Tag Archives: Nathen Spitz

What About Choosing the Cheapest Medical School?

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Given how much med school costs, isn’t it best to go for your cheapest option?

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[This episode is sponsored by Panacea Financial, a Division of Sonabank, Member FDIC. Please support our sponsor by visiting https://panaceafinancial.com/]

A listener we’re calling Victor Von Stateschool called us at 347-SHORT-CT to continue the recent spate of listener questions about choosing a medical school. Sure, prestige is something to consider…and yes, perhaps moving away from home to broaden your horizons is a good idea…but what about just picking your cheapest option even when you have the stats to go elsewhere? MD/PhD students Sahaana Arumugam and Miranda Schene, and M2s Ananya Munjal and Nathen Spitz try to put it all together. Pro tip: you can actually pit schools’ offers against each other to lower your tuition!

We also talk about the CCOM Art Show that Ananya and Sahaana are helping to put together, and which any med student from anywhere can submit work to.

And we try the Whisper Challenge again, because we’re not in the studio together to get germs on each other. Thanks, COVID…

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

Choosing Your Clinical Education: Community Hospital or Academic Medical Center?

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On this episode, M2s Nathen Spitz and Sahaana Arumugam, M3 Emma Barr, and MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk reminisce about simpler Halloween times, when the only thing to worry about was whether your costume was going to be on the sexy branch or the non-sexy branch of the decision tree. Emma gives us her thoughts on why it was a good idea to do her ‘core’ clinical clerkships (like Internal Medicine, Psych, and Peds) at community hospitals in Des Moines instead of at our academic medical center closer to home.

It’s time to vote in the US, and we reflect on why students absolutely must not ignore politics, and just how easy it is to get involved.

And, anticipating his friends’ need to one day be decision makers in medicine (and perhaps politicians?) Dave forces them to fight to the figurative death.

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

Liver Bits, Cold Glocks, and Cancer of the Cancer

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“He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news.”

Photo by firepile

Co-hosts Nathen Spitz, Brandon Bacalzo, Mariam Mansour, and Greta Becker rehash their recent microbiology exam which they say kicked their butts, and how they deal with that nasty feeling. Dave discusses what Naegleria Fowleri means to him. Nathen and Mariam reminisce on their experiences with patient instructors and standardized patients.

And the gang practices giving bad news to their patients, using made-up diseases with names created by neural networks and assisted by their attending “Dr. Etler.”

We Want to Hear From You

How’d we do on this week’s show? Did we miss anything in our conversation? Did we anger you? Did we make you smile? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime  or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!

Timing a peace-corps gap year, and Racism and Medicine

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Photo by Fibonacci Blue

A group of public professionals, infectious disease professionals and community members are pushing back on the common perception that #BLM protests will unnecessarily exacerbate the pandemic. This news leads to a discussion of racism in America. NB: The discussion should speak for itself, but this is the age of internet outrage. So we acknowledge that when it comes to talking about racism in America, there are few better ways to go wrong than by doing so with a room full of white people. And yet, a handful of white people on a podcast that’s minimally planned is what we had to work with in the moment. We hope we got it mostly right, and whatever we didn’t, we hope that your feedback will be in the spirit in which the discussion took place–heartfelt, sincere, and with an eye towards a future free of white fragility, fear, and especially marginalization.

But before all that, we were blessed with listener question from Kayla, who’s looking forward to some gap years in the Peace Corps. What should she do about the resulting timing problem that creates for her future medical school application?


We Want to Hear From You

So, in our discussion on racism, what did we get wrong, and what did we get right? Express your constructive criticism at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

More Signs that Med School Will Be Different This Fall

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[This episode is brought to you by Pattern. We hope you’ll check out their disability insurance offerings for docs at http://patternlife.com/partner/shortcoat.]

As many of us are, The Short Coats–including this week’s M1 co-hosts Nathen Spitz, Maddie Wahlen, and Caitlin Matteson–have been gazing into their cracked crystal ball to discover the new shape of medical school amid the pandemic. In a previous episode, the crew prognosticated on how interviews would change (and how you can be sure those changes won’t scuttle your chances for interview success), for instance…and it turns out we were right! Adding some certainty to that, the Association of American Medical Colleges has cancelled all its conferences until July of 2021. So yeah.

Sandgroper Largemun, an anonymous listener from Australia, wants to know some ways that he can stand out in medical school to land that choice residency. Good thing you wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com, Sandgroper, because we have ideas for that!


This Week in Medical News

Dave thinks heartthrob Dr. Fauci’s sun is setting as a leading member of the President’s COVID-19 task force. What do you think?

We Want to Hear From You

Has your outlook changed at all since the lockdowns began? Are you feeling optimistic? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  

What We’re Still Doing, What Brings Us Joy

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Photo by Martin Lindstrom

Dave asked listeners what they’re doing to help out in the time of COVID-19 and got some responses back to talk about.  These things, whether big or small, directly related or tangential to this public health crisis–even if it means staying at home–are all part of an unusual effort among the people of the world to contribute to a greater purpose.  Whether it’s making PPE, making explainer videos, picking up garbage outside, or staying home, it’s all important.

