Bonus Episode! Why You Might Want an MD/PhD

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All about Medical Scientist Training Programs

The MD isn’t the only degree offered by many medical schools.  For those who get excited about data, research, and advancing medical knowledge, you can add a Doctor of Philosophy degree.  Of course, there are those who get their PhD separately from their Medicinae Doctor.  Others get their PhDs from combined degree programs, including Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP).

Aline Sandouk and Jayden Bowen took on the topic with a number of first-year MSTP students–why is an MD/PhD something you should consider?  Join them and Ossama Abu-Halawa, Hassan Ahamed, Akansha Jain, Madi Mix, Nate Mullin, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Qi Wang as they reveal reasons you might want to consider this sort of combined degree and the types of programs to choose from.

We Want to Hear From You

What questions do you have about MSTP or MD/PhD programs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Ambien Dreams

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This week, listener Jen sent us an article from JAMA in which the author bemoans his tendency to let the electronic health record (coupled with his data-entry difficulties) dominate his attention at the expense of his ability to really see and empathize with his patients.  The cost: missing clues that indicate a patient’s progressive decline and family dynamics that contribute to the condition.

Meanwhile, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend find themselves chewing on sleeping pill side effects, causing us to wonder–why is Ambien still on the market, unless it’s to create really great slam poetry?  And we practice our teamwork in a mobile game called SpaceTeam, proving perhaps that not all such games make for good podcast fodder–you decide, but don’t @ us, we already know the answer.

This Week in Medical News

Will we see a shift in the standard of care for appendicitis, now that a Finnish study has backed up the mounting evidence that it can often successfully without surgery?  And a study on the high costs of poor healthcare around the world suggests that fixing it will cost 6% of the cost of doing nothing.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have suggestions for what we should talk about on SCP? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Pick your favorite!

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Bonus Episode! Palliative Care: A Perspective from A Land Where It Barely Exists, ft. Dr. MR Rajagopal

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Palliative care is not a thing in India, mostly.

In most of India, palliative care–a medical specialty focused on improving the quality of life of people with life-limiting or disabling diseases–is available to only 1% of people who need it.  But in Kerala, one organization is making lots of headway in promoting this vital specialty.  In this episode, Pallium India’s founder, chairman, and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. MR Rajagopal visited the University of Iowa College of Medicine to talk about their efforts to introduce to Indian providers a new way of thinking about pain and other symptoms by providing emotional, social and spiritual support.

As you might expect from such a practitioner, Dr. Rajagopal is an extraordinarily thoughtful man with a kind, quiet voice that belies what must be an extraordinary force of will needed to accomplish his goals.  Tony Rosenberg, Ellie Ginn, Rachel Schenkel, and Jayden Bowen discussed how he began his journey, what his fellow Indian providers made of these ideas, and what his hopes are for the future of palliative medicine around the world.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you or anyone in your family have experience with palliative care? Tell us about it at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We’d love to hear from you!

Continue reading Bonus Episode! Palliative Care: A Perspective from A Land Where It Barely Exists, ft. Dr. MR Rajagopal

What Skinny Doctors Don’t Get About Their Obese Patients

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Let’s just keep talking about treating obesity

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Photo by rawdonfox

Fifi Trixiebell (not her real name) wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking us to discuss what medical students learn about nutrition, and whether they think the keto diet is just another fad.  Luckily, Madeline Slater, Emma Barr, Kyle Kinder, and newbie Sam Palmer–M1s all–just had a unit on nutrition so that’s an easy one.  But Fifi Trixiebell had written in before, a message which–despite his policy of answering every listener question–Dave had passed over.  Why did he ignore it?  He’s not sure; it was a while back, but it may have triggered him (though, to be clear, it wasn’t Fifi’s fault).  We also discuss an article from HuffPo about the “unique and persistent trauma” doctors visit upon their obese patients.

Plus, with the announcement of the 2018 Ig Nobel Prizes, we cover the weird winners in medicine; and Dave puts his co-hosts to the test on their knowledge of past winners.

This Week in Medical News

Sure, when a person is stressed out, the cortisol and adrenaline circulating in the blood mediate the body’s responses, but what about mitochondrial DNA?  Perhaps your mom really is trying to kill you!

We Want to Hear From You

Have you ever heard from a perfect stranger how to fix your life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Are physicians hopeless in the face of the obesity epidemic?

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Obesity may not be hopeless, but it is very difficult for physicians and sufferers

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Photo by MaAtE

Listener Hannah wrote in after shadowing physicians, noting that many of the morbidly obese patients she observed resisted their doctors’ advice to lose weight.  Is there any hope that doctors can treat this intractable illness when patients don’t “want” to do the work?  Aline Sandouk, Claire Casteneda, Kylie Miller, and newbie Ali Hassan offer their views and what they’ve learned so far about treating this difficult disease.

