Co-host and MD/PhD student Miranda Schene is a woman who has obviously been raised well. So when her mother, Ginny, wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org asking about the surprises med school had in store for this week’s gang, Dave–who also loves his mother–couldn’t very well say no! M1 Nathen Spitz and M2 Jenna Mullins, along with new co-host M1 Bryn Myers join in to give Mama Ginny the deets.
Plus Dave asks if his co-hosts can find and supply doctors’ testimonials for some As-Seen-On-TV products.
Ours is an aging society, and as the populations skews older, medicine has begun to realize that treating elder patients isn’t the same as treating adults or children. Treating the conditions of older people means that clinicians have to understand them in ways that go beyond diseases and drugs. Hence, the science of geriatrics. Dr. Louise Aronson is a geriatrician and the author of Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life (Bloomsbury 2019). It’s a beautifully written book the focuses on the stories of our elders and what they can teach us about their needs both biological and psychological. Among the things co-hosts Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, Mason LaMarche and Nick Lind learned:
Older people respond in unpredictable ways to medications. Often the work of a geriatrician is to ‘deprescribe’ medicines that are hurting them.
Never undervalue the things that are important to elders just because they aren’t medicines or procedures. If the patient needs something from their doctor that increases their success in life, then it’s important.
Recognizing when you as a doctor are doing things for you, vs. when you’re doing things for your patient is important.
Older people are no longer beyond help simply due to age. With the right training and an in-depth understanding of the science of aging, huge gains can be made in treating the serious disorders of elderhood.
American medicine’s concept of “the Good Death” (aka, dying at home surrounded by loved ones) isn’t a given for elders. Understanding what elders want, rather than subscribing to some monolithic idea, is important.
Continuing our recent discussion on the price of healthcare in the United States, on this episode we talk with Dr. Martin Makary. Dr. Makary is a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, a best-selling author, and a health policy expert. Dr. Makary’s latest book entitled The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care–and How to Fix It, is due out in September. We were so glad to talk with him, because it’s all-too-easy to be jaded about the ‘business’ of healthcare when one in five Americans are in collections over healthcare debt. But Dr. Makary combines outrage at the market forces that have created a used-car-lot sales environment with optimism about healthcare’s future prospects for transparency and fairness. Things are changing, he says! Interestingly, the medical students doing research with him–pouring their hearts, souls, and minds into it–have helped to create that sense of optimism in him. In other words, millennials may be saving American healthcare even as they’re killing the napkin and real estate industries.
On top of all that, while The Price We Pay is an indictment of the insurance and billing practices that hinder the work of doctors and the healing of patients, the book is also a guidebook to the things that can and are being done to restore medicine’s mission.
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.
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 email@example.com. Do all three!
Our charitable mission is supported in this episode by CommonBond. Be sure to pay them a visit to learn more about their new medical school loan, and tell ’em we sent you!
Emma Barr, Miranda Schene, Allison Klimesh, and new co-host Jenna Mullins are all first-years at the Carver College of Medicine. As our co-hosts this time, they’re happy to help answer listener questions! For instance, Tim wrote to us asking about the disadvantaged applicant designation on the med school application, saying he’s hesitant to apply it to himself though on paper he might fit that description. And Mike wrote in to clarify some things about three-year MD degree programs, but he’s also wondering if he might be a good fit for an accelerated path.
This week in medical news, actor Maureen McCormick claps back at anti-vaxxers who are using an episode of the 1960s sitcom The Brady Bunch, which she starred in as Marcia Brady,to support their argument that measles is not that big of a deal.
Which got Dave thinking about the medical dramas of his youth (and beyond), specifically their theme songs. Can his co-hosts Name Those Med Tunes?
Think of an inventor. What comes to mind? The quirky lone genius, coming up with a blockbuster device that will save the world? The Avengers‘ Tony Stark in a cave throwing together a functional exosuit from scrap metal? Back to the Future’s Doc Emmet Brown crying “1.21 jigawatts?!” and then immediately coming up with the perfect solution?
Or is it a person like neurosurgeon Matthew Howard, toiling away year after year alongside a team of trusted experts, all working together to take an idea–slowly–from problem to concept to prototypes to product to FDA approval to market to patient? Dr. Howard was recently named the University of Iowa’s first ever National Academy of Inventors fellow, with 34 patents in his portfolio, so we wanted to take a look at yet another amazing aspect of medicine: the people who define and then create solutions that make the surgical world go ’round. Some of his inventions succeed–including a way to guide catheters to their destinations using magnetic fields–while others –like the “shunt scissors” he discusses–are waiting to set the surgical world on fire. But to Dr. Howard it’s just a good time.
Also, Dave gives the crew–Aline Sandouk, Miranda Schene, Hannah Van Ert, and Maddie Mix–a pop quiz to see if they can guess the invention from some weird patents. Some of the quiz’s incorrect answers could be money makers, so feel free to patent them and make a fortune.
Have you ever had an idea for something and thought, I should patent that? Like that time Dave thought up an ejection seat for motorcycles? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about it.
As CCOM’s second-look day (which we call Get Acquainted Day) approaches, Aline Sandouk, LJ Agostinelli, Miranda Schene, and Danial Syed discuss the benefits–to both the student and the school–of taking a second look at the schools they’ve been admitted to. And listener Caven wants us to talk about our fantasy gap years. Can our co-hosts articulate the benefits of gap year jobs that Dave made up for them? Spoiler–they sure can.
Does research mean a whole lot when applying to residency?
Listener 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:
SCP Merch for Good!
Buy a T-Shirt, and give to end the stigma of mental Illness: View More
Are you buying what med student Instagrammers are selling?
You’ve probably noticed them. Cute med students hawking makeup and study guides on Instagram, posting photos of their fav study beverage, and composing carefully arranged shots of the contents of their backpacks, #medstudentlife #sponsored. Well, who can blame them–med school’s expensive! But is it a slippery slope, just waiting for some unsuspecting student to lose their ethical footing? Short Coats Sam Palmer, Miranda Schene and newbies Allie Fillman and Allison Klimesh take a look.
[Happy Thanksgiving, US listeners! We’re taking a break for turkey and trimmings, but we’ll be back on the mics real soon. For now, reheat this delicious leftover episode.]
The MD isn’t the only degree offered by many medical schools. For those who get excited about data, research, and advancing medical knowledge, you can add a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Of course, there are those who get their PhD separately from their Medicinae Doctor. Others get their PhDs from combined degree programs, including Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP).