Tag Archives: covid-19

“Preference Signaling” –the Future of Applications?

Share

Preference Signaling Tokens may be a way to combat over-applying for residencies, but the schemes have a ways to go yet before they’re ready for prime time.

Dear Residency Program: I love you. Do you love me? Check YES or NO!!!

Dave noticed something he’d never heard of before: a company offering ‘tokens’ (for a fee) that could be used by residency program applicants to signal their love for particular programs.  The general idea is to combat the common applicant strategy of applying to as many residency programs as possible to be sure  the applicant gets a match.  While this strategy is quite reasonable from the individual applicant’s perspective, it causes problems for both programs and the general body of applicants because those extra applications flood programs with candidates that may not actually be interested. 

Then he found out that the Otolaryngology Program
Directors Organization will be doing something similar, and Aline Sandouk, Eric Boeshart, Emma Barr, and Nicole Lacina explore a analysis of who wins and who looses in such a scheme.  

Plus Dave creates an educational game to help students plan how they’ll react to common odd situations.  And by educational, he clearly meant “educational.”

We Want to Hear From You

Do you think Preference Signalling is a good idea? What if medical schools adopts the idea?  Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a kick to hear from you!

A COVID Puzzle in a Rural Iowa Community

Share

Why was the Hispanic population in Clarion, Iowa seeing so many more infections?

Wright County Courthouse, Clarion, Iowa. Photo by Brandonrush (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

Dr. Michael McLoughlin, internist at Clarion Clinic, was puzzled. Why were 95% of the patients who showed up with novel coronavirus infections Hispanic? And what interventions would best help his community?

Meanwhile, M2 Abby Walling was looking for a summer project centering on health disparities after her overseas global health experience was cancelled.

Global Health Programs Director Robin Paetzold knew them both (Dr. McLoughlin graduated from CCOM in 2013), and helped get them together to find answers and develop solutions. M4 Sophie Williams-Perez, M2 Ananya Munjal, and M4 Marisa Evers sat down to talk to Abby and Dr. McLoughlin to discuss what they found.

As a bonus, Dr. McLoughlin discusses his life as a rural medicine practitioner in his town of 3,000.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

When Doctors Do Harm ft. Danielle Ofri, MD

Share

Hippocrates set a high bar.

A portrait of Dr. Danielle Ofri, Author of When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error

Dr. Danielle Ofri–NYU professor of medicine, Bellevue Hospital internist, and author of great renown–joined us this time to talk about her new book, When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error.  Examining medical errors is a something all good physicians do–sometimes on a stage in front of their colleagues but often surreptitiously. However, “mistakes were made” simply isn’t acceptable to most patients and lawyers. Meanwhile, the shame felt by practitioners who make mistakes is not only unhelpful but hinders their development and can contribute to burnout and depression.   Because of the consequences of shame are so dire, Dr. Ofri argues in her book that confronting mistakes in a humane, understanding, and open fashion is vital. 

Not many years ago, a headline grabbed her attention:  medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States.  How can that be? she wondered.  If people were dying at that rate, wouldn’t physicians have noticed this earlier?  Of course, it turns out that the story of medical error is much more complicated than that headline would lead one to believe, and set Dr. Ofri on the path to this latest book.  Join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M4 Marisa Evers, M2 Jessica De Haan, and M4 Anne Nora for this discussion on the sources of error, the causes, and the ways to understand and learn from the inevitable.

We also discuss her and her colleagues’ experiences fighting COVID-19 in New York City and learning about the disease in real time.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

Recess Rehash: Is Academic Medicine Right For You?

Share

Photo by simpleinsomnia

[SCP has been given a week off–thanks, pandemic/economic collapse!  We’ll be back next week, but here’s a pre-pandemic rerun to enjoy.]

