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Night Float: Finding Mentors, Being a Mentor

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Mentorship–both giving and receiving–is a crucial part of being a resident

Keenan Laraway, MD
Keenan Laraway, MD

Short Coat Podcast veteran Keenan Laraway, MD (CCOM ’15, Internal Medicine), returns to the microphone to give his insights into one of the most important parts of residency–finding and being a mentor.  As you listen, note how much credit he gives to his mentors for their influence on him, and how much emphasis he gives to teaching medical students himself.  Medical residency (and undergraduate medical education, partially) operates on an apprenticeship model, in which the experience and advice of one’s colleagues is integral to one’s own development.  Seeking out those relationships is therefore vital.

Helpful links

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.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have mentors to whom you turn for advice and example? Tell us about them at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Tests, Tact, and Turpentine

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Everyone gets anxious about tests.  And med school features a lot of tests.

chemicals photoThe news that students at Oregon Health and Science University will now be subject to ‘compassion tests‘  in order to graduate got Dave thinking about test anxiety.  As schools pile on the examinations, how do students deal with the stress?  Dabin Choi, Gabe Conley, Claire Casteneda, and Erik Kneller discuss meditation, sleep, prayer, and eating habits that keep them from letting the fear derail them.

Also in the news, a GQ interview with comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish espouses an unusual cure-all the government doesn’t want us to know about: a teaspoon of turpentine.  Can this week’s co-hosts do her one better by convincing Dave that the effects of various other household and industrial chemicals are government-suppressed remedies?

This Week in Medical News

Why can’t Dave stop himself from succumbing to the lure of science’s newest form of clickbait: the ‘we-found-a-new-organ’ article? One man’s sexually transmitted disease clearly made the BBC’s headline editor clap his hands together with a gleeful tactlessness.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you suffer from severe test anxiety?  What do you do for it? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

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The Truth About “Primary Care” Statistics

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How to Think About Med Schools’ Primary Care Statistics

doug e fresh photo
Doug E Fresh Photo by Jason Persse

Listener Lavender BloodPoison (not their real name) sent us a message saying they were impressed by CCOM’s Primary Care residency match statistics.  And while many schools that serve states like ours do love primary care, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics,” as the saying goes.  How should one interpret match statistics in light of the fact that many who appear to match in primary care will go on to specialize after their first year residency?  Lisa Wehr, Teneme Konne, Aline Sandouk, Amy Young, and Kaci McCleary are here to drop some truths about the so-called “Dean’s Lie” (less a lie as much as it is a truth that doesn’t tell the whole story).

Also, Meldor returns to give us an update (congratulations, Meldor!), though we mourn losing her to another school.  So we console ourselves by dishing on the medical scientist training program lifestyle.

This Week in Medical News

A program that uses hip hop to educate black youth and their parents on stroke is showing some successes.  The new CDC director has a shady research past.  Surgery centers are getting some attention as  risky places to get surgery.  And as promised, we go over some Match 2018 statistics.

We Want to Hear From You

Why is primary care or specializing attractive to you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We love your comments and questions!

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Putting the Anxiety Cart Before the Horse

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Anxiety about your competitive specialty ambitions in your first year isn’t worth it.

anxiety photoListener Luis wrote in expressing his anxiety that his med school–which he’ll begin attending this fall–doesn’t have the prestige or programs to support his desire for a competitive specialty like ophthalmology.   If that’s the case, he wondered, what can he do to increase his chances of obtaining his dream career?  Fortunately for Luis, Irisa Mahaparn, Gabe Conley, Brendan George, Jason Lewis, and new co-host Andres Dajles were on hand to give Luis the advice and encouragement he needs…and a tiny dose of tough love, too.

Also, Dave indulges in his interest in tech startup culture by having his co-hosts pitch to him random product ideas for random people.

This Week in Medical News

Did an astronaut’s genetic code change after being in space?  Of course not.  Should med students upgrade their stupid brains with “cognitive prosthetic” implants?  Anything to pass that test!  Should Dave have his brain turned to glass when his stupid body is ready to kick it so he can be uploaded to the cloud someday?  Er…ask again later?

We Want to Hear From You

Would you get a chip in your head if it made you a better student?  Or is there a line you just won’t cross? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Should you consider romance when selecting a med school?

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Med school can test a relationship.

broken heart photo
Photo by Free For Commercial Use (FFC)

Lauren wrote in to ask us to what extent her love life should play a role in her selection of a medical school, and how we thought med school challenges relationships. Gabe Conely, Joyce Wahba, Claire Casteneda, and new host Brendan George discussed their perspective on how med school can affect romantic relationships, and what role it should play in the selection of a school to attend.

And, after reading an article about how blind people use echolocation–and that they were better at it even than previously thought–Dave thought up an experiment to test his co-hosts.  A stupid experiment, but he’s a podcast host not a doctor.

This Week in Medical News

The opioid epidemic isn’t going anywhere…and it’s getting worse despite the hand wringing done around the country about how to arrest it.  And 23andMe has the green light from the FDA to test customers for BRCA mutations.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you know anyone who echolocates? That’s something we all want to hear more about!  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Lack of Empathy: A Med School Dealbreaker?

