Tag Archives: Laura Quast

The Mysteries of the Cost of Healthcare ft. Dan Weissmann

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An Arm and a Leg

shocked photoDan Weissmann is a former NPR journalist who was interested in the crazy world of healthcare costs in America.  He’d suggested to his former bosses that he start covering people’s stories of dealing with their medical care and it’s often unpredictably wallet-sucking expenses, reasoning that the subject is one we all can relate to.  Plus, he though, it’s a damn important topic with political, economic, and personal implications.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the story he’d been employed to tell, so he back-burnered the idea.

Until one day he decided to leave radio and strike out on his own.  As Dan put it to co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Laura Quast, and Dr. John Pienta, suddenly that story was very personal.  After all, he didn’t have health insurance through an employer anymore, and he found it difficult to even make a decision on what insurance to buy since that industry (and its collaborators in healthcare) makes choosing intentionally difficult by not supplying information we usually rely on to make purchasing choices.  So he started his new job, one he created for himself, a podcast he named An Arm and a Leg.  Now in its second season, the show explores the topsy-turvy world of paying for health, using the stories of real people.  Those people are incredibly easy to find, too, because they are our friends, neighbors, relatives, acquaintances, strangers, men, women, children…all of us are victims.  If we want to fix it, Dan’s here to say that our best hope is listen to and understand these stories, because we’re all in this mess together.


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

This week, president Donald Trump signed an executive order that would require insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors to give patients more info about the prices they’ll pay for healthcare…but some say he have consulted with Danish cement manufacturers?  And Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders uses a puzzling figure to support his signature campaign issue of “Medicare-for-all”…a figure that Politifact and Kaiser Health News isn’t so positive about.

We Want to Hear From You

What stories have you heard about the damage caused by spiraling and opaque healthcare costs? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Why Med Students Join Medical Societies

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Medical Societies and Associations: Are they Useful for Students?

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Listener Zachary wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask whether it’s useful for students to join medical associations and societies such as the AMA, ACOG, or AAP.  Co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Laura Quast, Hillary O’Brien, and newbie Sophie Williams-Perez offer some things they find useful about their memberships, including staying informed about political positions and the latest research in their fields, as well as for understanding what it means to be a physician.

Listener Oscar about had a heart attack when he read how much money the Carver College of Medicine thinks a first-semester student should budget for additional expenses (aside from tuition and living expenses).  So we asked Financial Aid Counselor Chris Roling to help, and it turns out that this area of the med student budget is real squishy.

Plus, Dave has some mouth spreaders to use up, so he makes his co-hosts deliver made-up diagnoses to fictitious patients with them.  Because that’s educational.


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 BMJ article got us talking about whether or not doctors should be crying at work.  And we revisit everyone’s favorite anti-anti-vaccination 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger–who has famously annoyed his mother by getting his vaccinations just as soon as he legally could–after he testified before the US Senate.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you a member of a medical society or organization?  What do you get out of membership?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Why Med Students Join Medical Societies

Recess Rehash: Bropocalypse 2017

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The national #MeToo conversation continues

creepy man photo[Dave had the flu on recording day, so we’re posting this awesome episode from the recent past.  Enjoy!]

Dave found himself hosting with another group of women, so what better time to talk about #MeToo and the powerful people being taken down by their sexual harassment and abuse of their less-powerful victims?  Erin Pazaski, Hillary O’Brien, Laura Quast, and Liza Mann weigh in on why this seems to have staying power in the news cycle, and why it seems to destroy some powerful men and not others.  Plus, since this is a group of friends who, through med school, have come to know each other well, Dave challenges each to answer questions as their friends would.

This Week in Medical News

Speaking of creepy, The University of Miami has a problem on its hands with a medical student who’s been posting other students’ social media pics of their car selfies and beach photos on websites where other folks are excited by such things.  A New Hampshire doc loses her license after refusing to use an EHR because she’d rather practice ‘medical art’ (and not properly tracking her prescribing practices).  And more medical schools want to hear from premeds what they think about the national debate on the ACA and the individual insurance mandate.

We Want to Hear From You

Your thoughts and comments are important to us!  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Bropocalypse 2017

Bropocalypse 2017

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The national #MeToo conversation continues

creepy man photoDave found himself hosting with another group of women, so what better time to talk about #MeToo and the powerful people being taken down by their sexual harassment and abuse of their less-powerful victims?  Erin Pazaski, Hillary O’Brien, Laura Quast, and Liza Mann weigh in on why this seems to have staying power in the news cycle, and why it seems to destroy some powerful men and not others.  Plus, since this is a group of friends who, through med school, have come to know each other well, Dave challenges each to answer questions as their friends would.