Academic medicine–in which a physician works at a university and may have research and/or teaching duties in addition to patient care–is but one of the fulfilling options available to medical students.  What’s that lifestyle like?  That’s the question an anonymous listener (who we’ll call Dr. Piledhigh Erandeeper) wanted our help answering. Fortunately we have Miranda Schene and Sahaana Arumugam (both in our Medical Scientist Training Program, so they know a thing or two about academic medicine) on hand to tell us–including co-hosts M1 Brandon Bacalzo and M2 Mason LaMarche–what they know about this career option.

Plus Dave puts his co-hosts through a game of Doctor Forehead, featuring some of the more interesting oddball medical stories he ran across prepping for this week’s show (see the next section for those links).

This Week in Medical News

The President’s new budget could be another nail in the coffin for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.  Mayo applicants get acceptance letters that the institution later had to rescind, causing one of the disgruntled victims to create a crowdfunding campaign.  And if you’re in the market for “global elite” DNA, then…well, you’ve already missed your chance.  And from our game:

We Want to Hear From You

Is there a MD career niche you want to know more about? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Is Academic Medicine Right For You?

AAMC ‘s VITA interview tool…is it Really Vital?

Share

Listener Soma let us know that the AAMC has released an interview app for medical schools to collect videos of applicants answers to some standard questions. Their website says the tool addresses the needs expressed by its member schools during the upcoming interview season. Soma wondered, what do we think?

Of course, that no matter what we think, it seems like applicants will probably have to do it anyway. But M2s Mariam Mansour, Greta Becker, Kayla Kruse and Nikitha Pothireddy are on hand to consider. Hmm…what DO we think of a new item for applicants to put on their to-do list in order to apply to medical school? What DO we think of a set of what appear to be screening questions that could be asked in some other interview format, such as a live virtual interview? What DO we think of a tool which seems to add another item to med schools’ to-do list? What DO we think of a tool which seems at a glance to be similar to another tool that was tried and cancelled for Emergency Medicine residency applications due to lack of interest from programs and applicants?

Also, in light of a surge of COVID-19 cases that seem to be driven by young people eager to discard social distancing and masks to hang out with their buds in bars, we discuss the fairness of asking a screening question during interviews about whether the applicant has been doing the right thing to protect others.

This Week in Medical News

The first person to be treated for sickle cell disease with CRISPR in the US has gotten great news. On the other hand, investigators using fMRI to look at brain function have gotten some bad news.

We Want to Hear From You

Obviously, our discussion on questioning applicants on their bar-hopping habits might have other viewpoints we didn’t cover. What did we miss? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

What med students do when they don’t know the right answer

Share

It feels risky to be wrong…here’s how to get used to that

question photo
Photo by sk8geek

[Don’t forget to share the show with your friends and family–send a screenshot of the share to theshortcoats@gmail.com to get a free thank you gift from Dave!]

The Socratic method–teaching using questions–is a big part of medical education. It’s also often a big adjustment that medical students have to make when arriving at med school. Why is this method so important to med school profs, and how do you get comfortable speaking up in front of everyone when you know you’ve got no idea? Short Coats Emma Barr, Nick Lind, Holly Conger, and Tim Maxwell have all been there!

Also, since Dave is a news junky, he has the gang play a headline mashup game. Come along as we find out the controversial views of a professor about the function of bones!


Buy Our Merch and Support The Show

Do something nice for us!  We deserve it?

This Week in Medical News

In the race to re-establish supply lines in the midst of the pandemic, The White House paid the Texas company $7.3 million for test tubes which turned out to be unformed soda bottles. And fears of out-of-control coronavirus transmission due to BLM protests fizzles.

We Want to Hear From You

Have a question we can answer? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s how this show is YOUR show!

The Right (and Wrong) Ways to Get Help with Your Application

Share
bald man photo
Photo by desbyrnephotos

[Once again, our circumstances force us to endure mild sound quality issues. Sorry, but that’s round-table podcasting in the pandemic age. You’ll be alright.]

We got some lovely responses back from listeners of last week’s show (in which we discussed racism in America and in medicine), including a most important one from Cachae on the best ways to talk to your black friends about racism (hint–it’s not asking them to educate you).

