Tag Archives: Dave Etler

Lack of Empathy: A Med School Dealbreaker?

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Everyone knows: doctors have to have empathy…right?

empathy photo
Photo by Pierre Phaneuf

Listener Mo wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask us if a lack of interest in dealing with the foibles of patients–with their anti-vaccine beliefs, their non-compliance with treatment, and reliance on the latest internet fads–means he should reconsider his med school dreams.  Lucky for Mo, Kaci McCleary, Irisa Mahaparn, and newbs Melissa Chan and Dabin Choi were on hand to propose some paths forward for non-empathetic med school applicants, as well as outlining some of the less obvious areas empathy comes in handy they might want to think about.  There isn’t a lot of wiggle room in this area…but there’s a little, and maybe Mo can squeeze into those cracks and come out with an MD on the other side.

This Week in Medical News

Is the ubiquity of IV saline an example of institutional inertia?  And in response to this article, the gang explores the institutional and systemic barriers that AMCAS and some schools’ admissions committees have erected against disadvantaged students.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you a disadvantaged applicant worried about your grades, money, and connections? Tell us your story at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Tales from the Clinic: from Theory to Practice

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There is nothing to fear but fear itself.

choose photo
Photo by amountaineer

Kylie Miller and Issac Schwantes take a break from their fairly new clinical duties to let Gabe Conley and Erik Kneller know how it’s going working with actual patients.  What unexpected things have they learned?  Were their professors really correct when the said that arcane bit of information would actually be useful in the real world?  Were their fears (whatever they were) realized?  Would they rather grandma puke every time they broke wind, or have a shingles outbreak whenever they get a passing grade or better in medical school?  Dave assures them: these are the questions listeners want answers to.

This Week in Medical News

The nation’s largest health insurer, Aetna, wants patients to diagnose themselves and risk huge ER bills if they get it wrong.  We recap the work of our own Sarah Ziegenhorn and her non-profit Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition, which is on the forefront of needle exchange efforts in Iowa.  The DEA is relaxing rules that prevented many healthcare workers from prescribing treatment to opioid addiction sufferers.  And we look at the tiny, cute robots that may one day crawl, tumble, and wiggle around your insides like an over-active inchworm.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your fears for starting the next phase of your education?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Winter Break, Guts and Brains, and Yahoo! Answers

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And all through the house…

answers photoIt’s winter break at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.  For most people, that means there are a couple weeks to relax and rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and familial relations.  Despite a lack of available co-hosts, The Short Coats never take a break, which is why Dave had to invite fellow student affairs staffers Chris Roling (Financial Services) and Kate McKenzie (Admissions) to  join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and physician assistant student and noob co-host Paul Kretkowski on this week’s show.  To give Chris and Kate the full experience, we visit with the fine patients at the Yahoo! Answers Doctor’s Office to hear and answer their questions on concussions, nail gun injuries and impressive DIY treatments, and the potential dangers of floor pizza.

This Week in Medical News

Our humble state of Iowa is home to a new effort to create nanovaccines for influenza which promise to eliminate many of the current vaccine’s downsides while increasing its effectiveness.  More evidence that the gut and brain are intimately linked. And the scandal of the CDC’s banned words might have been a trifle overblown.

We Want to Hear From You

Have something you want us to talk about on the show? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Man Flu and Other Struggles

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man flu photo

As the semester wrapped up, Dave didn’t feel it was necessary to ponder great questions or debate contentious issues, so this week’s show is pretty newsy…and there’s never a shortage of things to talk about there.  Of course, Dave had to make up a stupid game for Erik Kneller, Erick Schnieders, Irisa Mahaparn, and Kaci McCleary to play, in which they pimp each other on non-medical topics.

This Week in Medical News

Ever heard of bagel-related hand injuries?  Avocados can also wreak havoc on unwary knife-wielders, which is British chain Marks & Spencer excuse for offering UK citizens seedless avocados.  Significant progress has also been made in the fight against tropical illnesses as a result of the 2012 London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases.  We discuss the idea that moving to Canada may solve American MDs’ paperwork woes, even if the countries’ respective healthcare systems each have their benefits and drawbacks.  A UK surgeon decides it’s cool AF to carve his initials in his patients’ livers, although the patients themselves disagree.  And man flu is real.  Of course it is.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have any suggestions for future show topics? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Night Float: Choosing a Specialty

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Choosing a Speciality

firefighter costume photo
Photo by Ryan Dickey

From an early age people are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Whether they knew it all along or discovered their career path along the way, medical students have made a commitment to the answer, “I want to be a doctor.” As soon as that answer is given, however, an equally challenging question awaits. “What kind of doctor do you want to be?”

In the second episode of Night Float, Dr. Tony Chung (R1: Ophthalmology), Dr. Travis Snyders (R2: Internal Medicine), and Lisa Wehr (M4) discuss the process of choosing a specialty. Some medical students will have an ‘aha’ moment, while many others will face a timeline and search more for a ‘tipping point’ that favors a particular choice. The resident physicians share their own experiences with decision making and encourage students to explore their options through making early connections, asking questions, gaining experiences, and not being discouraged or dissuaded even when the process involves navigating unsolicited advice or looping back around.

