Listener Jen sent an email to email@example.com asking M4 Irisa Mahaparn, and M1s Nick Lind and Madeline Slater about the doubts they’ve experienced in their journey through medical education. Oh, Jen. The doubts they have experienced! We discuss them, along with the sources of doubt and how they are learning to overcome them to achieve their goals. Also, we try to give listener Ryan some ideas about his genetics course assignment.
We also visit the worst place on the internet to get medical advice, Yahoo! Answers, and discover a potential new treatment for desert-based constipation. All it needs is a good clinical trial and a few not-squeamish human subjects!
Happy New Year! With the holidays slowing down the pace of listener questions, Dave asks new co-host LJ Agostinelli and old hands Rob Humble and Hillary O’Brien to discuss the harsh truths and pleasant realities of studying medicine. Plus, Yahoo! Answers gets another visit, and manages to live up to Dave’s characterization of it as the saddest place on the internet.
Obesity may not be hopeless, but it is very difficult for physicians and sufferers
Listener Hannah wrote in after shadowing physicians, noting that many of the morbidly obese patients she observed resisted their doctors’ advice to lose weight. Is there any hope that doctors can treat this intractable illness when patients don’t “want” to do the work? Aline Sandouk, Claire Casteneda, Kylie Miller, and newbie Ali Hassan offer their views and what they’ve learned so far about treating this difficult disease.
Also, in Dave’s constant quest to ‘contribute’ to his co-hosts clinical skills, we visit the saddest place on the Internet, Yahoo! Answers, so they can practice their patient education techniques.
This Week in Medical News
Congratulations, Sperm Donor #2757! You’re the father of 45 girls and boys between the ages of 1 to 21 years old, and your generosity has made things very weird! And we discuss yet another questionable beauty practice, the vampire facial, which OH COME ON NOW, HOW IS THIS EVEN A THING?
It’s winter break at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine. For most people, that means there are a couple weeks to relax and rejuvenate their minds, bodies, and familial relations. Despite a lack of available co-hosts, The Short Coats never take a break, which is why Dave had to invite fellow student affairs staffers Chris Roling (Financial Services) and Kate McKenzie (Admissions) to join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and physician assistant student and noob co-host Paul Kretkowski on this week’s show. To give Chris and Kate the full experience, we visit with the fine patients at the Yahoo! Answers Doctor’s Office to hear and answer their questions on concussions, nail gun injuries and impressive DIY treatments, and the potential dangers of floor pizza.
This Week in Medical News
Our humble state of Iowa is home to a new effort to create nanovaccines for influenza which promise to eliminate many of the current vaccine’s downsides while increasing its effectiveness. More evidence that the gut and brain are intimately linked. And the scandal of the CDC’s banned words might have been a trifle overblown.
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?
One of our podcasting goals is to encourage others to create their own shows, especially medical learners. So John Pienta, Irisa Mahaparn, Adam Erwood, and Erin Pazaski were pleased to hear from listener Terel, who got it and launched a podcast of her own! Go, Terel! Although perhaps she and her fellow pre-meds should (not) consider the path taken by another undergrad, who decided to skip all the pesky applying and test taking and just declare herself a medical student so she could jump right in and start seeing patients. On the other hand, if you worked hard getting your MD, and made all the sacrifices medical education requires, then getting married to your degree may be something to think about. As often happens to medical students, Irisa confesses she’s having to learn what to think about herself when she doesn’t get tippy-top grades in her classes…and she worries that if she had to help someone give birth on a train, surely no one aboard would survive. And Dave offers his co-hosts some practice at answering health questions they might really hear someday, which he pulled from the saddest place on the internet: Yahoo! Answers. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week. Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Compassion fatigue is a problem for many practitioners. In medicine, some of the needs are so great, and the resources are often so finite. Aline Sandouk, John Pienta, Rob Humble, and Kaci McCleary discuss what happens when caring itself becomes a limited resource, the reasons empathy can dwindle, ways to cultivate it, and the role that compassion can play in caring for oneself. We also learn what monks and nuns are teaching us about how compassion manifests positivity and even neural plasticity. Continue reading Compassion Isn’t Easy→
Dave helps Mark Moubarek, Amy Young, Rob Humble, and Corbin Weaver to practice their clinical skills by answering random people’s “health” questions from the saddest place on the Internet. But first we discuss the AMA’s policy to support the ban on direct to consumer advertising of drugs and implantable devices, and how such advertising makes the doctor-patient relationship complicated. Will drug companies retaliate by advocating for bans on advertising doctors and hospitals to patients. Researchers in the UK may be about to get the green light to edit the genes of human embryos seeking answers to why some miscarriages happen. Are we approaching the slippery slope?
Dave, John Pienta, Mark Moubarek, Matt Maves, and Levi Endelman are aware that the world is full of questions. Nowhere is that more true than on the saddest place on the Internet, Yahoo! Answers. There folks ask the kinds of things that a primary care physician might have to answer. Is removing a layer of skin with a razor a good way to get rid of acne scars? What could be the cause of blisters on one’s lips after kissing one’s dog? How much milk should one use in one’s bath? There are no stupid questions.
But first, since Matt has returned from a year in Des Moines doing clerkships there, we discuss what that’s been like and the benefits of doing some clerkships outside a more academic setting. We also discuss the psychiatric disorder pica and the kinds of things people swallow on purpose (or by accident). Also we talk about drug maker Mylan’s difficulties with, well, everyone after we collectively realized they’re gouging patients who need epinephrine auto-injectors to keep themselves alive. Meanwhile, a company is offering a supplement that its CEO, a pioneering MIT aging researcher, and it’s Nobel-prize festooned board of scientific advisors say might just be a way to extend the human health span.