Tag Archives: empathy

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.

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Lack of Empathy: A Med School Dealbreaker?

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Everyone knows: doctors have to have empathy…right?

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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.

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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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Considering The Other Sides

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Photo by madstreetz

With the close of the election of 2016, many people, including us, found themselves dismayed and surprised by a great many things.  But why were we so shocked?  Now that our hindsight has been LASIK’d, some are noticing the truth that was hiding in plain sight: people were feeling ignored.  And those people were the ones that the electoral college protects: rural Americans. In this episode, we (that is, Dave, Mark Moubarek, John Pienta, Rob Humble, and Amy Hanson) try to step out of our bubble. We cast our eyes on our own ignorance and speculate a little on what our fellow Americans want.  We try to avoid politics in this episode in favor of thoughtful, empathetic consideration.  Let us know whether or not we were successful.

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Compassion Isn’t Easy

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Photo by Half Chinese

Compassion fatigue is a problem for many practitioners. In medicine, some of the needs are so great, and the resources are often so finite. Aline Sandouk, John Pienta, Rob Humble, and Kaci McCleary discuss what happens when caring itself becomes a limited resource, the reasons empathy can dwindle, ways to cultivate it, and the role that compassion can play in caring for oneself.  We also learn what monks and nuns are teaching us about how compassion manifests positivity and even neural plasticity.
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Sudden Empathy, Too Much Empathy, and A Lack of Empathy

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Photo by Sean MacEntee

Poor lister Erin. She writes to let us know she can’t find the first 44 episodes of the show, now that she’s listened to all eighty(!) of those available on iTunes. We explain how she can fill the sad hole in her life this tragedy has left. Dave’s shower thoughts lead Aline Sandouk, Amy Young, Marc Toral and Kaci McCleary to discuss the utility of giving not a single feldercarb what people think of you. On the flip side, an article in the New York Times offers a peek at what can happen if you go from not caring (or even knowing) what people think to caring all too much, when transcranial magnetic stimulation suddenly enables an autistic man to understand what others are thinking of him.
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