Tag Archives: Hannah Van Ert

Step 1 is Pass/Fail. Now what???

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Does making Step 1 pass/fail change everything?

The news that the USMLE changed the all-important Step 1 exam–which many residency programs have been using improperly to stratify applicants and which can affect one’s specialty choice–to pass/fail starting in 2022-ish caused quite a bit of shock and consternation last week.  Sure, some celebrated the change as a victory, but there’s just one liiiiiittle problem: the more competitive residency programs feel they need some standardized measure to base their choices on.

Several listeners wrote in with questions on the change, and the underlying concerns those questions addressed was the uncertainty left in the wake of this change–to wit, “what am I to aim for if there is no three-digit score I can point to as a mark of excellence?”  Though the powers-that-be are essentially responding, “we’re working on it, we’ll get back to you on that,” there are some possibilities to consider.   And we shall, with the help of M4 Matt Wilson, MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Hannah Van Ert, and M1 Nathen Spitz.

Special thanks to listener Terrified Chihuahua and everyone who reached out with questions on this sudden shift in the medical education landscape!


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You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

We Want to Hear From You

What are your thoughts on how a pass/fail Step 1 score will change medical education and the residency application process? Did we miss anything? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

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The Laws that are Shrinking the Telomeres of OB/Gyn Residents

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Admissions counselor Megan Kosovski joins Aline Sandouk, Emma Barr, Nick Lind, and Hannah Van Ert for this show, because we had a listener question from a Canadian listener not-named “Molson.” What’s it like, Molson wanted to know, for a Canadian to apply to medical school in the US, which he’s considering doing since Canadian schools are so few and the odds are so low.  Molson, pull the tab on that brewski and we’ll get you sorted.

As Executive Producer Jason Lewis is leaving us for greener pastures, Dave is preparing to take part in interviewing his replacement.  Which means that he’s gotta rev up his BS detector so he can help select the right person.  With that in mind, can his co-hosts detect the BS or truth found within the often ridiculous claims found Snopes.com?


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

This Week in Medical News

A tragic incident of a trans man losing his baby after a series of errors and confusion related to his gender is detailed in a case study.  Yet another reason for the US graduate medical education system to change how it treats residents might be found in their shrinking telomeres.  And the risks to OB/Gyn training that recent abortion bills in Alabama and elsewhere are posing (WARNING: politics and conspiracy theories ahead!).

We Want to Hear From You

How do you feel about the recent anti-abortion bills? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading The Laws that are Shrinking the Telomeres of OB/Gyn Residents

Invent the Future of Medicine, ft. Matthew Howard, MD

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See a problem, solve a problem

Matthew Howard, MD. Professor, Department of Neurosurgery Chair and DEO, John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery

Think of an inventor.  What comes to mind?  The quirky lone genius, coming up with a blockbuster device that will save the world?  The Avengers‘ Tony Stark in a cave throwing together a functional exosuit from scrap metal?  Back to the Future’s Doc Emmet Brown crying “1.21 jigawatts?!” and then immediately coming up with the perfect solution?

Or is it a person like neurosurgeon Matthew Howard, toiling away year after year alongside a team of trusted experts, all working together to take an idea–slowly–from problem to concept to prototypes to product to FDA approval to market to patient?  Dr. Howard was recently named the University of Iowa’s first ever National Academy of Inventors fellow, with 34 patents in his portfolio, so we wanted to take a look at yet another amazing aspect of medicine: the people who define and then create solutions that make the surgical world go ’round.  Some of his inventions succeed–including a way to guide catheters to their destinations using magnetic fields–while others –like the “shunt scissors” he discusses–are waiting to set the surgical world on fire. But to Dr. Howard it’s just a good time.

Also, Dave gives the crew–Aline Sandouk, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Maddie Mix–a pop quiz to see if they can guess the invention from some weird patents.  Some of the quiz’s incorrect answers could be money makers, so feel free to patent them and make a fortune.


Buy Our Merch and Give At The Same Time

You care about others, or you wouldn’t be into this medicine thing. Our #merchforgood program lets you to give to our charity of the semester and get something for yourself at the same time!

We Want to Hear From You

Have you ever had an idea for something and thought, I should patent that?  Like that time Dave thought up an ejection seat for motorcycles? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com and tell us about it.

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Recess Rehash: Bonus Episode! Why You Might Want an MD/PhD

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All about Medical Scientist Training Programs

[Happy Thanksgiving, US listeners!  We’re taking a break for turkey and trimmings, but we’ll be back on the mics real soon.  For now, reheat this delicious leftover episode.]

The MD isn’t the only degree offered by many medical schools.  For those who get excited about data, research, and advancing medical knowledge, you can add a Doctor of Philosophy degree.  Of course, there are those who get their PhD separately from their Medicinae Doctor.  Others get their PhDs from combined degree programs, including Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP).

Aline Sandouk and Jayden Bowen took on the topic with a number of first-year MSTP students–why is an MD/PhD something you should consider?  Join them and Ossama Abu-Halawa, Hassan Ahamed, Akansha Jain, Madi Mix, Nate Mullin, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Qi Wang as they reveal reasons you might want to consider this sort of combined degree and the types of programs to choose from.

We Want to Hear From You

What questions do you have about MSTP or MD/PhD programs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Bonus Episode! Why You Might Want an MD/PhD

Bonus Episode! Why You Might Want an MD/PhD

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All about Medical Scientist Training Programs

The MD isn’t the only degree offered by many medical schools.  For those who get excited about data, research, and advancing medical knowledge, you can add a Doctor of Philosophy degree.  Of course, there are those who get their PhD separately from their Medicinae Doctor.  Others get their PhDs from combined degree programs, including Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP).

Aline Sandouk and Jayden Bowen took on the topic with a number of first-year MSTP students–why is an MD/PhD something you should consider?  Join them and Ossama Abu-Halawa, Hassan Ahamed, Akansha Jain, Madi Mix, Nate Mullin, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Qi Wang as they reveal reasons you might want to consider this sort of combined degree and the types of programs to choose from.

We Want to Hear From You

What questions do you have about MSTP or MD/PhD programs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Bonus Episode! Why You Might Want an MD/PhD