And Cam wanted to know whether he could ask an admissions office member for feedback on his primary application before he submits it instead of getting a rejection after. Wouldn’t it be more efficient?

And Dave and his co-hosts–Abby Fyfe, Nick Lind, Madeline Cusimano, and newb Holly Conger–exercise their minds with a game of Would You Rather.


Buy Our Merch and Support The Show

Do something nice for us!  We deserve it?

This Week in Medical News

Science made Dave mad again, with a study on how bald men are more susceptible to poor outcomes from COVID-19 because of the androgens that make them bald–except they didn’t control for one itty-bitty variable! And that study of hydroxychloroquine that found that it’s more deadly than other treatments, thus halting trials around the world? Turns out we shouldn’t trust it much.

We Want to Hear From You

So, how’s it going? Do you even read these questions down here? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

Timing a peace-corps gap year, and Racism and Medicine

Share
black lives matter photo
Photo by Fibonacci Blue

A group of public professionals, infectious disease professionals and community members are pushing back on the common perception that #BLM protests will unnecessarily exacerbate the pandemic. This news leads to a discussion of racism in America. NB: The discussion should speak for itself, but this is the age of internet outrage. So we acknowledge that when it comes to talking about racism in America, there are few better ways to go wrong than by doing so with a room full of white people. And yet, a handful of white people on a podcast that’s minimally planned is what we had to work with in the moment. We hope we got it mostly right, and whatever we didn’t, we hope that your feedback will be in the spirit in which the discussion took place–heartfelt, sincere, and with an eye towards a future free of white fragility, fear, and especially marginalization.

But before all that, we were blessed with listener question from Kayla, who’s looking forward to some gap years in the Peace Corps. What should she do about the resulting timing problem that creates for her future medical school application?


We Want to Hear From You

So, in our discussion on racism, what did we get wrong, and what did we get right? Express your constructive criticism at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

the activities Admissions Committees Love to See

Share
hangnail photo
Whatever will the neighbors think?! Photo by Teresa Trimm

Logan wrote in to comment on what we call ‘box-checking,’ the idea that med school admissions committees only want applicants who’ve done all the best activities and lots of them, and that applicants must participate in activities that “stand out” if they want any chance of getting in. Co-hosts Nick Lind, Aline Sandouk, Emma Barr, and Sally Haeberlin discuss what adcomms really want.

Also, we visit Yahoo! Answers for those odd questions we love so well. Shouldn’t docs carry tranquilizer guns?


Share an Episode and Get Free Stuff

Dave made these, and he wants to give one to you. Just share an episode online and send a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do something nice for us!  We deserve it?

This Week in Medical News

Half of Americans don’t plan on getting vaccinated for SARS-COV2 when a vaccine becomes available to them. And many Americans are experiencing major symptoms of anxiety and depression.

We Want to Hear From You

Your questions are important to us. Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s what good listeners do!

More Signs that Med School Will Be Different This Fall

Share
Photo by lauralizzy13

[This episode is brought to you by Pattern. We hope you’ll check out their disability insurance offerings for docs at http://patternlife.com/partner/shortcoat.]

As many of us are, The Short Coats–including this week’s M1 co-hosts Nathen Spitz, Maddie Wahlen, and Caitlin Matteson–have been gazing into their cracked crystal ball to discover the new shape of medical school amid the pandemic. In a previous episode, the crew prognosticated on how interviews would change (and how you can be sure those changes won’t scuttle your chances for interview success), for instance…and it turns out we were right! Adding some certainty to that, the Association of American Medical Colleges has cancelled all its conferences until July of 2021. So yeah.

Sandgroper Largemun, an anonymous listener from Australia, wants to know some ways that he can stand out in medical school to land that choice residency. Good thing you wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com, Sandgroper, because we have ideas for that!


This Week in Medical News

Dave thinks heartthrob Dr. Fauci’s sun is setting as a leading member of the President’s COVID-19 task force. What do you think?

We Want to Hear From You

Has your outlook changed at all since the lockdowns began? Are you feeling optimistic? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.