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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!
A cliche, but true. Because without the nurses (and other people) doing their jobs to help the doctor, the doctor can’t do nuthin’–no IVs, no regular BP checks, no comfortable patients, no monitoring while they’re home sleeping, no nothing. Listener Amber stops by to ask what med students learn about nurses and how to work with them. M4s Hillary O’Brien and Kylie Miller and new M1 co-hosts Jessica De Haan and Greta Becker are happy to help, because nurses are the spine and a big portion of the central nervous system of medicine. And Fifi Trixiebell returns, craving med school war stories. Also, Hillary and Kylie discuss the residency personal statements they wrote and where they sought help.
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!
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Welcome to Night Float! In this series of special episodes, resident physicians take a break from the demands of their days (and nights) to offer information, guidance, and support to medical students and to share their residency experiences. Fourth year medical students are currently in the heart of residency interview season, and they are doing all they can to secure a position through the residency match process. In the first episode of Night Float, Dr. Desiré Christensen (R2: Psychiatry) and Dr. Matt Maves (R1: Pediatrics) discuss their interview experiences and offer suggestions about how to prepare.
AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.
Doximity – Doximity is a network of physicians and medical students.
FREIDA – FREIDA is the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database.
We Want to Hear From You
What are your residency interview stories? What suggestions do you have for medical students preparing to match? Medical students, what questions do you have about the residency application process?
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.
Statistics on human trafficking vary, but Dr. Shannon Findlay, an Emergency Medicine resident at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, offers some sobering information. It is believed that 21 million people worldwide are affected by human trafficking, and perhaps 18,000 people are trafficked into the United States every year in forced labor or sex work. It’s not just people being brought into the country against their will, either, or even moved across state lines. Even people within their home towns can be victims. Recognizing that someone is a victim of human trafficking is difficult, as there are so many variables and misunderstandings to overcome. Physicians may be running across victims and not realizing it, even if something doesn’t seem right about a patient interaction. Corbin Weaver, Tarek Karam, and Kylie Miller join Dr. Shannon to discuss the problem, how physicians can recognize potential victims, and what they can do about it. And with Match Day around the corner, Dr. Findlay also recalls her match experience as well as offers advice to new residents in their intern year. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week. Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page where we record Live to include your questions and comments in the show.