Which reminded Dave of a New Yorker article on why many people find it so difficult to believe that this massive effort of social distancing and lockdowns is a good idea.

And we talk about the things that still are able to bring us joy even when we can’t venture out of the house.


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!

We Want to Hear From You

What is bringing you joy these days? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading What We’re Still Doing, What Brings Us Joy

Covid-19 could change the world…forever

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Photo by davide.alberani

There’s no doubt that the global pandemic of COVID-19 has caused much human suffering.  And for those people around the world who are the worst affected, know that you have our deepest sympathies.  No one should have to go through this.

Nevertheless, something compelled Dave to think about the ways that society might change as a result of the pandemic…in some ways, perhaps for the better; in others, perhaps things will just different than were before.  Either way, co-hosts Eric Boeshart, Kenzie McKnight, Michael Gardeau, and Nathen Spitz try to look into the crystal ball a bit.

Next up, the crew answers some listener questions.  “Lex Turesboreme”  wants some advice on using lectures wisely when attendance isn’t required.  And Soon-to-be-Dr-Ray is looking for some perspectives on which school to enroll in: the DO school or the MD school.  We’re on it, friends!

And Dave takes the opportunity to put on his fake medical educator hat to give a pop quiz on historical epidemics.


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!

We Want to Hear From You

What are your predictions or fears for how your education will be affected? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We’d love to hear from you.

Continue reading Covid-19 could change the world…forever

Step 1 is Pass/Fail. Now what???

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Photo by ˙Cаvin 〄

Does making Step 1 pass/fail change everything?

The news that the USMLE changed the all-important Step 1 exam–which many residency programs have been using improperly to stratify applicants and which can affect one’s specialty choice–to pass/fail starting in 2022-ish caused quite a bit of shock and consternation last week.  Sure, some celebrated the change as a victory, but there’s just one liiiiiittle problem: the more competitive residency programs feel they need some standardized measure to base their choices on.

Several listeners wrote in with questions on the change, and the underlying concerns those questions addressed was the uncertainty left in the wake of this change–to wit, “what am I to aim for if there is no three-digit score I can point to as a mark of excellence?”  Though the powers-that-be are essentially responding, “we’re working on it, we’ll get back to you on that,” there are some possibilities to consider.   And we shall, with the help of M4 Matt Wilson, MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Hannah Van Ert, and M1 Nathen Spitz.

Special thanks to listener Terrified Chihuahua and everyone who reached out with questions on this sudden shift in the medical education landscape!


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!

We Want to Hear From You

What are your thoughts on how a pass/fail Step 1 score will change medical education and the residency application process? Did we miss anything? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

Continue reading Step 1 is Pass/Fail. Now what???

Turkey, Telomerase, and Time-Turning Trauma Treatment

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Happy Thanksgiving, bishes!

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Uh, uh, nope, I’m out. Photo by chumlee10

FYI, there’s new merch for charity (stickers!) at at theshortcoat.com/store! Also, It’s Thanksgiving Day in the United States of America, and as we ‘muricans collapse on our sofas replete with turkey with all the trimmings, let us give thanks that M1s Nathen Spitz and Morgan Kennedy, and MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk are here to discuss auto brewery syndrome (or how to be a guilt-free Thanksgiving Day day-drinker if you want your life ruined for years by a real zebra of an illness).

And the gang tries to string together arbitrary medical words into illnesses and breakthrough treatments.


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

Trauma surgeons at the University of Maryland let the world know that they’re the first in the US to put patients in suspended animation.  And Dave doesn’t understand at all why media outlets are giving a seemingly minor development in aging research–we share some of the features of an important cell replication enzyme with plants, woot!–“breakthrough” status.

We Want to Hear From You

Did anyone in your family embarrass or annoy you on Thanksgiving? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Turkey, Telomerase, and Time-Turning Trauma Treatment

Microaggressions: preparing to experience, witness, and commit them

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Photo by F H Mira

Good intentions are everywhere.  Good behavior…well, that’s more complicated.  Such is the case with microaggressions, the term coined by Harvard University psychiatrist Chester Pierce in 1970 to describe minor yet hurtful comments.  Pierce’s original definition encompassed statements aimed at African Americans, but of course one can accidentally or purposefully put down any minority individual–women, LGBTQ+ individuals, non-white ethnicities, and more.

Unfortunately, nearly 50 years after Dr. Pierce proposed the term, microaggressions are still a thing.  Dave admits to his sins, and M1s Sahaanna Arumagam and Nathen Spitz, along with SCP intern Joel Horne discuss how to prepare for the inevitability of witnessing, experiencing, and  committing microaggressions.

Plus, can this week’s co-hosts diagnose their weird patients’ quirks?


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

Speaking of good intentions gone awry, hospitals are relying on AI algorithms to direct extra treatment at those who need it, except the AI thinks wealthy white people are needier than African American patients.  And researchers announce an effective treatment for 90% of cystic fibrosis patients.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your microaggression stories? Tell us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Microaggressions: preparing to experience, witness, and commit them