Helpful links

AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.

We Want to Hear From You

How are you going about making your choice of specialty? What questions do you have about specialty choice? In general, what would you like to hear from residents about their medical school or residency experiences? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Preparing for Residency Interviews

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Preparing for Residency Interviews

interviews photo
Photo by Matt From London

Welcome to Night Float! In this series  of special episodes, resident physicians take a break from the demands of their days (and nights) to offer information, guidance, and support to medical students and to share their residency experiences. Fourth year medical students are currently in the heart of residency interview season, and they are doing all they can to secure a position through the residency match process. In the first episode of Night Float, Dr. Desiré Christensen (R2: Psychiatry) and Dr. Matt Maves (R1: Pediatrics) discuss their interview experiences and offer suggestions about how to prepare.

Helpful links

AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.

Doximity – Doximity is a network of physicians and medical students.

FREIDA – FREIDA is the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your residency interview stories? What suggestions do you have for medical students preparing to match? Medical students, what questions do you have about the residency application process?

Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Reaffirming points of pride, and life in rural Iowa

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We’re Iowa proud

grain elevator view photo
Photo by cwwycoff1

Dave has been noticing a certain mid-semester droopiness among some students at the College of Medicine.  Perhaps, he conjectured, we all need a bit of a pick-me-up.   So, Levi Endelman, Issac Schwantes, and new co-host Derek Bradley share things about themselves of which they are proud.  Issac isn’t much impressed by Dave’s point of pride.  And the boys reminisce about their rural Iowa upbringings, from careening over the ubiquitous gravel roads to romancing atop grain elevators.

This Week in Medical News

Vox has begun collecting data from ER visitors on the resulting bills, so the American Hospital Association issues a warning to its members.  And the US opioid epidemic is finally a national emergency, officially.  Will the president’s latest proclamation have any effect?  Will the American taxpayer get its $57,000 worth?

We Want to Hear From You

What do you do when you’re academically down in the dumps?  Do you take your cell phone to the bathroom?  Admit it! Show the world you aren’t afraid of its judgement by calling us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Alumni Visit

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A visit with those who made it through med school

slow cooker photo
Med students’ secret weapon. Photo by Pseph

Alumni Nate Curl, MD (emergency medicine, ’07) and Cathryn Turner (pediatric psychiatry, ’10) returned to the Carver College of Medicine last week to attend The Examined Life Conference Jason and Dave put on every year.  It was a great opportunity to connect Levi Endelman and Matt Wilson with them for a discussion of their paths to med school, the kinds of experiences they’ve had since graduating, and some of the things they’d like to have done differently.  They also helped answer a listener question from Mary, who is concerned about what she’s heard: that self-care–eating healthy, exercise, etc.–in medical school and beyond is well-nigh impossible for such chronically busy people.

We Want to Hear From You

What concerns do you have about entering medical school? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We’ll try to help.

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Rejection Happens

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“When you’re following your inner voice, doors tend to eventually open for you, even if they mostly slam at first.”
― Kelly Cutrone

reject photoEuthalia (not her actual name, though it probably should be. Feel free to take that name, anonymous caller) called us at 347-SHORTCT to express her sadness that she didn’t get a secondary interview at Iowa.  Which sucks for Iowa because…well, we might not get to meet Euthalia.  Of course, she knows rejection is not the end of the road for her dream. Brett Hanson, Tony Mai, Patrick Brau, and Levi Endelman share some things she needs to do now to deal with it, and to prepare her for the next time she applies.

Euthalia might be feeling anxious, a good bet because just about everyone we know has anxiety up the wazoo.  Luckily, Dave heard about a study in which subjects were able to decrease their anxiety by talking to themselves in the third person.  This seemed like a good idea, so we gave it a try.  Warning: you might want to turn down the volume.  Or unsubscribe.

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

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 Rejection Happens

How Premeds Find Their Med Schools

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Finding the Med School You Want to Attend

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Hello, I’m not @$!@#$ing interested in your grades! Photo by JSF539

Among the biggest projects  premeds face: not just getting into medical school, but getting into one that meets their needs.  Do they want a school strong in service learning activities?  Will they be happy in a system that recognizes academics first and foremost?  Is the location more important than other factors?  These are only a few of the factors that go into the decision…and Dave’s co-hosts couldn’t care less about them.  There were only two things that once-premeds-now-M1s Kyle Leubka, Gabriel Conley, Joyce Wahba and Eric Schnieders were most interested in.

Listeners Ryan and Michelle called in to pitch show ideas.  Ryan wants a show about Technology, Business, and Policy (he’s a podcaster at the University of Pennsylvania medical school…check them out).  And Michelle wants to know whether her currently well-cared-for Husky will survive having a med student owner.  Watch for future episodes, guys!

We Want to Hear From You

What topics would you like to see us tackle?  Do you have any strongly held criteria you’re using to judge medical schools? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading How Premeds Find Their Med Schools