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Is AOA racially biased?

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Residency applicants get boosted by AOA, but it could be racially biased

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Photo by jurvetson

Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Aditi Patel, and newbie Madeline Slater are on hand to answer listener questions, such as J’s query about the utility of post-bacc programs for med school applicants, and Chelsea’s question about the use of primary literature in medical school curricula.  We also discuss how membership in Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society boosts residency applicants’ competitiveness, and what some schools are doing to ensure they don’t leave out minorities underrepresented in medicine.

Plus, have you considered acquiring a medicine bag of polished stones from everyone’s favorite MD, Gwyneth Paltrow?  With the news that her company GOOP has settled a lawsuit in several states alleging some of their products make questionable health claims, we explore some of the items promoted at their recent convention.

This Week in Medical News

Hospitals are tired of shortages of vital medicines, so some are banding together to make them by forming their own non-profit drug company.

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Do you know anyone who uses GOOP products? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

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Man Ovens, Shoring Up Weaknesses, and Ditching the MCAT

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Should you fix a bad grade, or concentrate on making your strengths even stronger?

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Photo by Thad Zajdowicz

Activia (not her actual name, though it probably should be. Feel free to take that name, anonymous caller) emailed us at theshorcoats@gmail.com to ask whether she should retake her physics classes (which she took while coping with other unfortunate life-related stuff) or concentrate on getting great grades in other courses.  In addition, she wanted to know if admissions committees REALLY take into account extenuating circumstances?  Well, you’re in luck, Activia!  We’ve got answers from non-traditional first-year students Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Emma Barr; and our friendly admissions staff Dan and Amy chime in, too.

We also play a game of Psych! while Dave tries to use their performance to make judgements about their personalities.  Can he do it?  No he can’t, though he notes with concern Kyle’s suspicious ideas about male anatomical structures  and function.  Too late, Admissions, you said yes!

This Week in Medical News

Facebook has become known as a place where you can find any number of suspicious ideas, but it seems ready to judge so-called alternative health pages as unworthy of its platform.  And we discuss an article that argues the MCAT should no longer be used because of a legal concept called “disparate impact.”

We Want to Hear From You

Have you just started medical school?  What’s been the best and worst parts of your new life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Man Ovens, Shoring Up Weaknesses, and Ditching the MCAT

Owning a Visible Disability during Med School Interviews

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Photo by davitydave

On today’s show, we’ll answer a question from listener Victoria about having a feeding tube during med school interviews–should she worry that it will make her look weak and infirm, and thus not a good applicant for med school?  Aline Sandouk, Mark Moubarek, Jayden Bowen, Marissa Evers and Gabe Conley tell her why she should OWN it by not being the first to mention it!  Go Victoria!

Meanwhile, Mark tells us what he did to overcome his sadness in the past year after his wife moved to pursue her own medical education in California while he finishes up at CCOM, and what he’s learned by adopting his new unconventional lifestyle.  Go Mark!

This Week in Medical News

A CNN story about an alleged “medical kidnapping” of an 18-year-old brain aneurysm patient shocked many, but it turns out the story wasn’t as simple as the article made it appear.  And reaction to New York University’s plan to make tuition absolutely free to all medical students forever took the med ed world by storm…but some aren’t buying that it will have the ostensible consequences of lowering the barrier for underrepresented minorities and encouraging more to go into primary care.

We Want to Hear From You

Did NYU’s announcement move it higher on your list of schools to apply to? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Owning a Visible Disability during Med School Interviews

A Crucial Health Professions Pipeline Pt. 2

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More great stuff from the SHPEPers at CCOM

Our visit with pre-health students in the Carver College of Medicine’s Summer Health Professions Education Program continues as co-host Teneme Konne talks with SHPEPers Asjah Coleman, Kirsten Grismer, Ahone Koge and Margaret Mungai.  Before the show, Teneme also visited with two of Iowa City’s homeless population, and gained some insight into their lives as well as the reasons they are living on the streets.

Plus, we play a game of Mafia, SCP style.  Will the hospital administrator, the attending, or the resident escape death? And who is the mystery disease that threatens them all?  Dun, dun, duuuunnnn.

This Week in Medical News

Also, we discuss LGBTQ+ health disparities, and a review of the evidence that criminalizing drug use has negative effects on efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and other illnesses.

We Want to Hear From You

Were you lucky enough to take advantage of a SHPEP program, or are you looking forward to participating in the future? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading A Crucial Health Professions Pipeline Pt. 2

Recess Rehash: Emily Silverman, MD, and The Nocturnists

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A live stage show featuring the stories of healthcare providers is now a podcast you’ll love.

EMILY SILVERMAN, MD
Dr. Silverman is an academic hospitalist at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, where she seeks out projects that resurrect the narrative soul of medicine. (Photo: http://thenocturnists.com/team/)

The day-to-day of internship, residency, and an MD career doesn’t allow much time to process the effect it’s having on the practitioner.  Rushing from one patient to the next, putting out the fires even while drinking from the firehose, and being selfless in service to the patients’ needs means that one’s own stories are buried, neglected.  More and more, however, medicine is acknowledging the need for practitioners to examine and tell their stories so that they can learn from them, teach their lessons to others, and show colleagues that they are not alone.  In 2015 Dr. Emily Silverman was in her second year of her internal medicine residency at UCSF.  She found herself with a little more time following her frenetic intern year, and with her own stories that had gone untold and unexamined.  She started to write, first in a blog she called The Nocturnists.  Then, in 2016 she organized the first live storytelling session with her colleagues.

