A Stitch In Time Saves Swine.

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proverb photoTwo questions this week from Short Coats!  Listener Luis wrote in to ask what books co-hosts Hillary O’Brien, Kylie Miller, Emma Barr and newbie Sahaana Arumugam consulted to find their paths.  And Mia wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com to find out more about MS/DO or MS/MD programs and what they look for in their applicants.  And can we find patient-care uses for weird proverbs?  No, we can’t.  But it was fun to try.


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This Week in Medical News

This week Dave learned about “The Husband Stitch” much to his disgust.  North Dakota physicians no longer have to lie to their patients about drug-induced abortions; and long-ignored African DNA is finding its way into gene banks courtesy of a Nigerian health tech startup.

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Continue reading A Stitch In Time Saves Swine.

Too Idealistic for Medicine?

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Photo by JeepersMedia

Fourth-year students David Rudolph and Chandini Reddi join co-hosts Brendan George and LJ Agistonelli to answer listener Krista’s question–a self-confessed “loud mouth” with radical thoughts about how she’d like to practice medicine one day.  Can she bring those ideals to life, or will she be drummed out of medicine.  Are there other, related careers that might allow her to achieve her goals even better?  We’ve got you, Krista!

Plus, Dave asks David and Chandini what they learned from watching their Medical Student Performance Evaluation take shape before it gets sent off to residency programs they’re applying to.


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This Week in Medical News

Weill Cornell joins the list of schools offering med school for free (to some).  Napping is good for you,  up to a point.  And skeletons aren’t just scary during Halloween–they seem to be part of the fight-or-flight response in a rather big way.

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So, how are you? Tell us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Get to Know the Nurse, Save Yourself from Grief

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Medicine is a team sport

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Writing your residency application personal statement is easy! Photo by jenna.kaminsky

A cliche, but true.  Because without the nurses (and other people) doing their jobs to help the doctor, the doctor can’t do nuthin’–no IVs, no regular BP checks, no comfortable patients, no monitoring while they’re home sleeping, no nothing.  Listener Amber stops by to ask what med students learn about nurses and how to work with them. M4s Hillary O’Brien and Kylie Miller and new M1 co-hosts Jessica De Haan and Greta Becker are happy to help, because nurses are the spine and a big portion of the central nervous system of medicine.  And Fifi Trixiebell returns, craving med school war stories.  Also, Hillary and Kylie discuss the residency personal statements they wrote and where they sought help.


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Do you have war stories to share? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime to tell us.  We’ll play them for Fifi (and whoever else is listening).

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Terms and Conditions Apply

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Mothers Want To Know

rooster photoCo-host and MD/PhD student Miranda Schene is a woman who has obviously been raised well.  So when her mother, Ginny, wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking about the surprises med school had in store for this week’s gang, Dave–who also loves his mother–couldn’t very well say no!  M1 Nathen Spitz and M2 Jenna Mullins, along with new co-host M1 Bryn Myers join in to give Mama Ginny the deets.

Plus Dave asks if his co-hosts can find and supply doctors’ testimonials for some As-Seen-On-TV products.


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

This Week in Medical News

The plight of a Colorado prisoner sheds more light on the abysmal healthcare incarcerated mothers-to-be get.  And some interesting case studies show why it might not be a good idea to keep roosters in your backyard if you have varicose veins; and what a diet of chips, fries, and sausages can do to your eyes.

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What are your favorite case studies? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Dave can’t get enough!

Continue reading Terms and Conditions Apply

Medicine Has a DARK Past

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Some of the most important contributions to knowledge have come at a terrible price

good and evil photoThe BBC featured a story on their site about an anatomy atlas that was created by a Nazi doctor, and the images within are those of hundreds of dissected political prisoners.  The very conditions in Hitler’s concentration camps may have been among the reasons why these illustrations are so detailed.  It is a terrible piece of work.  This book, now out of print for decades, is still on the shelves of surgeons and consulted (if rather furtively) when they run out of other options.  But new co-hosts Morgan Kennedy, Nathen Spitz, Margurite Jakubiak, along with M2 Madeline Cusimano,  have to ask–can its vast utility outweigh it’s evil origins?  Short Coats, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Plus the gang visits Yahoo! Answers to practice their patient-communication skills, sort of.


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This Week in Medical News

Pharmaceutical giants Johnson & Johnson and Purdue Pharma were both in the news recently as opioid manufacturers who will be paying millions for their roles in the opioid epidemic.  And a study suggests intermittent fasting (a practice in some religions but also a method of dieting) may be effective at limiting inflammation for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

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Send us your thoughts on today’s topics!!! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.comContinue reading Medicine Has a DARK Past

Elders Need Docs Who Understand Them (ft. Louise Aronson, MD)

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Elders are not just sickly adults.

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Louise Aronson, MD, author of Elderhood.

