Your Romance Could End In Tears, But It Doesn’t Have To!

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Your Relationship Can Endure Med School…If You Plan Ahead.

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Photo by JohnnyLCY

We’re devoting this episode to the perils of love between med students and their non-medical partners.  Despite the clickbait title (don’t hate the player, hate the game), it isn’t destined to end badly!  It just takes lots and lots of patience, communication, and sacrifice, not to mention a plan.  Kelsey Adler, Madeline Slater, Terry Hayes, and new co-host Chris Schanbacher–all married or in committed relationships with people who aren’t medical learners–are ready to offer an anonymous listener advice on keeping love alive with her soon-to-be med student.  Plus, we talk about how med students socialize, how “their persons” can join in some of the more fun bits, and what changes significant others can expect to change about their relationships.

To cap off their hard-earned words of wisdom, Dave decided to see how close his co-hosts and their “persons” really are, with a bit of fun we’re calling The NewlyMed Game.  Will each couples’ answers to Dave’s questions agree?  Will their loving relationships dissolve in acrimony when they disagree?  That’s a chance Dave’s willing to take!


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What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

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Diversity includes disability

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Dr. Marley Doyle is a reproductive psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  She’s also “legally blind”, with 20/400 vision.  She struggled through medical school just like all med students, but with that additional complication.  She made it, however, and her discussion with Aditi Patel and Irisa Mahaparn gives some clues as to why.  First, her disability was invisible which made it easy for people to assume that she wasn’t disabled.  And second, she was naive to the fact that she could ask for help.  In other words, she stumbled through it all and came out the other side without having been a “burden” for her school. Years later, she acknowledges that she could have asked for more help.

We also discuss the technical standards that most schools have in place to define what a student physician should be able to do physically, intellectually, and emotionally to succeed in school.  These standards, however, often seem to be written with a stereotypical disabled person in mind, one who cannot possible succeed because of their disability, and thus should not be in medical school.  We discuss the concept of “assumed competence” which, as  recent CCOM guest lecturer Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami pointed out, allows people with disabilities to show they are able to fulfill their duties as opposed to assuming they cannot.  And we discuss the AAMC’s recent first-of-its-kind report “Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities,” which brought to light the inconsistent policies and procedures for, lack of support of, and lack of awareness many schools have of their legal obligations under the law towards students with disabilities.  And we talk about why med schools that don’t encourage disabled people to apply are missing out on a piece of the diversity puzzle.

Plus, Dr. Doyle helps answer a listener who is lucky enough to have several med school acceptances, and wants to know how to decide among them!  Lucky you, ‘Anxious Premed!’  Don’t worry, we can help.


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Are you living with a disability and discouraged about your med school plans?  Are you in medical school, disabled, and have some advice to offer? Tell us about it by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Get In Next Time: Our Top Recommendations For Fixing Your Application!

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Med school admissions is a numbers game.  Here’s how to increase your chances for the next time.

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If you got only rejection letters this application season, you might be thinking your dreams of attending med school are dead.  Well, pick yourself up off the ground, soldier, it’s not over yet because you can apply again.  But don’t go throwing good money and time away by reapplying without taking a close, honest look at what your application was missing.  Amy A’Hearn, our admissions assistant director, visited to discuss what you should think about when re-evaluating your competitiveness, with the help of Aline Sandouk and Irisa Mahapan.  Don’t give up…find out what Amy’s top recommendations are, and get your dream back on track!

Plus we ask the most important question of all–why do men roll up their pants legs?


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This Week in Medical News

Match week was  great for us here at UI as our students did better than the national average for finding a job after med school.  But all was not perfect this year, as during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), the servers crashed denying unmatched residency programs and applicants critical time to do the same.  In the end, it all worked out…but it was a stressful time for all–but from our viewpoint, especially for SOAPing students!  And it isn’t the first time, either.

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Share your stories–anonymously, if you like–of your rejections and how you fixed it! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Get In Next Time: Our Top Recommendations For Fixing Your Application!