Also, in Dave’s constant quest to ‘contribute’ to his co-hosts clinical skills, we visit the saddest place on the Internet, Yahoo! Answers, so they can practice their patient education techniques.

This Week in Medical News

Congratulations, Sperm Donor #2757!  You’re the father of 45 girls and boys between the ages of 1 to 21 years old, and your generosity has made things very weird!  And we discuss yet another questionable beauty practice, the vampire facial, which OH COME ON NOW, HOW IS THIS EVEN A THING?

We Want to Hear From You

What are your views on the obesity epidemic…is it hopeless? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Is AOA racially biased?

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Residency applicants get boosted by AOA, but it could be racially biased

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Photo by jurvetson

Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Aditi Patel, and newbie Madeline Slater are on hand to answer listener questions, such as J’s query about the utility of post-bacc programs for med school applicants, and Chelsea’s question about the use of primary literature in medical school curricula.  We also discuss how membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society boosts residency applicants’ competitiveness, and what some schools are doing to ensure they don’t leave out minorities underrepresented in medicine.

Plus, have you considered acquiring a medicine bag of polished stones from everyone’s favorite MD, Gwyneth Paltrow?  With the news that her company GOOP has settled a lawsuit in several states alleging some of their products make questionable health claims, we explore some of the items promoted at their recent convention.

This Week in Medical News

Hospitals are tired of shortages of vital medicines, so some are banding together to make them by forming their own non-profit drug company.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you know anyone who uses GOOP products? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Man Ovens, Shoring Up Weaknesses, and Ditching the MCAT

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Should you fix a bad grade, or concentrate on making your strengths even stronger?

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Photo by Thad Zajdowicz

Activia (not her actual name, though it probably should be. Feel free to take that name, anonymous caller) emailed us at theshorcoats@gmail.com to ask whether she should retake her physics classes (which she took while coping with other unfortunate life-related stuff) or concentrate on getting great grades in other courses.  In addition, she wanted to know if admissions committees REALLY take into account extenuating circumstances?  Well, you’re in luck, Activia!  We’ve got answers from non-traditional first-year students Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Emma Barr; and our friendly admissions staff Dan and Amy chime in, too.

We also play a game of Psych! while Dave tries to use their performance to make judgements about their personalities.  Can he do it?  No he can’t, though he notes with concern Kyle’s suspicious ideas about male anatomical structures  and function.  Too late, Admissions, you said yes!

This Week in Medical News

Facebook has become known as a place where you can find any number of suspicious ideas, but it seems ready to judge so-called alternative health pages as unworthy of its platform.  And we discuss an article that argues the MCAT should no longer be used because of a legal concept called “disparate impact.”

We Want to Hear From You

Have you just started medical school?  What’s been the best and worst parts of your new life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Owning a Visible Disability during Med School Interviews

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Photo by davitydave

On today’s show, we’ll answer a question from listener Victoria about having a feeding tube during med school interviews–should she worry that it will make her look weak and infirm, and thus not a good applicant for med school?  Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, Jayden Bowen, Marissa Evers and Gabe Conley tell her why she should OWN it by not being the first to mention it!  Go Victoria!

Meanwhile, Mark tells us what he did to overcome his sadness in the past year after his wife moved to pursue her own medical education in California while he finishes up at CCOM, and what he’s learned by adopting his new unconventional lifestyle.  Go Mark!

This Week in Medical News

A CNN story about an alleged “medical kidnapping” of an 18-year-old brain aneurysm patient shocked many, but it turns out the story wasn’t as simple as the article made it appear.  And reaction to New York University’s plan to make tuition absolutely free to all medical students forever took the med ed world by storm…but some aren’t buying that it will have the ostensible consequences of lowering the barrier for underrepresented minorities and encouraging more to go into primary care.

We Want to Hear From You

Did NYU’s announcement move it higher on your list of schools to apply to? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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A Crucial Health Professions Pipeline Pt. 2

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More great stuff from the SHPEPers at CCOM

Our visit with pre-health students in the Carver College of Medicine’s Summer Health Professions Education Program continues as co-host Teneme Konne talks with SHPEPers Asjah Coleman, Kirsten Grismer, Ahone Koge and Margaret Mungai.  Before the show, Teneme also visited with two of Iowa City’s homeless population, and gained some insight into their lives as well as the reasons they are living on the streets.

Plus, we play a game of Mafia, SCP style.  Will the hospital administrator, the attending, or the resident escape death? And who is the mystery disease that threatens them all?  Dun, dun, duuuunnnn.

This Week in Medical News

Also, we discuss LGBTQ+ health disparities, and a review of the evidence that criminalizing drug use has negative effects on efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and other illnesses.

We Want to Hear From You

Were you lucky enough to take advantage of a SHPEP program, or are you looking forward to participating in the future? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading A Crucial Health Professions Pipeline Pt. 2

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.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Emily Silverman, MD, and The Nocturnists

Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.