Sacrifice It All to be A Med Student? Don’t Do It!

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Med School Requires Sacrifice…but not of everything.

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Photo by Andrew Turner

Listener Arman  is starting school this fall, and is feeling something many do at the start of this journey: that in order to succeed, he’ll have to do nothing but study.  Will he’ll have to sacrifice his outside interests to succeed? Kylie Miller, Matt Wilson, Teneme Konne and Patrick Brau admit that medical students love to talk about how hard it is and how much time they give to their new lives.  To be sure, sacrifice is a part of learning to be a doctor.  But they do have reassuring words for those who worry their identities are about to be ransacked.  Plus, Yahoo! Answers leave us with more questions than we started with…like, did the fruit fly regain consciousness?

This Week’s Medical News…

We also discuss a study from Sweden that looks at whether drones can deliver life-saving automatic emergency defibrillators to heart attack victims faster than EMS can get to them.  And we explore the power of names to get you to eat your vegetables.

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If you have fears to be assuaged, and think we are the best people to do so, give us a call! Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Harry Potter and the Suddenly Bald Litigant

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What do you do when you’re pulled in too many directions?

Yer a wizard, ‘arry!

The world of work, and medical school, is often about adjusting for a number of “top” priorities.   Dave’s been having one of those weeks where his work is pulling him in several directions at once, and thought to ask his co-hosts Erin Pasaski, Patrick Brau, Elizabeth Shirazi, and Kaci McCleary what techniques they use when they, inevitably, find themselves struggling to manage all of the important tasks med school throws at them.

Also, since the CCOM Writing and Humanities Program exists to bring art into the lives of busy med students, Dave went out and bought playdough so his co-hosts could flex their sculpting skills on common patient complaints.  Visit our Facebook page for the gallery!

This Week’s Medical News…

Speaking of priorities, Ars Technica takes note of the FDA’s somewhat lackadaisical interest in surveilling the cosmetics and hair care industry, and why that should probably change.  Will flu shots (and other vaccination injections) soon be replaced by a tiny bed of nails?  And Dave warns medical students not to study with their phones in the same room.

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If you have something to say or a question to ask, and think we are the best people to do so, who are we to question your judgement? Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Medical Education’s Underrepresented Minorities Challenge

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Most Med Schools Prize Minorities…but they can be hard to find.

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Photo by creativedc

This week, Teneme Konne introduced Dave to some students participating in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/AAMC venture, the Summer Health Professions Education Program, which has as it’s aim to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of minorities and prepare them to apply, matriculate, and succeed in healthcare professional education.  Yasmine Rose, Kristine Pham, Gil Osuna-Leon and Martin Rosenfeld talk about how students of ethnicities underrepresented in medicine need this kind of mentorship from people who have faced, fought, and vanquished the same challenges they’ll face on their path to medical school.

This Week’s Medical News

Of particular relevance to this week’s topic: even in Canada, some folks just can’t wrap their tiny heads around the existence of black doctors.  And while it’s tempting to take heart in the outrage expressed by many after a woman refused to have her child looked at by a black physician, our guests point out why that would be a mistake.

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If you have something to say or a question to ask, and think we are the best people to do so, who are we to question your judgement? Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Which is More Important: the MCAT or Your Job?

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Should you put your life on hold for the MCAT?

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Photo by Gene Hunt

As a planned parenthood sex educator, listener T’keyah wants to know what medical schools teach about meeting the needs of LGBTQIA+ patients.  Amy Young, Patrick Brau, Liza Mann, and Teneme Konne can’t, of course speak for all medical schools, but they can speak about what they are learning: quite a lot, not least because we have an LGBTQ clinic they can rotate on!  T’keyah snuck a second question in, too: she loves her job, and it’s important work.  So, is the advice she’s gotten to stop working while studying for the MCAT valid?

This Week’s Medical News

A study out of the UK says that men of advanced paternal age (ahem, forty or older) tend to father geekier boys: smart, focused, and unconcerned about what people think of them.  And we took note of an column this week on why doctors swear so much.  Hint: it’s not all sunshine and roses, being a physician.  With this in mind it is only logical that, in the name of science, Dave has his co-hosts stick their hands in ice water and recite Dr. Seuss.  Will they be able to withstand the ethically induced pain?

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Thank you, T’keyah for your question!  If you have something to say or a question to ask, call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Your Gap Year Job Doesn’t Matter

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Listeners ask, we answer.

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Mind the Gap Year? Photo by Quaisoir @ Lil Miss QQ

A flood of listener questions this week!  It’s probably due in part to medical school application season has begun, which means medical school applicants are trying to figure out if they have what it takes…on paper.  For instance, an anonymous listener (“Meldor”) called in to find out what kinds of gap year jobs Liza Mann, Elizabeth Shirazi, Kelsey Adler, and Teneme Konne thought would allow her to keep connected to the world of medicine while she’s applying.  Of course, a gap year job like that isn’t hard to find…but is that really necessary?  We play a game to find out who can best spin any gap year job to an admissions interviewer.

Also, listener Mike returns to let us know more exactly what he was concerned about in our long-past episode in which we spoke of gun violence.  And Andrea wants to know more about what medical students learn about health disparities; given that much of human disease is about societal influences, including economic and racial divides, it turns out the answer is quite a lot.

Lastly, after hearing our recent discussion on food deserts, Erica let us  know about an organization at her alma mater, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Brightside Produce is devoted to generating scientific results that increase yields and reduce environmental impacts of small-scale agriculture in cities.  Basically, they’re fighting inner-city hunger using science to enable urban farmers.