Invent the Future of Medicine, ft. Matthew Howard, MD

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See a problem, solve a problem

Matthew Howard, MD. Professor, Department of Neurosurgery Chair and DEO, John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery

Think of an inventor.  What comes to mind?  The quirky lone genius, coming up with a blockbuster device that will save the world?  The Avengers‘ Tony Stark in a cave throwing together a functional exosuit from scrap metal?  Back to the Future’s Doc Emmet Brown crying “1.21 jigawatts?!” and then immediately coming up with the perfect solution?

Or is it a person like neurosurgeon Matthew Howard, toiling away year after year alongside a team of trusted experts, all working together to take an idea–slowly–from problem to concept to prototypes to product to FDA approval to market to patient?  Dr. Howard was recently named the University of Iowa’s first ever National Academy of Inventors fellow, with 34 patents in his portfolio, so we wanted to take a look at yet another amazing aspect of medicine: the people who define and then create solutions that make the surgical world go ’round.  Some of his inventions succeed–including a way to guide catheters to their destinations using magnetic fields–while others –like the “shunt scissors” he discusses–are waiting to set the surgical world on fire. But to Dr. Howard it’s just a good time.

Also, Dave gives the crew–Aline Sandouk, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Maddie Mix–a pop quiz to see if they can guess the invention from some weird patents.  Some of the quiz’s incorrect answers could be money makers, so feel free to patent them and make a fortune.


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Have you ever had an idea for something and thought, I should patent that?  Like that time Dave thought up an ejection seat for motorcycles? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com and tell us about it.

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Why Med Students Join Medical Societies

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Medical Societies and Associations: Are they Useful for Students?

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Listener Zachary wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask whether it’s useful for students to join medical associations and societies such as the AMA, ACOG, or AAP.  Co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Laura Quast, Hillary O’Brien, and newbie Sophie Williams-Perez offer some things they find useful about their memberships, including staying informed about political positions and the latest research in their fields, as well as for understanding what it means to be a physician.

Listener Oscar about had a heart attack when he read how much money the Carver College of Medicine thinks a first-semester student should budget for additional expenses (aside from tuition and living expenses).  So we asked Financial Aid Counselor Chris Roling to help, and it turns out that this area of the med student budget is real squishy.

Plus, Dave has some mouth spreaders to use up, so he makes his co-hosts deliver made-up diagnoses to fictitious patients with them.  Because that’s educational.


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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

A BMJ article got us talking about whether or not doctors should be crying at work.  And we revisit everyone’s favorite anti-anti-vaccination 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger–who has famously annoyed his mother by getting his vaccinations just as soon as he legally could–after he testified before the US Senate.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you a member of a medical society or organization?  What do you get out of membership?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Why Med Students Join Medical Societies

Second Looks and Fantasy Gap Years

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As CCOM’s second-look day (which we call Get Acquainted Day) approaches,  Aline Sandouk, LJ Agostinelli, Miranda Schene, and Danial Syed discuss the benefits–to both the student and the school–of taking a second look at the schools they’ve been admitted to.  And listener Caven wants us to talk about our fantasy gap years.  Can our co-hosts articulate the benefits of gap year jobs that Dave made up for them?  Spoiler–they sure can.


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This Week in Medical News

UC Berkeley biologists have found a way to genetically engineer brewers yeast so that they pump out dank medicines.  Texas Republican state representative Bill Zedler has some pointless thoughts about why vaccines aren’t needed in the US.  And we discuss what Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers have to offer med students.

We Want to Hear From You

If you could do anything you want–and you can–what would you do during your gap year? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Is Your Previous Career A Strike Against You?

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Admissions committees care most about what you got out of your experiences, less about what exactly they were.

worried photoHere’s a question we get often, in one form or another: will [some aspect of my life to date] hurt my chances for getting into medical school?  Kyle Kinder, Irisa Mahaparn, Aline Sandouk, and Hanna Van Ert are here to reassure listener Rachel that, despite her background in medical malpractice law, she’s going to be fine…if she can articulate what she took away from that part of her life.

Listener Fifi Trixiebell, who you may recall set off the keto wars of 2018 which ultimately led Dave to declare a moratorium on diet related topics, wrote in to apologize (no need, Fifi), and also point out that Iowa is the most America of the states.  Can the co-hosts discern which other states have achieved total-Murica status based on their rankings for bald eagles, fast food, and astronauts?


