students from around the country participate in SHPEP’s goal: “to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools.”

Iowa program’s SHPEPers Hailey Phillips, Hiancha Pinho, and Meranda Pham join co-host Teneme Konne to discuss the program, what it accomplishes for them, and how mentorship — examples of success in healthcare — is crucial for those who are underrepresented in medicine.

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Are you underrepresented in medicine?  Who is your mentor?  What barriers have you faced and/or overcome? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Found Risky Business Ventures

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Photo by Jokejacket

Executive Producer Jason has kindly let Dave go on vacation, so Aline Sandouk takes over the hot seat, with Irisa Mahaparn, Hillary O’Brien, Elizabeth Shirazi, and Jayden Bowen. Together they unravel the mysteries of the human body and med school.  For instance, why do med students feel guilty about having to take time off to deal with their bed bug infestations?  And what would having many  normal or two overly large testicles do to fertility?  Such brilliant questions!!!

This Week in Medical News

Does Amazon’s Jeff Bezos or Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick have toxoplasmosis?  Our lawyers say definitely not, but toxo does have a link with risky behaviors, and business people can win big by taking risks.   So, naturally, a new study looks at how likely students with toxo are to be business majors.    Also, the mental health consequences of sucking up to your boss, and one woman’s warning that her child’s Hot Cheetos habit led to her losing her gallbladder.

We Want to Hear From You

So, what’s up with you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Applying to Med School? Don’t Worry About the Money (so much).

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Money should never be the most important factor

image: MARS BIOIMAGING LTD.

While Dave and the crew try a recipe from the Med School Success Cookbook, they consider listener Imari’s question: how much did co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Eric Schnieders, Gabe Conley, and Irisa Mahaparn think about money when choosing a medical school?  While it’s important to know what your financial standing will be when you graduate, including your loans and how they’re affected by scholarships and living situation, we think there are more important things to think about.  And Maggie has noticed many med schools have co-ed fraternities and wants our thoughts on their benefits for students.  Happy to help explore this interesting and fun possibility for lowering costs, sharing responsibilities, and joining a new med school fam, Maggie!

This Week in Medical News

Now that the Large Hadron Collider has finished tearing a hole in the universe, researchers are using the technology in its subatomic particle detectors to create 3D color x-rays.  And CRISPR-Cas9 has proved to be an excellent tool for editing genomes…and also tearing them up and spitting them back out with all kinds of errors and random deletions.  Perhaps the honeymoon is over!

We Want to Hear From You

Do you belong to a med school fraternity? What’s it like? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Applying to Med School? Don’t Worry About the Money (so much).

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!

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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!

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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

The Secondary Application: Bragging vs. Confidence

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How can you brag about yourself without bragging about yourself?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4773691/

We are taught from a  young age (most of us, anyway) not to brag.  It is better, we may sometimes hear, to show confidence.  Listener Rachel wrote in with a question about the secondary application: how does one confidently talk themselves up without coming across as a braggart?  Lucky for Rachel, we have Daniel Schnall from our admissions staff on hand to help Mark Moubarek, Kylie Miller, Aline Sandouk, and Gabe Conley with some great advice about how to sell yourself on your application and also back it up.  Don’t want to look like a chump?  Dan has your answer, Rachel.

Kylie had an excellent idea: med students are pressed for time, and nutrition can be one of those things they deep six in favor of studying.  Her thought: let’s make a cookbook for Med Student Success, and listeners can contribute!  Do you have a favorite recipe you use to keep your Kreb’s cycle in tip top shape?  Then submit the recipe so we all can benefit!  Comfort food, speedy prep, healthy living,  or whatever, we want to hear about it!  We’ll publish the results in some fashion, and everyone who contributes will get a free copy!

Plus, the group plays Doctor Forehead.  Do you know the terms and concepts Dave found in the news last week, and why they were even being talked about?

This Week in Medical News

Everyone knows ortho residents don’t get enough exercise.  Skinny, pale, weak, they’re practically collapsing under the weight of their own skin.  Which is why we’re relieved that someone took pity and created a peer reviewed(?) workout routine for them, using common materials found around the ortho workroom.  Get swole!  Is the NIH doing it’s job of funding innovative research and fostering research careers?  Doesn’t sound like it.  And the AMA goes all in on a call to ban the American Dream sale and ownership of assault weapons.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you a gun owner who feels like the AMA goes to far? Do you want advice and don’t want to pay for it?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We’ll talk about it.

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Hotel Influenza, Confirming Right-to-Try Problems, REM Sleep Revealed

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Photo by Mark Turnauckas

We love when listeners get in touch, which is why Dave was glad to hear from Adil who, after listening to our discussion of the new national Right-To-Try legislation, sent us a paper he wrote on the subject the year before.  It really helped clear some things up that we weren’t sure of.  Like the fact that it doesn’t actually do anything to help patients get faster access to experimental drugs, has a kind of informed consent problem, allows patients to further conflate research with therapy, and more.

And with thousands of new medical students poised to matriculate this fall, Dave and co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Kylie Miller, and Amy Hanson try out a new awkward icebreaker activity to see if it has some utility for new student orientations.

This Week in Medical News

The Trump administration walks back their recent decision to claw back money earmarked for fighting epidemics around the world.  Back home, St. Louis University opens an influenza hotel.  And the function of REM sleep finally revealed…maybe.

We Want to Hear From You

What do you most want to find out during your upcoming med school orientation?  Are you nervous?  Are you excited? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Healthcare In Occupied Palestine: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

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[Don’t forget our SCP Key Fob Giveaway…share an episode of the podcast or post a review on iTunes, and send a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com for your free gift–our way of saying thanks for your support!]

The challenges of providing healthcare in an occupied territory

Steve Sosebee and Zeena Salman, MD. Photo by Steve Sosebee (@stevesosebee)

Steve Sosebee is the president and CEO of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund. He’s married to Dr. Zeena Salman, a pediatric oncologist working with the PCRF. For 25 years, PCRF has been leading medical missions to help children in the Middle East, helping children get medical treatment abroad, and delivering humanitarian aid. Their recent visit to the Carver College of Medicine gave Short Coats Reem Khodor, Ethan Craig, and Nico Dimenstein a chance to sit down with them to discuss the challenges and realities of working to provide healthcare within the confines of an occupied territory.

Those challenges are sometimes gargantuan, especially compared with the standard of care children receive in the United States. For example, urgently-needed medications and medical equipment being held up in customs; children who must be separated from family members for their cancer treatment because they are not allowed to travel with adults under the age of 55; dealing with the conflicting priorities of the Israeli military and Hamas, which each govern portions of Palestine.

Their passion for the mission–offering better lives to the children of this contested land–is evident. But somehow, any frustration they may feel about the difficulties they and their young beneficiaries face isn’t. Sosebee and Salman have a strikingly matter-of-fact view of the world in which they operate, and are doing what they must for the children and families caught up in a conflict not of their own design.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your experiences with organizations like PCRF or with medical missions abroad? What did you learn from your participation?  Share them at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Healthcare In Occupied Palestine: The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund

Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.