Tag Archives: John Pienta

Kernels of Truth

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Photo by Choubistar

The thing about conspiracies that’s hard to combat is that there is sometimes a kernel of truth in them that makes them more believable.  Dave found some unfortunate ‘facts’ about medicine and doctors on a random website , and asked Miranda Schene, Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Dr. John Pienta not to refute them, but to discuss the little nugget of truthiness they’re based on.  Warning: in the end, we didn’t bother to refute them–we figured y’all are learned enough to know why they’re truthy-but-not-true!  Let us know if we’re wrong about that!

And Dave asks his co-hosts if they can find the true research title among the truthy garbage titles he made up.


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This Week in Medical News

Friend of the show Dr. Yolanda Villalvazo found out that Veterans Administration Hospitals have been experimenting with a program for a few years that allows patients to tell their providers what they should know about their lives.  And Dave rants about the state of the research poster…but one man thinks he has a solution for those afflicted by the poster session blues.

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A new class of MD students is getting ready to begin at med schools all over the country.  What questions do you have about med school? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Failure is an Option…When You Learn From It.

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So many great questions to answer

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Photo by Florence Ivy

We’re clearing out the backlog of listener questions–thank you listeners for so many fun ideas to talk about!  Cailin had her med school dreams ‘crushed’ in college when the science prereqs turned out to be too intense.  She’s now considering an MPH, but she hasn’t entirely given up on becoming an MD.  Aline Sandouk, Irisa Mahaparn, Levi Endelman, and Dr. John Pienta are on board to say it’s not really a problem, Cailin…as long as you can be realistic about the timeline.

And Melvin Piebags (not his real name) sent in a series of questions: how do we cope with failure?  Is anatomy lab a grim place to be?  How do we cope with difficult patients and colleagues?  We’re answering them all on this episode.

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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

Do you like our answers? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.   Continue reading Failure is an Option…When You Learn From It.

MD/PhD admissions and Shadowing Strategies

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[Purchase an SCP T-shirt to contribute to our Charity of the Semester, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Thank you!]

Listener Renee writes in to ask Aditi Patel, Maddie Mix, Nick Lind, and guest Dr. John Pienta whether she can legitimately hope for admission to an MD/PhD program without a strong science background.  Luckily, Maddie rolls MSTP style, so she helps us answer.  Another listener, Sarah, wrote to us hoping for some suggestions on how to prepare and strategize for her physician shadowing experiences.  And Ellen writes to give us some feedback on a recent episode.

Plus, Dave’s Pop Quiz on undeniably dangerous drinking games–inspired by a case study involving Dutch men, booze, MDMA, and a drinking game of fish swallowing which no one should ever play–is suspiciously easy for his co-hosts.

This Week in Medical News

Want to skip med school and go straight to treating patients in your very own pre-fab hospital room?  Well you mustn’t do that…but with this product on Amazon, you could.

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!

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Recess Rehash: Gap Years, Disguised Blessings, and Forbidden Words

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Photo by Lonewolf_

Listener T’keyah sends Cole Cheney, Aline Sandouk, and John Pienta a question on gap years, which boils down to what kinds of gaps are okay according to admissions committees?  Cole reveals his post-med school podcasting plans, and he and John discuss how not getting your residency match can be a GOOD thing…after one is done crying.  And at T’Keyah’s suggestion, we try to offer sex education to each other without using words or concepts banned by state boards of education. Listeners, share your suggestions with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Bandwagons, Bicarb, and Broca’s Bitty Bulb

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The Baby Bed Box Bandwagon.

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Cutting edge baby sleep technology Photo by myglesias

What is it about public health issues that lends itself to bandwagons? John Pienta, Levi Endelman, Hillary O’Brien, Issac Schwantes, and Jason Lewis discuss Finland’s contribution to parenting, the cardboard box in which babies sleep.  This year, hundreds of thousands of boxes will be given to new parents by US states in an attempt to improve infant mortality rates.  Is that at all helpful, or are we ignoring other causes of death among infants?

This week in science and medicine news

You know things are weird in healthcare when baking soda is in such short supply that hospitals start cutting back on open-heart surgery. And thanks to a certain 19th neuroanatomist’s ideas about the relative sizes of the frontal lobe and the olfactory bulb, we decided that humans have crappy senses of smell…a ‘fact’ that turns out was never tested and is probably not at all true!