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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

The Chinese researcher who claimed that he’d genetically engineered two girl infants may have accidentally (or as Dave speculates, purposefully) made them into super-intelligent, super-stroke-recovering humans.  And researchers my have discovered an entirely new form of neural communication.

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Do you need advice? We give it out, whether it’s related to med school or not? Call in your pleas for help to 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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What Research Means for Residency Applications

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Does research mean a whole lot when applying to residency?

research photoListener Nathan called in to the SCP Hotline at 347-SHORTCT to ask how research works for medical students.  Is it necessary? Is it recommended?  How do you find research to do?  Irisa Mahaparn, Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, and newcomer Nadiah Wabba are on hand to discuss the roles of research in med school, how  it can help a residency applications, for which residency applications research is a recommended component, and how it all works.

Also, can the crew figure out what has been censored from medical stock photos?  To play along, here’s the gallery:


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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

Cancer Dogs is a Canadian organization looking to make cancer-smelling dogs a valid screening tool; we discuss whether physicians and med schools discourage med students from pursuing primary care; and as a generation of vaccine deniers’ children comes of age, are they going to defy their antivaxxer parents?

We Want to Hear From You

Is research important to you?  Do you plan to do research in med school or residency? Let us know at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Dr. Mamdouh Aker: Palestinian doctor and human rights activist (Bonus Episode)

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Mamdouh Aker

Dr. Mamdouh Aker is a very big deal in Palestine, the kind of man everyone knows and respects, and it’s easy to see why.  He’s urology surgeon and the deputy chair of the Board of Trustees of Berzeit University in Palestine’s West Bank.  Among the founders of the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners and the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Dr. Aker was also  a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference and in the Palestinian-Israeli bilateral talks between 1991 and 1993. He’s also a member of several councils and committees focused on the health, education, and wellbeing of the Palestinian people.  During his visit to the Carver College of Medicine he spoke to our students and faculty about the state of Palestinian healthcare. He was generous with his time, as he also sat down with med students Shakoora Sabree, Ossama Habu-Halawa, Jordan Harbaugh-Williams, and Joelle Friezen to discuss the topic. Our discussion was near the anniversary of his 45-day ordeal in the custody of Israeli security forces in the early 1990s because of his outspoken views that his Palestinian patients were prevented from receiving adequate healthcare.


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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

The Endocrine Society has new guidelines for how young transgender kids can begin hormone therapy.  And, to the surprise of no nurses at all, nurses in some places have more dangerous jobs than prison guards and police officers.  Be kind to the nurses, doctors.

We Want to Hear From You

To this day, What are reactions to Dr. Aker’s stories? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Dr. Mamdouh Aker: Palestinian doctor and human rights activist (Bonus Episode)

Doubts, Needles, and Measles

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Photo by Dr. Partha Sarathi Sahana

[Buy our podcast merch and help eliminate the stigma of mental illness–your purchase goes to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and you get  a cool tee shirt.  Pick yours up today!]

Listener Jen sent an email to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking M4 Irisa Mahaparn, and M1s Nick Lind and Madeline Slater about the doubts they’ve experienced in their journey through medical education.  Oh, Jen.  The doubts they have experienced!  We discuss them, along with the sources of doubt and how they are learning to overcome them to achieve their goals.  Also, we try to give listener Ryan some ideas about his genetics course assignment.

We also visit the worst place on the internet to get medical advice, Yahoo! Answers, and discover a potential new treatment for desert-based constipation.  All it needs is a good clinical trial and a few not-squeamish human subjects!

This Week in Medical News

As the measles outbreaks in the northwestern US and elsewhere continue, Clark County in Washington has experienced a jump in vaccination rates of 500%, almost as if people are starting to trust science.  Inventors at MIT and Harvard are both working on swallowable injectors, which sounds worse than it is.  And is Wikipedia good enough for med schools to use it in some way?  It depends, of course.

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What are your rejection stories? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Doubts, Needles, and Measles

Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.