Executive Producer Jason has kindly let Dave go on vacation, so Aline Sandouk takes over the hot seat, with Irisa Mahaparn, Hillary O’Brien, Elizabeth Shirazi, and Jayden Bowen. Together they unravel the mysteries of the human body and med school. For instance, why do med students feel guilty about having to take time off to deal with their bed bug infestations? And what would having many normal or two overly large testicles do to fertility? Such brilliant questions!!!
While Dave and the crew try a recipe from the Med School Success Cookbook, they consider listener Imari’s question: how much did co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Eric Schnieders, Gabe Conley, and Irisa Mahaparn think about money when choosing a medical school? While it’s important to know what your financial standing will be when you graduate, including your loans and how they’re affected by scholarships and living situation, we think there are more important things to think about. And Maggie has noticed many med schools have co-ed fraternities and wants our thoughts on their benefits for students. Happy to help explore this interesting and fun possibility for lowering costs, sharing responsibilities, and joining a new med school fam, Maggie!
This Week in Medical News
Now that the Large Hadron Collider has finished tearing a hole in the universe, researchers are using the technology in its subatomic particle detectors to create 3D color x-rays. And CRISPR-Cas9 has proved to be an excellent tool for editing genomes…and also tearing them up and spitting them back out with all kinds of errors and random deletions. Perhaps the honeymoon is over!
And no, that’s not the three stages of your med school application.
’tis the season to be applying to medical school. Which is why we got so many listener questions to address on this episode (thank you!) Listener Magnus wanted suggestions for how to prepare for MMI and regular admissions interviews, so we invited our resident experts, Amy A’Hearn (from CCOM med student admissions) and Tom O’Shea (from CCOM physician assistant admissions, for his experience with MMI interviews) to help out. They, along with Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Marc Moubarek and new co-host Shakoora Sabree, also answered questions from listeners Cameron and Sarah about whether opening up about personal/political views and sexual orientation is okay on applications and in interviews. And listener Jake wanted to know how med students learn to cope with death.
In reference to Sarah’s question on being open about sexual orientation in your application, we weren’t able to find out how many med students identified as LGBTQ+ in the US, but we did note that many prospective students are reluctant to disclose their identification for fear of discrimination.
Listener Amari returns to ask Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Tony Rosenberg and Mark Moubarek–what do they think of med school YouTubers? Is it advisable to broadcast your life during med school in an age when everything you do online has a permanent risk associated with it? Of course, there are some recommendations for residency program directors in searching social media for candidates’ info.
Next up, Jordan is looking for advice on great pre-med activities that will teach him as well as look great on his application. And Richard is both shy and working in a lab, and he’s worried that it will be difficult for him to make connections with doctors for things like shadowing.
We Want to Hear From You
Have you ever regretted your social media footprint professionally? What pre-med activities would you recommend to Jordan? How can Richard break out of his shell? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email email@example.com. Do all three!
Your Med School Application is Too Important to Rush
Listener Hanna wrote in to ask an important question: is it better to apply this year despite possibly ending up in the second tier of applicants due to a late MCAT score, or should she just wait until next year? Good question, Hannah! Aline Sandouk, Irisa Mahaparn, Tony Rosenberg, and admissions counselor Dan Schnall (in absentia) have the answer.
Another listener, Amari (and we hope we’ve spelled that right), phoned in to the Short Coats Hotline to find out if there is a medical school equivalent to the infamous Freshman 15 many undergrads suffer through, and if so, what she could do about it when she starts her journey in medical education.
Med students aren’t, in general, known for being good liars; they tend to be a pretty ethical bunch. But perhaps they suspend their morality enough to fool each other with lies about their time in medical school. We’ll see about that, as they play Two Truths and a Lie.
Researchers discover what might be a vaccine to treat diabetes…and it’s already in use around the world, though not in the US. And the US Supreme Court ‘s decision to uphold the most recent version of Trump’s travel ban won’t hurt patients seeking medical attention at all, unless they need a geriatrician, nephrologist, cardiologist, internist, critical care specialist, nurse, medical technician…hmm, that seems like rather a lot.