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Everyone knows: doctors have to have empathy…right?

empathy photo
Photo by Pierre Phaneuf

Listener Mo wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask us if a lack of interest in dealing with the foibles of patients–with their anti-vaccine beliefs, their non-compliance with treatment, and reliance on the latest internet fads–means he should reconsider his med school dreams.  Lucky for Mo, Kaci McCleary, Irisa Mahaparn, and newbs Melissa Chan and Dabin Choi were on hand to propose some paths forward for non-empathetic med school applicants, as well as outlining some of the less obvious areas empathy comes in handy they might want to think about.  There isn’t a lot of wiggle room in this area…but there’s a little, and maybe Mo can squeeze into those cracks and come out with an MD on the other side.

This Week in Medical News

Is the ubiquity of IV saline an example of institutional inertia?  And in response to this article, the gang explores the institutional and systemic barriers that AMCAS and some schools’ admissions committees have erected against disadvantaged students.

We Want to Hear From You

Are you a disadvantaged applicant worried about your grades, money, and connections? Tell us your story at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Another Student Fights Mental Illness Stigma

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More and more students are speaking up about their mental illness struggles

desperate photoOne of the things we Short Coats agree on is that the stigma medical students and physicians face when dealing with mental illness must end.  We are people, too, and thus are subject to the full range of human maladies.  So when listener Kate reached out to theshortcoats@gmail.com to tell us of her University of Michigan classmate Rahael Gupta’s JAMA article addressing her own struggles, Matt Wilson, Marisa Evers, and Gabe Conley could only respond with sympathy and admiration.

Turns out, however, that the Google autocomplete hive-mind isn’t terribly sympathetic to MDs, med students, pre-meds, or nurses.  That’s what we learned playing a game of Google Feud.

This Week in Medical News

Do you want to throw away your #nofilter lifestyle…completely?  Then jump on the trend and ask your plastic surgeon to make you look like your favorite Snapchat filter.  More news on the fight against influenza comes as a Japanese company has crafted a drug that eliminates the virus in just 24 hours.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you need advice?  Do you want us to talk about something near and dear to your heart? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Recess Rehash: Bropocalypse 2017

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The national #MeToo conversation continues

creepy man photo[Dave had the flu on recording day, so we’re posting this awesome episode from the recent past.  Enjoy!]

Dave found himself hosting with another group of women, so what better time to talk about #MeToo and the powerful people being taken down by their sexual harassment and abuse of their less-powerful victims?  Erin Pazaski, Hillary O’Brien, Laura Quast, and Liza Mann weigh in on why this seems to have staying power in the news cycle, and why it seems to destroy some powerful men and not others.  Plus, since this is a group of friends who, through med school, have come to know each other well, Dave challenges each to answer questions as their friends would.

This Week in Medical News

Speaking of creepy, The University of Miami has a problem on its hands with a medical student who’s been posting other students’ social media pics of their car selfies and beach photos on websites where other folks are excited by such things.  A New Hampshire doc loses her license after refusing to use an EHR because she’d rather practice ‘medical art’ (and not properly tracking her prescribing practices).  And more medical schools want to hear from premeds what they think about the national debate on the ACA and the individual insurance mandate.

We Want to Hear From You

Your thoughts and comments are important to us!  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Med Student Parents, Part 2 | Plan for Debt but Don’t Worry

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This time, a mom’s point of view.

doctor computer photo
Photo by j.reed

On our last show, we fielded a question from Courtney who wants to go to med school but is worried about being a mom and a med student.  We got one dad’s perspective then, and now it’s time for mom.  Dr. Maya Lopez (CCOM MD ’04) was another non-trad entering school with a supportive husband and a few bundles of joy.  She told Eric Schnieders, Tucker Dangremond, and Sanjeeva Weerasinghe how she dove headlong into med school, how she and her husband (along with a village) made parenting and med school work for them.

To top it off, we got another question from Clovis (not his real  name) who was worried that he’d either have to join the military or sell all of his internal organs to afford medical school…unless we could come up with some other options for him.  CCOM debt counselor Chris Roling had some good news (not to mention advice) for him.

This Week in Medical News

The medical education world is humming with the news that the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has reversed a long-standing prohibition against students contributing to patients’ medical records.  Boring?  Maybe, but it’s going to change how clerkships are done and the ease with which students make the transition to residency in the very near future.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you have worries we can soothe (or stoke)? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We’re ready to give free (and perhaps even good) advice!

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How Med Student Parents Make It Happen

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Can you be a parent while you’re in medical school?

tired mom photo
Photo by tvdflickr

Listener Courtney, a 26-year-old mother of three wants to know if her med school dream is even possible.  Obviously this is a two-part question since there are both moms and dads to consider, so we’ll have a mom on a future show to help.  But first, Gabe Conley, Marissa Evers, Joyce “Spicy” Wahba, and Kaci McCleary invited 2004 CCOM grad Dr. Tom McNalley on the show to represent the dads.  Tom was 39 with three kids of his own and a wife who was working towards her PhD when he entered med school.  We’ll find out how they did it.

After that, Dave and the gang do a little introspection in the way that medical students often are asked to do: by taking personality tests and comparing their results.

This Week in Medical News

Did you know that you can rent a human head?  We didn’t know either.  Did you know you can rent a HIV- or hep C-infected human head?  You can, if you were unwise enough to rent from these people.  And a man who needed a kidney found one at the happiest place on earth, sort of.

We Want to Hear From You

Have doubts about your coming med school journey? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  We can help.

Continue reading How Med Student Parents Make It Happen