This Week in Medical News

Speaking of creepy, The University of Miami has a problem on its hands with a medical student who’s been posting other students’ social media pics of their car selfies and beach photos on websites where other folks are excited by such things.  A New Hampshire doc loses her license after refusing to use an EHR because she’d rather practice ‘medical art’ (and not properly tracking her prescribing practices).  And more medical schools want to hear from premeds what they think about the national debate on the ACA and the individual insurance mandate.

We Want to Hear From You

Your thoughts and comments are important to us!  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Bropocalypse 2017

Open on Applications about New-Found Sobriety?

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Should a Medical School Applicant Open Up About a Successful Journey to Sobriety?

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Photo by _BuBBy_

Our recent episode on mental illness in medical school generated some listener feedback.  K wrote to say thanks for the honest discussion (our pleasure!), and wondered how open she should be on her medical school application about her journey to sobriety and how it led her to find a love for community service.  Dave’s six (!) co-hosts this week–Kalyn Campbell, Kylie Miller, Levi Endelman, Irene Morcuende, Kaci McCleary, and Laura Quast–agree that it’s a tough question with two answers…the one we’d like to be able to give, and the perhaps more realistic one that acknowledges human nature.

Listener Erica called in wondering how students cope with the challenges of medical school and residency, especially in the context of a mental illness.  And Terel dropped us a line to ask the differences between a hospitalist and an internist.

This Week in Medical News

Groundbreaking research from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that alternative medicine is a crappy option for cancer patients‘ survival rates…except for prostate cancer.  And a Chinese startup publishes a study in which CRISPR knocks out pig PERVs.  That’s Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses, silly, and it means if you need an organ transplant one day, you might have to thank a pig for that heart.

We want to hear from you.

Are you ready for your future pig heart?  Who would win in an alpha-gal fight, Kylie or Kalyn? We’d love to hear your thoughts.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Open on Applications about New-Found Sobriety?

314 Action: Encouraging People of Science to Make the Leap into Politics

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Photo by soukup

Among the topics we Short Coats often ruminate on is the lack of basic science literacy in the public and press…and among politicians. How did we get to this place when science is so mistrusted?  So Kelsy Adler, Levi Endelman, Lisa Wehr, Marc Toral, and Laura Quast were excited to talk with someone who is doing something about it.  Shaughnessy Naughton is the founder of 314 Action, an organization that seeks to address dearth of science knowledge among politicians directly by encouraging and financing the election of people with STEM backgrounds to public office at all levels.  Shaughnessy Naughton is a chemist by trade and the founder of 314 Action, which “champions electing more leaders to the U.S. Senate, House, State Executive and Legislative offices who come from STEM backgrounds.”   The organization seeks to change politicians’ active resistance to the acquisition of data on things like gun violence and climate change, and push  back on ignorance of the evidence that already exists on topics like vaccinations and evolution.  Among the challenges they face is the perception that science is above politics; the task of creating and financing a network of donors and supporters; and understanding and effectively countering the career politician’s bias toward certainty instead of nuance.  They’re also addressing the need for training people of science to move beyond simple advocacy so that they can engage with the political process and change the system’s anti-science biases from within. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page for occasional Live shows in which you can participate.

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We’ve Made It: Our First Tweetstorm

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Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Is labeling people during a med school interview a good idea?  Is such labeling always an example of ad hominem?  Are doctors who write newspaper articles espousing antivaccination ideas deserving of sanction by their employers, or are they simply expressing valid concerns?  Are their employers guilty of the same sins as administrators at NASA who didn’t listen to engineers before the space shuttle Challenger disaster? Our first-ever tweetstorm critique brought Dave to consider all these thoughts with Matt Wilson, newbies Laura Quast and Kendra Frey, and Adam Erwood.   Also, radiologists face the extinction of diagnostic radiology by AI and pigeons, 3D printers capable of producing functionally complete human skin are here, and hybrid pig-human embryos all found their way into the news this week.  And Dave tests his co-hosts’ knowledge of medical history in a Pop Quiz. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week.  Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page for a question to consider every Monday.

Continue reading We’ve Made It: Our First Tweetstorm