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.

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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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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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Self-Doubt and Riding the Ethical Railroad

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Photo by SMU Central University Libraries
One of our podcasting goals is to encourage others to create their own shows, especially medical learners.  So John Pienta, Irisa Mahaparn, Adam Erwood, and Erin Pazaski were pleased to hear from listener Terel, who got it and launched a podcast of her own!  Go, Terel!  Although perhaps she and her fellow pre-meds should (not) consider the path taken by another undergrad, who decided to skip all the pesky applying and test taking and just declare herself a medical student so she could jump right in and start seeing patients.  On the other hand, if you worked hard getting your MD, and made all the sacrifices medical education requires, then getting married to your degree may be something to think about.   As often happens to medical students, Irisa confesses she’s having to learn what to think about herself when she doesn’t get tippy-top grades in her classes…and she worries that if she had to help someone give birth on a train, surely no one aboard would survive.  And Dave offers his co-hosts some practice at answering health questions they might really hear someday, which he pulled from the saddest place on the internet: Yahoo! Answers.  Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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General Haze-pital

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digital artwork by medical student irisa mahaparn
High Noon, by Irisa Mahaparn

Improvisational acting is a greater part of medical school than one might expect.  Between pretending to be doctors for one’s simulated patients,  or acting like you know what you’re doing when you’re not entirely sure, a big part of med ed is faking it until you make it.  So Dave, in his never ending quest to offer (ahem) valuable teaching moments, asks Mark Moubarek, Irisa Mahaparn, Kaci McCleary, and newcomer Johnny Henstrom to put on their masks once again for a game of General Haze-pital.  Will Johnny be cured by the dashing doctor Dr. Mark and his two eager med students, Kaci and Irisa?  Tune in to find out.  Dave is always happy to hang students’ art projects up in the building (over the objections of the architect), and Irisa’s latest work has taken its rightful place on the walls of MERF.  Also, we discuss the recent trend of trying to cure public health issues by using market forces, including the recent proposal to tax prescription opioid manufacturers a penny per milligram to fund addiction treatment and prevention.  And an Indian medical student turns to Whatsapp to deliver a baby on a train…thus fulfilling a heroic daydream we’ve all had about saving the day in dire circumstances.  Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or send your greetings to us at theshortcoats@gmail.comContinue reading General Haze-pital

Real, and Fake, Research Day

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Photo by Arenamontanus

We’ve got a crowd of M1s in the house rapidly approaching the end of their first year.  This past week, Kylie Jade Miller, Levi Endelman, Adam Erwood, and new co-host Irene Morcuende took their physical exam skills practical exam; and they discussed some research they did at the intersections of medical and society–the public health implications of the American-as-apple-pie cycle of  incarceration, the effects of Medicare expansion have had on access to mental healthcare, what happens when substance abuse sufferers are offered clean needle and Narcan, and whether taxing sugary drinks have an effect on obesity.  Dave, seeing an opportunity to torture his co-hosts, put them through a Pop Quiz: can they discern if the research he presents to them is real or from the depths of Dave’s mind? Kylie uses the occasion to let her secret gunner out.  Listeners, we offer free advice!  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email us at theshortoats@gmail.com.

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Consumer Genetic Testing, Marmite for Your Brain, and Counting Human Calories

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Photo by Stewart Black

Dave is no scientist, but he is ‘science-adjacent.’  This week, after having read of research involving the benefits to brain function conferred by Marmite consumption, he conducts his own experiment on SCP hosts John Pienta, Kaci McCleary, Aline Sandouk, and Nathan Miller. Will they be able to use their new Marmite-based powers to pass Dave’s Pop Quiz and identify actual Amazing Health Products You Can Get?  Listener Hannah wants to know all about the medical science training program lifestyle, and how it differs from the MD student experience, and since Aline is an MSTP student herself, Hannah’s in luck.  And 23andMe has finally received approval from the FDA to offer genetic screenings for defects that either one already knows about or that knowing about might do more harm than good.   Listeners, if you like what you hear today, please leave us a review on iTunes!

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Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.