Tag Archives: Irisa Mahaparn

A Tinkle In Our Pants and A Song In Our Hearts

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pants photoThis week, with help from LJ Agostinelli, Irisa Mahaparn, and new co-host Fili Bogdanic, Dave offers listener Karstan some advice for med students (and others) who want to start a podcast.  It’s a worthwhile activity, without question, for discovering and understanding the field you’re growing into, provided you can find the time!

Listener Coleman writes in to find out what kind of plan we’d suggest having for visiting medical schools.  Dave has ideas…but to his surprise his co-hosts weren’t even sure pre-interview visits were necessary!  Vive la difference!

And we once again plumb the depths of Yahoo! Answers for some real-life medical questions, the excuse Dave always gives for doing this to his co-hosts.


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This Week in Medical News

To Dave’s relief, scientists have found that declines in working memory can be temporarily reversed using transcranial alternating-current stimulation, but to his eternal dismay, his co-hosts always…uh, the always…wait, what was I writing about?

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What would you do to increase your working memory? Let us know that, or anything else by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading A Tinkle In Our Pants and A Song In Our Hearts

What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

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Diversity includes disability

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Photo by b_lumenkraft

Dr. Marley Doyle is a reproductive psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  She’s also “legally blind”, with 20/400 vision.  She struggled through medical school just like all med students, but with that additional complication.  She made it, however, and her discussion with Aditi Patel and Irisa Mahaparn gives some clues as to why.  First, her disability was invisible which made it easy for people to assume that she wasn’t disabled.  And second, she was naive to the fact that she could ask for help.  In other words, she stumbled through it all and came out the other side without having been a “burden” for her school. Years later, she acknowledges that she could have asked for more help.

We also discuss the technical standards that most schools have in place to define what a student physician should be able to do physically, intellectually, and emotionally to succeed in school.  These standards, however, often seem to be written with a stereotypical disabled person in mind, one who cannot possible succeed because of their disability, and thus should not be in medical school.  We discuss the concept of “assumed competence” which, as  recent CCOM guest lecturer Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami pointed out, allows people with disabilities to show they are able to fulfill their duties as opposed to assuming they cannot.  And we discuss the AAMC’s recent first-of-its-kind report “Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities,” which brought to light the inconsistent policies and procedures for, lack of support of, and lack of awareness many schools have of their legal obligations under the law towards students with disabilities.  And we talk about why med schools that don’t encourage disabled people to apply are missing out on a piece of the diversity puzzle.

Plus, Dr. Doyle helps answer a listener who is lucky enough to have several med school acceptances, and wants to know how to decide among them!  Lucky you, ‘Anxious Premed!’  Don’t worry, we can help.


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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

Are you living with a disability and discouraged about your med school plans?  Are you in medical school, disabled, and have some advice to offer? Tell us about it by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

Get In Next Time: Our Top Recommendations For Fixing Your Application!

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Med school admissions is a numbers game.  Here’s how to increase your chances for the next time.

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Photo by donna_0622

If you got only rejection letters this application season, you might be thinking your dreams of attending med school are dead.  Well, pick yourself up off the ground, soldier, it’s not over yet because you can apply again.  But don’t go throwing good money and time away by reapplying without taking a close, honest look at what your application was missing.  Amy A’Hearn, our admissions assistant director, visited to discuss what you should think about when re-evaluating your competitiveness, with the help of Aline Sandouk and Irisa Mahapan.  Don’t give up…find out what Amy’s top recommendations are, and get your dream back on track!

Plus we ask the most important question of all–why do men roll up their pants legs?


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

Match week was  great for us here at UI as our students did better than the national average for finding a job after med school.  But all was not perfect this year, as during the Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP), the servers crashed denying unmatched residency programs and applicants critical time to do the same.  In the end, it all worked out…but it was a stressful time for all–but from our viewpoint, especially for SOAPing students!  And it isn’t the first time, either.

We Want to Hear From You

Share your stories–anonymously, if you like–of your rejections and how you fixed it! Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Get In Next Time: Our Top Recommendations For Fixing Your Application!

Is Your Previous Career A Strike Against You?

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Admissions committees care most about what you got out of your experiences, less about what exactly they were.

worried photoHere’s a question we get often, in one form or another: will [some aspect of my life to date] hurt my chances for getting into medical school?  Kyle Kinder, Irisa Mahaparn, Aline Sandouk, and Hanna Van Ert are here to reassure listener Rachel that, despite her background in medical malpractice law, she’s going to be fine…if she can articulate what she took away from that part of her life.

Listener Fifi Trixiebell, who you may recall set off the keto wars of 2018 which ultimately led Dave to declare a moratorium on diet related topics, wrote in to apologize (no need, Fifi), and also point out that Iowa is the most America of the states.  Can the co-hosts discern which other states have achieved total-Murica status based on their rankings for bald eagles, fast food, and astronauts?


