Tag Archives: Lisa Wehr

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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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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Recess Rehash: The Ultimate Taboo: Medicine and Suicide

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Photo by JoePenna

[With Thanksgiving late week, we didn’t record a new episode.  Enjoy this rerun, instead!]

Just hours before a new crop of medical students are to be welcomed into the world of medicine, Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, and Lisa Wehr confront one of the most uncomfortable topics in medical education: resident and student suicide.  Among doctors, suicide rates are much higher than among the general population.  The long hours, high pressure (from both one’s internal monologue and from outside sources) to succeed, fear of public humiliation regarding one’s shortcomings, isolation, inadequate supervision, the stigma against mental illness, the career penalties faced by those who admit to unwellness, and more, all contribute to the problem.  Institutions also have a difficult time addressing incidents of physician suicide effectively, as they try to walk a tightrope strung between respect for the privacy of the deceased, the needs of colleague survivors to talk about it, the desire to avoid adverse publicity.  Meanwhile, the work does not stop. The only breaks are a moment of silence, a visit with a grief counselor, or an “open forum” to discuss one’s feelings.

Fortunately, the culture may be changing to allow for more discussion, prevention, transparency. Institutions like the University of Iowa and Harvard University are adding counseling capacity, student groups to support struggling peers, and a greater openness to acknowledging without shaming the fact of mental illness among physicians.

We need validation. Leave a review: iTunes

 

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.

Shocking the Habits Away

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Photo by zigazou76

This week, Dave volunteers to wear a device that’s received a lot of buzz lately, Pavlok.  It’s creator says that through classical conditioning it will help eliminate bad habits–nail biting, unhealthy eating, procrastination, for instance.  It’s ubiquity on Dave’s social media feeds this past summer got Dave thinking about how much of human disease is based in behavior, bad habits. So Dave asked the company to send it’s crowdfunded, wrist-mounted electrical shocker for evaluation, and they inexplicably said yes.  Aline Sandouk, Lisa Wehr, and Nick Sparr all had a crack at it, and share their experience. Along with Rachel Schenkel, they attempt to use it to teach Dave  not to say “Uh.” Is it effective and worth the $169 price tag?  Are its integrations with the Internet of Things or its Chrome plugin a help for those looking to kick their bad habits?  Are there better, cheaper alternatives?

Also, the Affordable Care Act has begun withholding Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals  based on patient satisfaction surveys, and giving bonuses to those which do well on those surveys.  We explore medical education’s trade-offs in a game of what if. Hint: it turns out that our little group members are a bit mercenary.
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The Ultimate Taboo: Medicine and Suicide

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sad photo
Photo by JoePenna

Just hours before a new crop of medical students are to be welcomed into the world of medicine, Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, and Lisa Wehr confront one of the most uncomfortable topics in medical education: resident and student suicide.  Among doctors, suicide rates are much higher than among the general population.  The long hours, high pressure (from both one’s internal monologue and from outside sources) to succeed, fear of public humiliation regarding one’s shortcomings, isolation, inadequate supervision, the stigma against mental illness, the career penalties faced by those who admit to unwellness, and more, all contribute to the problem.  Institutions also have a difficult time addressing incidents of physician suicide effectively, as they try to walk a tightrope strung between respect for the privacy of the deceased, the needs of colleague survivors to talk about it, the desire to avoid adverse publicity.  Meanwhile, the work does not stop. The only breaks are a moment of silence, a visit with a grief counselor, or an “open forum” to discuss one’s feelings.

Fortunately, the culture may be changing to allow for more discussion, prevention, transparency. Institutions like the University of Iowa and Harvard University are adding counseling capacity, student groups to support struggling peers, and a greater openness to acknowledging without shaming the fact of mental illness among physicians.

We need validation. Leave a review: iTunes

 

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.

The Multiple Mini Interview, the Prince of Funk, and the Erosion of Childhood

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How ’bout if I come over there and shove my custom orthotics up your… Photo by Patrick Doheny

Alison Pletch, along with Cole Cheney, Aline Sandouk, and Lisa Wehr take a few moments to mourn the passing of Prince, and the fact that he died of something that wasn’t dramatic enough for his persona. Fortunately, Rayhaan of Montreal calls to ask how he can prepare for his med-school interviews, which will be in the multiple mini interviews format. Then, we discuss the idea that kids need to start preparing for medical school in high school, because children have too much childhood these days.

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Post-acceptance anxiety, Match stats, and backup plans.

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You are not an impostor. Photo by stevevoght

Listener Oscar called in to find out what should he do about his case of nerves now that he’s been accepted  to medical school, and Lisa Wehr, Aline Sandouk, Marc Toral, and Dylan Todd have plenty of calming words for him.  They also discuss the statistics of 2016’s Match, why some people don’t match (do whatever it takes, ethically, to get good exam scores, people), and what people who don’t end up matching can do with their MD.  Some schools have even begun offering built-in backup plans for those folks.

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Episode 105: A deadly pile of potatoes

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Photo by Nisha A

Lisa Wehr, Kaci McCleary, Dylan Todd, and Marc Toral discuss things of much import, such as why Dave’s iPad lock screen is a pile of dangerously toxic potatoes, and why it’s important to use the correct pronunciation of gyros but not other foods from foreign lands.  Also, uterus transplants are about to become a thing surgeons do in the US.

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Episode 100: Follow your Dreams–Get Fired!

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Well, so much for that. Photo by jiva.

Lisa Wehr teaches Kaci McCleary and Dylan Todd about the invention of the shipping container. We look forward to the day when humans are replaced by robots in the workplace so people can pursue their real dreams. On the other hand, we rage at the work-world gurus who suggest that we behave in a way that our bosses would fire us for (he’s looking at you, four-hour-work-week, follow-your-dreams spewers).
Continue reading Episode 100: Follow your Dreams–Get Fired!

Episode 099: Burn due to water skis on fire

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Seems about right. Photo by emdot

Are you under-caffeinated but hate the kind of caffeine that doesn’t stick to the roof of your mouth?  Do you lack ways to describe unlikely illnesses and injuries with absurd specificity?  Then come along with us as Kaci McCleary, Dylan Todd (Todd Dylan?), Marc Toral, and Lisa Wehr explore medical news that makes us go hmm…
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