Ours is an aging society, and as the populations skews older, medicine has begun to realize that treating elder patients isn’t the same as treating adults or children.  Treating the conditions of older people means that clinicians have to understand them in ways that go beyond diseases and drugs.  Hence, the science of geriatrics.  Dr. Louise Aronson is a geriatrician and the author of Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life (Bloomsbury 2019).  It’s a beautifully written book the focuses on the stories of our elders and what they can teach us about their needs both biological and psychological.  Among the things co-hosts Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, Mason LaMarche and Nick Lind learned:

  • Older people respond in unpredictable ways to medications.  Often the work of a geriatrician is to ‘deprescribe’ medicines that are hurting them.
  • Never undervalue the things that are important to elders just because they aren’t medicines or procedures.  If the patient needs something from their doctor that increases their success in life, then it’s important.
  • Recognizing when you as a doctor are doing things for you, vs. when you’re doing things for your patient is important.
  • Older people are no longer beyond help simply due to age.  With the right training and an in-depth understanding of the science of aging, huge gains can be made in treating the serious disorders of elderhood.
  • American medicine’s concept of “the Good Death” (aka, dying at home surrounded by loved ones) isn’t a given for elders.  Understanding what elders want, rather than subscribing to some monolithic idea, is important.

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Are you considering geriatrics, and why?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Slipping On The Short Coat

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The first step in med school

The Carver College of Medicine held its 25th annual White Coat Ceremony at Hancher Auditorium for first-year students beginning their medical education at Iowa on Friday, August 16, 2019

Ceremonies are important.  If you’re like Dave, you think they’re a bit of a pain–you have to dress up and keep a straight face.  But as a bit of (lengthy) symbolism, they do have their place, and the White Coat Ceremony is no exception.  Maddie Mix and Aline Sandouk reflect on their White Coat Ceremonies and what it meant to them to be standing up in front of those they admired, respected, and loved, and promised to essentially selflessly give their lives to medicine in return for admiration, respect, and love of their own.

Of course, since Aline got kicked out of Cedar Rapids’ Paramount Theater for using her cell phone by a very angry usher, I guess that respect and love she can expect from others will only go so far.  It makes a good story, though, and was totally offset by a bit of feedback she got from a listener.  Remember–you can send questions or feedback to theshortcoats@gmail.com!  We love it!


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This Week in Medical News

Another month, another new organ no one’s EVER noticed before.  Ebola gets a new, very promising treatment.  And the ongoing reproducibility crisis in research gets another look, this time from a study in the BMJ that looks at authors’ use of “spin.”

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As we begin the next admissions cycle, we offer free advice!  How can we help? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime,  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Think Ahead to Save Your Soul

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Why med students should think ahead about their response to unethical requests

dilemma photoBrandon Bacalzo and Angeline Vanle join the team as incoming medical students. Luckily for them they have the chance to put questions about med school to M2 Nick Lind and M3 Brady Campbell, including how to find the new study habits they’ll need to succeed.

Ethical objections to a controversial practice in medical education have been simmering for a while, so we discuss how medical students should prepare for potential dilemmas that may occur during their training.  And Dave is snared by clickbait yet again–because who wouldn’t want to know more about how tickling elders could keep them young?  And are there other kinds of stimulation we should study to cure disease?


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You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

This Week in Medical News

Artificial intelligence is always fun, so we try out an app that measures your stress level, pulse, and (one-day) your blood pressure just by looking at your face.

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What are (were) you thinking about when you started medical school?  Did your hopes and fears pan out?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Think Ahead to Save Your Soul

Cracking Open the Firehose

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A select group of students is introduced to med ed

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Photo by digitizedchaos

For those who have been out of the student game for a while, or who feel they need a little extra time to get acclimated to the fast pace of medical education, there are programs like our Intro to Medical Education at Iowa. Whatever an individual school calls it, these programs can act as a bridge between your life before med school to the rigours of learning medicine.  On this episode that Dave forgot to release a while back because he went on vacation, we meet pre-M1s in our program,  Nicole Lacina, Timothy Morris, and Alec James.  They and their teaching assistant, regular co-host Jacob Chrestensen are here to have some fun and describe what it’s like to crack the firehose with this program instead of taking it full in the face.

Plus, Dave’s unreasonable susceptibility to clickbait leads him to make up a new game.  Can the co-hosts get him to click on their article with their crazy headlines?  Yes.   Yes, they can.


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You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

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Are you starting med school this fall? What did you do to prepare yourself? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Recess Rehash: Advice for your first clinicals: slow your roll.

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[Dave’s vacation continues, so here’s a rerun to keep you occupied.  New show next week!]

Can you trust MSAR?

When listener Caven wrote in asking why CCOM graduates don’t include hardly any specialists and why they all seemed to be going into primary care, Dave was puzzled.  While it’s true that a state school like ours, serving a rural part of the country, emphasizes primary care, he knew that not ‘everyone’ goes into primary care.  On further questioning, it turns out Caven’s info came from the Medical School Application Requirements (MSAR) tool on the AAMC website!  What was going on?  Dave sought help from his friends in Admissions, and it turns out that MSAR doesn’t tell the whole story…and aspiring med students have to dig deeper.

Also, Dave asks his co-hosts Matt Wilson and Tony Mai, both rising M4s, to give their advice for those starting clinical rotations.  And they help Aline Sandouk and LJ Agostinelli answer some of Yahoo! Answers most probing health questions.


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

This Week in Medical News

There’s good news in med school diversity–the number of students underrepresented in medicine is on the rise.  A paper in Nature Microbiology says the authors have found an easy and economic way to convert A and B red blood cells to type O cells, the universal donor type.  And a study in JAMA notes that patients of surgeons who behave unprofessionally around their colleagues have more complications.  Plus, cell phone horns are probably not a thing.

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What’s questions can we answer for you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Advice for your first clinicals: slow your roll.

Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.