Now, in 2018, those live sessions–held in theaters with fun music and a bar, but most importantly, distant from the hospital– are playing to sellout crowds.  Not only do the shows allow for catharsis, but for community.  And because Dr. Silverman isn’t ready to allow The University of Iowa to be a satellite venue (and believe us, we asked), we’re grateful that The Nocturnists is also a podcast!  Each episode feature a piece from the live show, followed by a relaxed, thoughtful discussion between Dr. Silverman and the storyteller.  Her email to Dave earlier this spring to tell The Short Coats about The Nocturnists was a wonderful break from the usual pitches for Caribbean med schools and Ivy League pay-to-play programs; and it gave Kylie Miller, Brendan George, Marisa Evers, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe a great opportunity to discuss what it is The Nocturnists are thinking about.

We Want to Hear From You

If you could get up on stage and tell your story, what would you say?  Well, we have a stage!  Tell the world–call 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Emily Silverman, MD, and The Nocturnists

SHPEP: A Crucial Healthcare Professions Pipeline

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Mentorship and Examples are critical.

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Photo by quinn.anya

The Summer Health Professions Education Program, SHPEP, has become a summer tradition at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.  Students from around the country participate in SHPEP’s goal: “to strengthen the academic proficiency and career development of students underrepresented in the health professions and prepare them for a successful application and matriculation to health professions schools.”

Iowa program’s SHPEPers Hailey Phillips, Hiancha Pinho, and Meranda Pham join co-host Teneme Konne to discuss the program, what it accomplishes for them, and how mentorship — examples of success in healthcare — is crucial for those who are underrepresented in medicine.

Want to Hear From You

Are you underrepresented in medicine?  Who is your mentor?  What barriers have you faced and/or overcome? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Found Risky Business Ventures

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Photo by Jokejacket

Executive Producer Jason has kindly let Dave go on vacation, so Aline Sandouk takes over the hot seat, with Irisa Mahaparn, Hillary O’Brien, Elizabeth Shirazi, and Jayden Bowen. Together they unravel the mysteries of the human body and med school.  For instance, why do med students feel guilty about having to take time off to deal with their bed bug infestations?  And what would having many  normal or two overly large testicles do to fertility?  Such brilliant questions!!!

This Week in Medical News

Does Amazon’s Jeff Bezos or Uber’s former CEO Travis Kalanick have toxoplasmosis?  Our lawyers say definitely not, but toxo does have a link with risky behaviors, and business people can win big by taking risks.   So, naturally, a new study looks at how likely students with toxo are to be business majors.    Also, the mental health consequences of sucking up to your boss, and one woman’s warning that her child’s Hot Cheetos habit led to her losing her gallbladder.

We Want to Hear From You

So, what’s up with you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Found Risky Business Ventures

Applying to Med School? Don’t Worry About the Money (so much).

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Money should never be the most important factor

image: MARS BIOIMAGING LTD.

While Dave and the crew try a recipe from the Med School Success Cookbook, they consider listener Imari’s question: how much did co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Eric Schnieders, Gabe Conley, and Irisa Mahaparn think about money when choosing a medical school?  While it’s important to know what your financial standing will be when you graduate, including your loans and how they’re affected by scholarships and living situation, we think there are more important things to think about.  And Maggie has noticed many med schools have co-ed fraternities and wants our thoughts on their benefits for students.  Happy to help explore this interesting and fun possibility for lowering costs, sharing responsibilities, and joining a new med school fam, Maggie!

This Week in Medical News

Now that the Large Hadron Collider has finished tearing a hole in the universe, researchers are using the technology in its subatomic particle detectors to create 3D color x-rays.  And CRISPR-Cas9 has proved to be an excellent tool for editing genomes…and also tearing them up and spitting them back out with all kinds of errors and random deletions.  Perhaps the honeymoon is over!

We Want to Hear From You

Do you belong to a med school fraternity? What’s it like? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Applying to Med School? Don’t Worry About the Money (so much).

Interview Prep, Opening Up, and Death.

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And no, that’s not the three stages of your med school application.

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’tis the season to be applying to medical school. Which is why we got so many listener questions to address on this episode (thank you!)  Listener Magnus wanted suggestions for how to prepare for MMI and regular admissions interviews, so we invited our resident experts, Amy A’Hearn (from CCOM med student admissions) and Tom O’Shea (from CCOM physician assistant admissions, for his experience with MMI interviews) to help out.  They, along with Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Marc Moubarek and new co-host Shakoora Sabree, also answered questions from listeners Cameron and Sarah about whether opening up about personal/political views and sexual orientation is okay on applications and in interviews.  And listener Jake wanted to know how med students learn to cope with death.

In reference to Sarah’s question on being open about sexual orientation in your application, we weren’t able to find out how many med students identified as LGBTQ+ in the US, but we did note that many prospective students are reluctant to disclose their identification for fear of discrimination.

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Do you have something to add to the discussion, or a question we can answer? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

Continue reading Interview Prep, Opening Up, and Death.

Med School Youtubers, Pre-Med Experiences, and Overcoming Shyness

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So many listener questions!

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Photo by ♥S♥M♥C♥A♥V♥Z♥

Listener Amari returns to ask Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, Tony Rosenberg and Mark Moubarek–what do they think of med school YouTubers?  Is it advisable to broadcast your life during med school in an age when everything you do online has a permanent risk associated with it?  Of course, there are some recommendations for residency program directors in searching social media for candidates’ info.

Next up, Jordan is looking for advice on great pre-med activities that will teach him as well as look great on his application.  And Richard is both shy and working in a lab, and he’s worried that it will be difficult for him to make connections with doctors for things like shadowing.

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Have you ever regretted your social media footprint professionally? What pre-med activities would you recommend to Jordan?  How can Richard break out of his shell?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Med School Youtubers, Pre-Med Experiences, and Overcoming Shyness