Alumni Nate Curl, MD (emergency medicine, ’07) and Cathryn Turner (pediatric psychiatry, ’10) returned to the Carver College of Medicine last week to attend The Examined Life Conference Jason and Dave put on every year. It was a great opportunity to connect Levi Endelman and Matt Wilson with them for a discussion of their paths to med school, the kinds of experiences they’ve had since graduating, and some of the things they’d like to have done differently. They also helped answer a listener question from Mary, who is concerned about what she’s heard: that self-care–eating healthy, exercise, etc.–in medical school and beyond is well-nigh impossible for such chronically busy people.
Med School Requires Sacrifice…but not of everything.
Listener Arman is starting school this fall, and is feeling something many do at the start of this journey: that in order to succeed, he’ll have to do nothing but study. Will he’ll have to sacrifice his outside interests to succeed? Kylie Miller, Matt Wilson, Teneme Konne and Patrick Brau admit that medical students love to talk about how hard it is and how much time they give to their new lives. To be sure, sacrifice is a part of learning to be a doctor. But they do have reassuring words for those who worry their identities are about to be ransacked. Plus, Yahoo! Answers leave us with more questions than we started with…like, did the fruit fly regain consciousness?
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.
Love is on the air this week, as Cole Cheney hears a declaration of listener Naomi’s feelings…and then gets a Valentine’s week surprise. Also, Dave, Matt Wilson, Levi Endelman, and newbie Tarek Karam confront the perils of old age (apparently, Dave is emitting 2-Nonenal as we speak). An article on the lower cost of body donation (as compared to funeral costs) has the group thinking about the contributions their own donors have had on both their education and their understanding of how important it is to do one’s best to honor them. As Match Week creeps up on us, the potential for confusion is high for US hospitals and residents from countries marked for travel bans/extreme vetting/whatever. To the extent the US healthcare system depends on foreign medical graduates and international medical graduates, there may be trouble ahead. PS: If you’re in the neighborhood of Iowa City, consider entering the UI Doc Dash to support the Iowa City Free Medical Clinic and the University of Iowa Mobile Clinic, both of which deliver free care to the medically under-served. 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.
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.
Dave once again forces the group to play a game of questionable relevance to medicine in which his co-hosts ask each other anatomy questions while wearing speech jammer headphones. Corbin Weaver, Matt Wilson, and Issac Schwantes are good sports, however, which is easy for them seeing as how Dave is the absolute worst at talking while wearing the mind-scrambling headset. We also discuss a couple recent examples of bias in medicine, including flight attendants’ response to a young, black doctor’s offer to help a distressed passenger in flight, and Delta’s follow up admission that its policies weren’t helpful. Another example: a recent study that seemed to conclude women were better doctors than men, without addressing other, perhaps systemic reasons for the results. And what can hairdressers do about domestic violence? Illinois lawmakers think they can help quite a bit.
We tried Roto Z eye drops in the past, and were unimpressed. But thanks to Doug Russo, who secured the real deal–Roto Z Pro eye drops–Kaci McCleary and newbies Matt Wilson, Jenna Schade and Elizabeth Shirazi felt the burn. Now that they’re suitably refreshed, Dave must do his part to help med students keep their wits about them by playing a game of MegaClash! Listener and ortho resident Emily calls in to say hello and express concern that med students are forced to choose specialties based on shallow exposures. We address a worrying sentiment Dave noticed popping up a lot this week: that “if you can see yourself doing anything else besides being a doctor, do that instead.” But it’s cool, because the National Academy of Medicine has formed a coalition of organizations to address burnout and suicide in medicine and medical education. And a UK surgeon offers his students a way to observe surgery without all the boring bits, leveraging Snapchat Spectacles. 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.