Category Archives: Short Coat Podcast

All episodes of the Short Coat Podcast.

Recess Rehash: Microaggressions: preparing to experience, witness, and commit them

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Photo by F H Mira

[Were on a break from recording,  it we’ll be back on January 14 with a new episode.  Enjoy this rerun for now!]


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 Recess Rehash: Microaggressions: preparing to experience, witness, and commit them

Recess Rehash: This Student’s Shame is Changing Our Curriculum

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Photo by Joe Gatling

[Happy New Year!  We are taking a break from recording, and our next new show is out on January 14.  In the meantime, enjoy this rerun.  This episode was sponsored by Pattern. We hope you’ll check out their disability insurance offerings for docs at http://patternlife.com/partner/shortcoat.]

Doctors and medical students often have an identity based on perfection and infallibility.  Often it that identity comes from their own expectations of themselves, and sometimes it comes from external sources.  Whatever the source, it’s both motivating and problematic to feel shame when mistakes are made,  or when knowledge is imperfect.

Fourth-year student and future OB/Gyn doc Luci Howard visited with MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and M1s Caitlin Matteson, Morgan Kennedy, and Emerald Dohleman to talk about her project to create a curriculum about shame and medical student identity.  Her shame–as a first-gen college graduate, as a perfectionist, and as someone who’s made mistakes–was holding her hostage in some ways, but now her curriculum works to illuminate and combat the negative effects of shame in medical education, and it will soon be integrated into the College of Medicine’s curriculum. Her work means that future medical learners will learn how to react productively and rationally when they inevitably achieve less-than-perfection.


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

Would you be willing to share experiences that have felt shameful in order to help others? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: This Student’s Shame is Changing Our Curriculum

AMA: Racism is a Public health Threat. SCP Co-hosts: Gosh, really?

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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/]

In mid-November, the American Medical Association declared racism to be a public health threat. With that declaration, they adopted policies to acknowledge and recognize racism as detrimental to the health and well-being of all of America’s citizens, and to encourage the study of its effects and the creation of medical education curricula.

Great! But this week’s co-hosts, Nathen Spitz, Aline Sandouk, Sahaana Arumugam, and Ananya Munjal, have mixed feelings and hope that the AMA won’t be among the many institutions that have made similar declarations without taking real action.

But first, listener Malcolm wrote in to theshortcoats@gmail.com to ask how he might take advantage of his fortunate position as the holder of multiple acceptances to medical school in negotiating for financial aid. The co-hosts have definitely got some advice, based mostly upon our fantasies of being in the same position.

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!

Recess Rehash: When Doctors Do Harm ft. Danielle Ofri, MD

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Hippocrates set a high bar.

A portrait of Dr. Danielle Ofri, Author of When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error

[Hope your Thanksgiving was excellent, safe, and happy! We didn’t record anything this week, so here’s a rerun for you.]

Dr. Danielle Ofri–NYU professor of medicine, Bellevue Hospital internist, and author of great renown–joined us this time to talk about her new book, When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error.  Examining medical errors is a something all good physicians do–sometimes on a stage in front of their colleagues but often surreptitiously. However, “mistakes were made” simply isn’t acceptable to most patients and lawyers. Meanwhile, the shame felt by practitioners who make mistakes is not only unhelpful but hinders their development and can contribute to burnout and depression.   Because of the consequences of shame are so dire, Dr. Ofri argues in her book that confronting mistakes in a humane, understanding, and open fashion is vital. 

Not many years ago, a headline grabbed her attention:  medical errors are the third-leading cause of death in the United States.  How can that be? she wondered.  If people were dying at that rate, wouldn’t physicians have noticed this earlier?  Of course, it turns out that the story of medical error is much more complicated than that headline would lead one to believe, and set Dr. Ofri on the path to this latest book.  Join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M4 Marisa Evers, M2 Jessica De Haan, and M4 Anne Nora for this discussion on the sources of error, the causes, and the ways to understand and learn from the inevitable.

We also discuss her and her colleagues’ experiences fighting COVID-19 in New York City and learning about the disease in real time.

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!

Quality over Quantity: Clinical Experiences and Volunteering in COVID Times

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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/]

The Short Coats have begun livestreaming their recordings in our Facebook group (most Fridays at noon central–join us and be a part of the show). Listeners Garrett and Isaac wrote in with questions about the clinical hours schools want from their applicants. How important is the number of hours, asked Garrett, and what changes in that number are schools making in COVID times? Lucky for you, gentlemen, MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M3 Emma Barr, and M1s Alex Belzer and AJ Chowdhury are on the show to suss it out for you. Plus, we provide some suggestions for alternatives if the usual activities just aren’t available to you. And livestream viewer Cierra asks how we think this year’s experiences will change medical education. Did we learn new things about how to deliver medical education? Are students less prepared than they would otherwise have been?