We love when listeners get in touch, which is why Dave was glad to hear from Adil who, after listening to our discussion of the new national Right-To-Try legislation, sent us a paper he wrote on the subject the year before. It really helped clear some things up that we weren’t sure of. Like the fact that it doesn’t actually do anything to help patients get faster access to experimental drugs, has a kind of informed consent problem, allows patients to further conflate research with therapy, and more.
And with thousands of new medical students poised to matriculate this fall, Dave and co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Kylie Miller, and Amy Hanson try out a new awkward icebreaker activity to see if it has some utility for new student orientations.
This Week in Medical News
The Trump administration walks back their recent decision to claw back money earmarked for fighting epidemics around the world. Back home, St. Louis University opens an influenza hotel. And the function of REM sleep finally revealed…maybe.
We Want to Hear From You
What do you most want to find out during your upcoming med school orientation? Are you nervous? Are you excited? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Routines Do Medical Students Find Helpful When Drinking from the Firehose?
Listener Meghan is about to start med school in the fall, and is thinking about what sort of regular habits medical students like Aline Sandouk, Tony Rosenberg, and new co-host Jayden Bowen use to keep them on track. Not only do we look at some routines they use (and debate whether they’re even helpful), but we also have a suggested routine for the new student.
What Every New Medical Student Needs to Know about The ‘Dean’s Letter.’
And Dave, who’s begun writing dean’s letters (or ‘Medical Student Performance Evaluations’) for students who will be looking for jobs this year, has some sobering news for his co-hosts: they are, themselves, already writing them. Dave thinks most first-year medical students have never heard of this important document, nor do they know what will be in it…and how it could help or hinder their efforts to land that plum residency.
This Week in Medical News
Dermatologists are less accurate in diagnosing melanomas than the stupidest artificial intelligence…but don’t cancel your derm dreams yet. Meanwhile, patients get the ‘right to try‘ from the Trump administration…but is bypassing the slow FDA approval process almost completely a good idea, or will the bad actors in medicine end up lining their pockets on the hopes of their desperately ill patients?
We Want to Hear From You
What are your med school routines? Did your school read you in on the MSPE when you started? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email email@example.com. Do all three!
Spoiler alert: don’t “prepare” during the summer before you arrive at medical school.
Listener Amanda is like many medical students–anxious and worried. In her case, she wonders if she won’t be as prepared for med school as her classmates when she starts in the fall, because they are “ahead” of her due to their experience and former careers. We’ve got you, Amanda: Aline Sandouk, Hillary O’brien, Erik Kneller, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe are here to help.
Also, which of our hosts are on team Yannie or Laurel? It doesn’t matter, because Dave did some sophisticated analysis and discovered something about the morphing audio clip that has the internet arguing again.
Do you have a question we can help answer? Do you need advice? We’re giving away answers for free (along with SCP key fobs)! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Short Coat Podcast keyfob giveaway is still happening! Post the show somewhere on the internet where pre-med and med students hang out, and email a screenshot to email@example.com, and we’ll send you one with our thanks!
Our own Claire Castaneda won first place in the Carver College of Medicine’s Carol A. Bowman Creative Writing Contest for Medical Students, and her piece caught Dave’s eyes and heart. She talks with Aline Sandouk, Melissa Chan, and Tony Rosenberg about the dynamics of family strife and the pressure they can exert to follow one career path over another. Meanwhile, Aline expresses her feelings on being left behind by her original classmates as she continues her MD/PhD studies.
Med school interview season is coming! Can we help you with your med school admissions question? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Do all three!
How to Think About Med Schools’ Primary Care Statistics
Listener Lavender BloodPoison (not their real name) sent us a message saying they were impressed by CCOM’s Primary Care residency match statistics. And while many schools that serve states like ours do love primary care, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics,” as the saying goes. How should one interpret match statistics in light of the fact that many who appear to match in primary care will go on to specialize after their first year residency? Lisa Wehr, Teneme Konne, Aline Sandouk, Amy Young, and Kaci McCleary are here to drop some truths about the so-called “Dean’s Lie” (less a lie as much as it is a truth that doesn’t tell the whole story).
Also, Meldor returns to give us an update (congratulations, Meldor!), though we mourn losing her to another school. So we console ourselves by dishing on the medical scientist training program lifestyle.