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

The Chinese researcher who claimed that he’d genetically engineered two girl infants may have accidentally (or as Dave speculates, purposefully) made them into super-intelligent, super-stroke-recovering humans.  And researchers my have discovered an entirely new form of neural communication.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you need advice? We give it out, whether it’s related to med school or not? Call in your pleas for help to 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Is Your Previous Career A Strike Against You?

What Research Means for Residency Applications

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Does research mean a whole lot when applying to residency?

research photoListener Nathan called in to the SCP Hotline at 347-SHORTCT to ask how research works for medical students.  Is it necessary? Is it recommended?  How do you find research to do?  Irisa Mahaparn, Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, and newcomer Nadiah Wabba are on hand to discuss the roles of research in med school, how  it can help a residency applications, for which residency applications research is a recommended component, and how it all works.

Also, can the crew figure out what has been censored from medical stock photos?  To play along, here’s the gallery:


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

Cancer Dogs is a Canadian organization looking to make cancer-smelling dogs a valid screening tool; we discuss whether physicians and med schools discourage med students from pursuing primary care; and as a generation of vaccine deniers’ children comes of age, are they going to defy their antivaxxer parents?

We Want to Hear From You

Is research important to you?  Do you plan to do research in med school or residency? Let us know at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading What Research Means for Residency Applications

Doubts, Needles, and Measles

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Photo by Dr. Partha Sarathi Sahana

[Buy our podcast merch and help eliminate the stigma of mental illness–your purchase goes to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and you get  a cool tee shirt.  Pick yours up today!]

Listener Jen sent an email to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking M4 Irisa Mahaparn, and M1s Nick Lind and Madeline Slater about the doubts they’ve experienced in their journey through medical education.  Oh, Jen.  The doubts they have experienced!  We discuss them, along with the sources of doubt and how they are learning to overcome them to achieve their goals.  Also, we try to give listener Ryan some ideas about his genetics course assignment.

We also visit the worst place on the internet to get medical advice, Yahoo! Answers, and discover a potential new treatment for desert-based constipation.  All it needs is a good clinical trial and a few not-squeamish human subjects!

This Week in Medical News

As the measles outbreaks in the northwestern US and elsewhere continue, Clark County in Washington has experienced a jump in vaccination rates of 500%, almost as if people are starting to trust science.  Inventors at MIT and Harvard are both working on swallowable injectors, which sounds worse than it is.  And is Wikipedia good enough for med schools to use it in some way?  It depends, of course.

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 Doubts, Needles, and Measles

Listeners Revolt!

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We love listener feedback…even when it’s negative 🙂

And this whole obesity thing is really great for generating negative listener feedback.  For instance, Marlene thought our comments on nutrition were mostly wrong.  And Laura didn’t seem happy with what we thought was our neutral stance on keto, either, as she’s having some success with it…although a lack of carbs looks just as bad as a bunch of carbs.  We could ride this obesity gravy train all the way…but Dave is le tired.

Fortunately for our egos, a while back we managed to give some good advice to Victoria on interviewing , who called back to give Irisa Mahaparn, Aline Sandouk, and newbs Justin Hababag and Annee Rempel some GREAT news!  Go, Victoria!

This Week in Medical News

Are you ready to share your brains with other people?  Are you ready to drink your own urine?  Are you ready to not choose a medical school based on it’s ranking in US News & World Reports?  We think hard about those important questions.

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Have we stepped on your sacred cow?  Are you happy with our advice? Have we done anything useful today? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Listeners Revolt!

When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Found Risky Business Ventures

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Photo by Jokejacket

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!!!

This Week in Medical News

Does Amazon’s Jeff Bezos or Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick have toxoplasmosis?  Our lawyers say definitely not, but toxo does have a link with risky behaviors, and business people can win big by taking risks.   So, naturally, a new study looks at how likely students with toxo are to be business majors.    Also, the mental health consequences of sucking up to your boss, and one woman’s warning that her child’s Hot Cheetos habit led to her losing her gallbladder.

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So, what’s up with you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Found Risky Business Ventures

Applying to Med School? Don’t Worry About the Money (so much).

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Money should never be the most important factor

image: MARS BIOIMAGING LTD.

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!

We Want to Hear From You

Do you belong to a med school fraternity? What’s it like? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Applying to Med School? Don’t Worry About the Money (so much).

Why You Might Want to Wait to Apply to Medschool

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Your Med School Application is Too Important to Rush

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Don’t look for a reason this image is here. I just liked it. Photo by Dominic’s pics

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.

We’re still giving away keyfobs if you post a review somewhere and send a screenshot to theshortcoats@gmail.com, and we’ve begun collecting recipes for our future Recipes for Med School Success cookbook.

This Week in Medical News

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 Want to Hear From You

Do you need advice?  Do you have questions about medical school?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Why You Might Want to Wait to Apply to Medschool