A couple shows ago, Dave indulged himself in a rant about Americans’ seeming inability to follow best practices for spreading COVID, basically saying those folks are wimps. But a recent editorial in MedPageToday.com makes him reconsider his delivery.

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!

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!

To Leave or Not To Leave

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Should Jenna broaden her horizons by moving away for medical school?

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

Listener Jenna got into Carver College of Medicine! But she’s worried–should she go to a new place to study medicine instead, or should she stay in comfy, cozy Iowa City where she’s been the last few years? Sit tight, Jenna, because M1 Lola Lozano (Texas), M1 Albert Pedroza (Nebraska), MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk (lots of places) and M1 Nicole Hines (Iowa) are here to look at the options with you!

Bun Bun writes in to complain about what they saw as our unfair treatment of Ivy League schools…although, if they’d listened verrrrry carefully, they’d see that’s not something we actually did.

Dave loses his cool about the pandemic complainers. Yes, it’s frustrating to have to stay home and avoid family over the holidays. But this is war.

And yet…he immediately proves the point by forgetting you can’t play the Whisper Challenge without a mask on. So the crew braces themselves against the disappointment–damn you, COVID!–and soldier on. Brave podcasters, all.

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!

Recess Rehash: MD/MBA: Why Physicians Must Know More About Business

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Does a physician need to know everything about healthcare, even the *shudder* money stuff?

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Photo by free pictures of money

[Dave was out of the office on recording day last week, so enjoy this rerun!]

Physicians go through years and years of school to be great at this calling, so why on earth would anyone want to tack on an MBA, too? Co-host Gabe Conley decided to do just that. He’s been thinking about this for a while, but hadn’t pulled the trigger on the idea. Then, as he was about to become a fourth-year medical student, SARS-COV-2 came along and gave him a nudge in the right direction. Gabe explains why he thinks it’s vital to understand business principles as a physician–and it’s not just to make more money.

And Dave prompts Gabe and his fellow co-hosts Aline Sandouk, Brandon Bacalzo, and Madi Wahlen to answer some conversation starters. As a result, some conversations were started and we all learned a thing or two.

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!

“Preference Signaling” –the Future of Applications?

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Preference Signaling Tokens may be a way to combat over-applying for residencies, but the schemes have a ways to go yet before they’re ready for prime time.

Dear Residency Program: I love you. Do you love me? Check YES or NO!!!

Dave noticed something he’d never heard of before: a company offering ‘tokens’ (for a fee) that could be used by residency program applicants to signal their love for particular programs.  The general idea is to combat the common applicant strategy of applying to as many residency programs as possible to be sure  the applicant gets a match.  While this strategy is quite reasonable from the individual applicant’s perspective, it causes problems for both programs and the general body of applicants because those extra applications flood programs with candidates that may not actually be interested. 

Then he found out that the Otolaryngology Program
Directors Organization will be doing something similar, and Aline Sandouk, Eric Boeshart, Emma Barr, and Nicole Lacina explore a analysis of who wins and who looses in such a scheme.  

Plus Dave creates an educational game to help students plan how they’ll react to common odd situations.  And by educational, he clearly meant “educational.”

We Want to Hear From You

Do you think Preference Signalling is a good idea? What if medical schools adopts the idea?  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 kick to hear from you!

A COVID Puzzle in a Rural Iowa Community

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Why was the Hispanic population in Clarion, Iowa seeing so many more infections?

Wright County Courthouse, Clarion, Iowa. Photo by Brandonrush (Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication)

Dr. Michael McLoughlin, internist at Clarion Clinic, was puzzled. Why were 95% of the patients who showed up with novel coronavirus infections Hispanic? And what interventions would best help his community?

Meanwhile, M2 Abby Walling was looking for a summer project centering on health disparities after her overseas global health experience was cancelled.

Global Health Programs Director Robin Paetzold knew them both (Dr. McLoughlin graduated from CCOM in 2013), and helped get them together to find answers and develop solutions. M4 Sophie Williams-Perez, M2 Ananya Munjal, and M4 Marisa Evers sat down to talk to Abby and Dr. McLoughlin to discuss what they found.

As a bonus, Dr. McLoughlin discusses his life as a rural medicine practitioner in his town of 3,000.

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!