We want to hear from you

We also heard from listener Mike, who we offended 70 episodes ago.  We’re not entirely sure what we said, exactly, that made Mike give us up after listening to roughly 80 hours of our half-baked opinions, but we always count ourselves fortunate to hear specific negative feedback (and hey, positive feedback is nice, too).  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Gap Years, Disguised Blessings, and Forbidden Words

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Photo by Lonewolf_

Listener T’keyah sends Cole Cheney, Aline Sandouk, and John Pienta a question on gap years, which boils down to what kinds of gaps are okay according to admissions committees?  Cole reveals his post-med school podcasting plans, and he and John discuss how not getting your residency match can be a GOOD thing…after one is done crying.  And at T’Keyah’s suggestion, we try to offer sex education to each other without using words or concepts banned by state boards of education. Listeners, share your suggestions with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Self-Doubt and Riding the Ethical Railroad

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Photo by SMU Central University Libraries
One of our podcasting goals is to encourage others to create their own shows, especially medical learners.  So John Pienta, Irisa Mahaparn, Adam Erwood, and Erin Pazaski were pleased to hear from listener Terel, who got it and launched a podcast of her own!  Go, Terel!  Although perhaps she and her fellow pre-meds should (not) consider the path taken by another undergrad, who decided to skip all the pesky applying and test taking and just declare herself a medical student so she could jump right in and start seeing patients.  On the other hand, if you worked hard getting your MD, and made all the sacrifices medical education requires, then getting married to your degree may be something to think about.   As often happens to medical students, Irisa confesses she’s having to learn what to think about herself when she doesn’t get tippy-top grades in her classes…and she worries that if she had to help someone give birth on a train, surely no one aboard would survive.  And Dave offers his co-hosts some practice at answering health questions they might really hear someday, which he pulled from the saddest place on the internet: Yahoo! Answers.  Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Consumer Genetic Testing, Marmite for Your Brain, and Counting Human Calories

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Photo by Stewart Black

Dave is no scientist, but he is ‘science-adjacent.’  This week, after having read of research involving the benefits to brain function conferred by Marmite consumption, he conducts his own experiment on SCP hosts John Pienta, Kaci McCleary, Aline Sandouk, and Nathan Miller. Will they be able to use their new Marmite-based powers to pass Dave’s Pop Quiz and identify actual Amazing Health Products You Can Get?  Listener Hannah wants to know all about the medical science training program lifestyle, and how it differs from the MD student experience, and since Aline is an MSTP student herself, Hannah’s in luck.  And 23andMe has finally received approval from the FDA to offer genetic screenings for defects that either one already knows about or that knowing about might do more harm than good.   Listeners, if you like what you hear today, please leave us a review on iTunes!

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The Black Mask and Mental Health in Iowa

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Dave tries the latest YouTube beauty treatment. (spoiler: it doesn’t make him prettier)

Sometimes, Dave has ideas.  This time Dave’s idea was to get his long-suffering co-hosts to enjoy the YouTube beauty treatment known as The Black Mask.  Because, dermatology!  Which is better, the DIY treatment or the store-bought version?  Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, Adam Erwood, and Lisa Wehr will try to suss it out so you don’ t have to.  Also, we discuss Iowa’s shortcomings with respect to mental health–its recent closures of state mental health hospitals and the reduction of psych beds across the state–as well as Iowa’s recent moves counter to the trend–adding hospital beds and even residency programs!  Meanwhile, is the anesthetic ketamine poised to revolutionize emergency treatment for suicidal depression?  It’s been many years since we had a new class of drugs to treat depression, but as always there are risks and doubts to be considered.  On a related note, Dave attended a meeting of CCOM’s new chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and John reviews briefly the College’s new class “The Thriving Physician,” both meant as antidotes for medical education’s deleterious effects on mental health. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page where we often broadcast our recording sessions live so you can join in on Fridays.

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The False Dichotomies in Medical Politics, Physician Lifestyles, and Public Discourse

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Photo by Steve Webel

This episode is all about false dichotomies–situations or ideas that seem like dilemmas (and thus require a difficult choice to be made) but which really aren’t.   Much of the public discussions of things like the hours that residents work, the funding for medical research, the lifestyles that residents are forced to lead, the choices that prospective medical students make are couched in terms of either/or choices.  Corbin Weaver, Matt Wilson, John Pienta, and Kaci McCleary discuss the alleged dilemmas that we encounter in medicine and medical education, and conclude that these choices are often not mutually exclusive. It is possible to have both shorter hours and safer patient handoffs and quality education, despite rules that seem to indicate otherwise.  It is possible to adequately fund basic science research and fund a sensible national defense, despite presidential budgets that slash NIH funding.  Should listener Justin study during the summer prior to med school to begin medical school on the right foot, or will he struggle if he takes a break to live a little?  And listener Julian is super annoyed at the admissions process. Is his ire justified? Listeners, share your thoughts and questions with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time.

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