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Hearing from Mike, Andrea, Erica, and Meldor only whets our appetite for more listener contact.  Thank you, everyone!  If you have something to say or a question to ask, call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Recess Rehash: Gap Years, Disguised Blessings, and Forbidden Words

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Photo by Lonewolf_

Listener T’keyah sends Cole Cheney, Aline Sandouk, and John Pienta a question on gap years, which boils down to what kinds of gaps are okay according to admissions committees?  Cole reveals his post-med school podcasting plans, and he and John discuss how not getting your residency match can be a GOOD thing…after one is done crying.  And at T’Keyah’s suggestion, we try to offer sex education to each other without using words or concepts banned by state boards of education. Listeners, share your suggestions with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Medical School Secondary Applications: What Do They Want?

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How to Think About Medical School Secondary Applications

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Good lord, she wore him out. Photo by Doug Kline

A listener wants to know more about how best to approach medical school secondary applications.  Given the the turnaround time often recommended (a week), how important are they? Do they need to be as well crafted as your personal statement?  What do schools get out of them?  And are they just a way for schools to extract more money from applicants?  We asked our medical school’s admissions staff for answers to these questions so you can get on with crafting your best possible application.  And JC writes in to say nice things, including that he wants to start his own show when he matriculates this fall.  Go, JC, GO!

This week in science and medicine news

One major destination for patients’ medical dollars is the emergency room visit.  One recent study asks what do docs know about the costs of caring for some common complaints they see in the ER?  Turns out, not much…but when doctors are in charge of knowing the costs of care, is the patient really helped?

Meanwhile, a startup in (where else) California wants to charge $8000 to give old people young blood, because we need more dystopian sci-fi concepts.

And a discussion on the problems people can experience surrounding orgasms reveals something about Kylie that would have made Jim Henson blush.

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We LOVE hearing from you, and we really try to  answer your questions.  If you have something to say or a question to ask, call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Bandwagons, Bicarb, and Broca’s Bitty Bulb

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The Baby Bed Box Bandwagon.

Finnish-style baby box photo
Cutting edge baby sleep technology Photo by myglesias

What is it about public health issues that lends itself to bandwagons? John Pienta, Levi Endelman, Hillary O’Brien, Issac Schwantes, and Jason Lewis discuss Finland’s contribution to parenting, the cardboard box in which babies sleep.  This year, hundreds of thousands of boxes will be given to new parents by US states in an attempt to improve infant mortality rates.  Is that at all helpful, or are we ignoring other causes of death among infants?

This week in science and medicine news

You know things are weird in healthcare when baking soda is in such short supply that hospitals start cutting back on open-heart surgery. And thanks to a certain 19th neuroanatomist’s ideas about the relative sizes of the frontal lobe and the olfactory bulb, we decided that humans have crappy senses of smell…a ‘fact’ that turns out was never tested and is probably not at all true!

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We also heard from listener Mike, who we offended 70 episodes ago.  We’re not entirely sure what we said, exactly, that made Mike give us up after listening to roughly 80 hours of our half-baked opinions, but we always count ourselves fortunate to hear specific negative feedback (and hey, positive feedback is nice, too).  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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You can buy that on Amazon?

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All work and no play…is not what we do.

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If you’re buying this on the internet, you have a job planning for disasters, or there is something wrong with you. There are no in-betweens. Photo by CocteauBoy

Sometimes you’re having so much fun that the time flies by and you forget that you have other important things to do.  That’s what happened on this week’s show, in which Dave brings Aditi Patel, Aline Sandouk, Kylie Miller and Irene Morcuende along for a trip through the medical supplies section of Amazon.  Can they guess what the medical device is based on the reviews alone?

This week in science and medicine news

We did get to talk about one bit of medical news, pointed out to us on twitter by AJtha808Scientist: the fact that Iowa made national news by forcing the closure of 1/4 of its Planned Parenthood clinics.  Thanks for the tip!

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We also heard from Hannah of Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  She wrote in to let us know why, according to the study we discussed in our last show about longevity in US counties, her beautiful corner of the country is so damn healthy.  Spoiler: it doesn’t involve sitting on the couch and eating chips like Dave was hoping.  Listeners, share your suggestions with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Premeds Can Be Science Podcasters, ft. Terel Jackson

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Medical and Premedical students should definitely podcast

A picture of Pre-med Podcaster Terel Jackson
Pre-med Podcaster Terel Jackson

An unstated goal of ours is to show medical learners that podcasting is a beneficial experience for both listeners and hosts,  and we’re always banging on about the need for better science communicators.  So Erin Pazaski, Levi Endelman, Kylie Miller, and Irene Morcuende were recently excited to get an email from Terel Jackson, an OSU premed who said she had gotten the message and started her podcast!  Her show, Health Science (For The Rest of Us), takes “a super practical look at the body, its shenanigans, and the world of fascinating ways we try to keep it healthy.”  Of course, we had to have her on the show to tell us all about her adventures in radiation, body odor, neti pots, and more.  She also has some tips for people who want to make podcasting a part of their journey to medical school and beyond.

This week in science and medicine news

Also, we discuss new research showing how Americans’ lifespans vary widely by up to 20 years from county to county. Plus, the unusual prescription one PA hospital writes to save diabetic patients an average of $24,000 a year.

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Listeners, share your suggestions with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.