Episode 013: Rising From the Ashes

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Failure is a difficult topic for medical students.  It’s not something they’re used to, after earning undergrad degrees near the tops of their classes, and generally being the smartest people they know.  But science is all about failure.  Scientific experiments, part of the foundation upon which evidence-based medicine rests, fail again and again before they make the discoveries that change our understanding of the world in which we live.

Doctors must make their peace with failure.  Even the best cannot always help those counting on them.  This time on the Short Coat, we got a group of students together to discuss their experiences with failure and what they learned from it. 

Given the sensitive nature of the discussion, everyone was given the opportunity to remain anonymous, and they were cautioned to speak only of their own experiences.  Officials of the Carver College of Medicine reviewed the recording before it was released to ensure that no student’s right to confidentiality was violated.

Listen:  Episode 013: Rising From The Ashes

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 012: Dr. Mansoor Ali Khan, Clubfoot, and The Ponseti Method

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Clubfoot is a congenital deformity of the foot, and affects between 150,000 and 200,000 babies each year worldwide. Extensive surgery was once the standard of care for clubfoot, improving the appearance of the foot but resulting in poor mobility and pain in midlife. Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, a Univeristy of Iowa Physician, pioneered what has become known as the Ponseti method. It involves manipulation of the newborn’s feet via casting and splinting, and has replaced surgery as the standard of care.
While the Ponseti Method doesn’t involve expensive surgeries or equipment, it does require detailed knowledge of both the anatomy of the foot and the method itself. In the case of clubfoot, the key to a cure is the education of physicians. Easy enough in the US and other developed countries. But 80% of cases occur in the developing nations, and most babies are left untreated or receive substandard care. it is difficult for physicians there to get the information they need to perform the method correctly.

To date, spreading the Ponseti Method involved visits by physicians from the developed world to the developing world to teach and perform the method. But Carver College of Medicine student Asitha Jayawardena’shealthcare experiences in South America lead him to the notion that educating one leader on the topic would allow them to spread the method among his colleagues in a culturally appropriate manner. At his urging, The American Medical Student Association created the Ponseti Scholairship to help spread the technique.

Recently, Asitha sat down with Dr. Mansoor Ali Khan, an orthopaedic surgeon from The Indus Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, and the Ponseti Scholarship’s first beneficiary, to talk about Khan’s experiences at the University of Iowa as he learns more about the Ponseti Method.
 
Listen:  Dr. Mansoor Ali Khan, Clubfoot, and The Ponseti Method

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 011: Medical Student Syndrome

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Medical Student Syndrome is a common problem for students.  In 1998 Howes and Salkovskis noted that “medical students frequently develop fears and symptoms of illness. This has been termed medical student’s disease, nosophobia, hypochondriasis of medical students, and medicalstudentitis.”  They cited older studies which concluded that 70% of med students have ‘groundless medical fears’ during their training, and that 78% had a history of medical student disease.   They surveyed students at Oxford University and found that medical students were less aware of bodily sensations or changes and experienced a lower perception of the risk of illness.  They also were more likely to think that treatment for their illnesses would be effective.

Nevertheless, medical student syndrome is something that students do experience.  We got together with a group of students to talk about their own health anxieties.

Listen: Medical Student Syndrome

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 010: Delivering High-Quality Healthcare in Poor Countries, With Dr. Paul Farmer

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Recently, the University of Iowa was lucky enough to get a visit from Dr. Paul Farmer. Farmer, a medical anthropologist and physician, is a founding director of Partners In Health, an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and has undertaken research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. Dr. Farmer is the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School; chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and the United Nations deputy special envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.

Farmer and his colleagues in the United States and in Haiti, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, Lesotho and Malawi have pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings.

The medical students were able to get some time with Dr. Farmer for a little Q&A on the challenges he and Partners in Health face when working in such settings.

Listen:  Delivering High-Quality Healthcare in Poor Countries, With Dr. Paul Farmer

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 009: A New Semester

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Classes have just started again at the college, and that means a new class of students has joined us for what promises to be a whirlwind of a semester.  Over the next few weeks, students will be adjusting to the new demands placed on them by this intense experience we call medical school.  We’ll hear from some first years, who we caught up with during the college’s Annual Student Organization Fair, about their concerns about their new lives. Then, we’ll take note of the sizable portion of medical students who might not have studied the sciences before.  How will they get through the massive amounts of very unfamiliar information heaped upon them?  We gathered together a group of these so-called non-traditional students to talk about their experiences coming into medical school. Finally, we’ll hear a new feature on the show—the Medical Student Government update. Photo by Rosefirerising

Listen: http://podcast.uiowa.edu/com/osa/009ANewSemester.mp3

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 008: Off the Hook On the Cheap

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Medical school is expensive, as everyone knows. The Association of American Medical Colleges tells us that annual tuition and fees at state medical schools in 2010-2011 averaged $25,000 for in-state residents and $48,000 for non-residents. Out of state residents at private medical schools paid even more, and these figures don’t include living expenses and housing.

Fortunately, there are lots of sources of financial aid available; but it’s important to take care with your discretionary spending while you’re in medical school so that you don’t graduate with unmanageable debt. Which brings up the question: how can you have live your life and have fun while you’re in medical school? In this episode of The Short Coat, financial aid counselor Penny Rembolt talks with students Molly Calabria, Priyanka Rao, Tyler Gunn, and Will Zeitler about their methods for saving money while having a good time in medical school.

Listen:  Episode 008: Off the Hook On the Cheap

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 007: Medic Mobile brings Technology to Healthcare in Developing Countries

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Josh Nesbit is the executive director of Medic Mobile, a mobile technology company that looks for ways to connect and coordinate health systems with mobile networks. In other words, they use open-source and readily available technology to, as they say on their website http://medicmobile.org, create connected, coordinated health systems that save more lives. Second Year medical student Asitha Jayawardena spoke with Josh recently about what Medic Mobile does.

Listen: Episode 007:  Medic Mobile brings Technology to Healthcare in Developing Countries

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 006: Distinction tracks – a way to keep your outside interests alive

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Medical school is all about science, right? That’s true, but a healthy percentage of med students come from non-science backgrounds. Philosophy, art, English, education and foreign language majors, to name a few.

Opportunities do exist within one’s medical education to pursue those interests. Many schools, including the Carver College of Medicine, offer four tracks, allowing students to get recognition for research, humanities, teaching and/or service. Recently, we sat down with a group of students and track directors to hear more about how tracks work and how they can benefit students.

Listen: Episode 006: Distinction Tracks – a way to keep your outside interests alive

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 005: How Drug Companies Influence Doctors

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Drug companies save lives and improve the quality of those lives.  But these business are also trying to profit from their activities.  Second-year med student Amy Young talks with PharmedOut director and founder Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, about the tactics drug companies use when selling pharmaceuticals to doctors.  According to her, drug companies are using some pretty sneaky tactics to exert subtle pressure on doctors, who in many cases aren’t aware of how those methods influence their subscribing habits.

Listen:  Episode 005: How Drug Companies Influence Doctors

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Episode 004: Relationships in Medical School.

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This time, a show that happened sort of accidentally. We usually like to have more than one segment per show, but our recording of our advice column, The Short Couch with Natalie Ramirez, kind of…went long. More importantly, thanks to guests Jenna LeRoy, Derreck Fenchel and Jeff Cagley and Shortcoats host Jane Viner, it went kind of hilarious. So we decided it was a show all by itself.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Broadcasts from the amazing and intense world of medical school.