Category Archives: Short Coat Podcast

All episodes of the Short Coat Podcast.

Ask Your doctor if COVID is Right For You.

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As COVID numbers tick up, we choose to drown our sorrows in French/Korean fusion baked goods.

TL;DR

  • Dave picks his co-hosts’ brains on how they interpret the latest numbers on COVID
  • We eat baked goods that AJ brought us and try to guess what’s in them, and fail because they’re deliciously unlike anything we’ve had before.
  • We play Out of the Loop.

NOTE: this episode was recorded a few weeks back–some of the COVID numbers referred to are out of date, but the discussion is still valid.

Dave’s growing concerned about the recent uptick in COVID numbers, but like most non-epidemiologists, he isn’t quite sure what exactly they mean. So he brings it to the closest people he has to doctors to talk about it with on a Friday afternoon, his medical student co-hosts. MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 AJ Chowdhury, M2 Nicole Hines, and M2 Sarah Costello help him process.

To help that bitter pill go down, AJ brought some sweet tasty pastries all the way from Shilla Bakery in the Washington DC area. They aren’t a sponsor, we just really enjoyed their Korean/European fusion baked goods! Folks with misophonia, Nicole says sorry for her chewing noises.

And we play a game of Out of the Loop.

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!

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The Coming Physician Exodus: Why Doctors May Leave the Profession Soon

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COVID taught many employees what their employees think of them. Doctors are no different.

TL;DR

  • Most people don’t see themselves as partners in success, but as hired hands. Doctors are employees, too, and have similar issues with their employers!
  • 30% of administrators reported losing physicians during the pandemic. Either an exit from healthcare or a mass shift of physicians from low-engagement jobs to higher engagement positions may have already begun.
  • We discuss what a great job for a doctor might look like.

In this episode future physicians M2 Nicole Hines, and MD/PhD students Miranda Schene, Aline Sandouk and newcomer Riley Behan are on hand to talk about “employee engagement,” the idea that workers–and physicians are workers, remember–feel best utilized and appreciated when they are partners rather than cogs in the success of their employers.

And while many physicians have experienced job dissatisfaction and burnout, COVID seems to have taught some docs that they no longer have to put up with that. As employers of all kinds struggle to bring disengaged workers back to their dissatisfying, low-paying jobs, a white paper from a physician recruiter ominously suggests that doctors are also re-thinking their work as employees.

With that in mind, Dave asks his co-hosts what, for them, might be the features of a job that they could feel engaged with, like a partner in success?

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!

Continue reading The Coming Physician Exodus: Why Doctors May Leave the Profession Soon

Awesome, More application Hoops!

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Get ready for new application requirements (and to pay more money?)

TL;DR

  • CASPer seeks to help schools understand applicants’ non-academic and people skills. It’s never been validated, but more and more schools are using it.
  • Some residency programs have begun using ‘supplemental questions’ as so-called objective measures like STEP 1 and STEP 2 CS fall away.
  • Are these new hurdles useful? Or do they add to the burden of becoming a doctor for no reason?

Dave had never heard of CASPer before (Iowa doesn’t currently use it), so he was surprised to hear that a bunch of schools–and more all the time–are using it to outsource their judgements of applicants’ so-called ‘soft’ skills like ethics and collaboration. However, there are reasons to doubt CASPer’s utility, including that it’s not clear it’s actually measuring these things. And while it costs students a small amount per school (‘small’ being a relative term, especially if the student is cash-strapped), what does it cost the schools who use it and how much of that gets passed on in tuition?

And in their never-ending quest to find the ‘best’ applicants, residency programs are finding new ways to evaluate them, such as requiring answers to ‘supplemental’ questions that sound an awful lot like a secondary application. And the part that includes signaling the applicant’s program preference seems a wee bit suspicious to Dave, MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 Nicole Hines, M2 AJ Chowdhury, and M4 Mackenzie Walhof.

And is Britney Spears being subject to reproductive coercion by her conservators?

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!

Continue reading Awesome, More application Hoops!

WHAT Are They REALLY LOOKING FOR IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT? Top Tips from our Expert

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Hint: it’s NOT a dramatic, ‘lightbulb’ moment.

TL;DR

  • Your med school application won’t be the last time you write a personal statement. They’re everywhere in medicine, so keep track of experiences you can write about when you need to.
  • Be careful about thinking too much about strategy, sacrificing the ‘personal’ part. It’s pretty easy to spot someone who isn’t writing with feeling.
  • Very few people can honestly write about a lightbulb moment when they suddenly knew what they wanted, so don’t bother.

Dave works in the Writing and Humanities Program with Director Cate Dicharry, MFA. Among her jobs is to assist medical students in writing their personal statements for residency applications, and she’s been deep in the weeds on that topic since partway through last semester. So Dave asked her to be on the show to give her top tips to both pre-meds and med students in crafting a statement that will grab their school’s or program’s attention. Joining us in the co-hosts’ seats are M4 Emma Barr, MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 Sarah Costello, and M2 AJ Chowdhury.

We also discuss how medical school curricula are evolving to incorporate more of the humanities into medical education. And Dave continues his weird interest in taking sweet foods and making them savory, this time offering up three ice cream flavors he and his wife made.

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!

Continue reading WHAT Are They REALLY LOOKING FOR IN YOUR PERSONAL STATEMENT? Top Tips from our Expert

Parenting in Med School, Part 3: What About the Partners?

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Because med school is all-consuming, partners often take on much of the parenting tasks

TL;DR

  • Asking for and getting help from one’s med-student partner when parenting gets overwhelming is essential.
  • Organizing with other med student parents for mutual support is crucial.
  • The fear that med school is completely inflexible for parents may be unfounded.

M4 Nick Lind and Miriam Lind are joined by M4 Michael Lung and Christina Lung to talk about the arrangements they’ve had to make and the techniques they’ve used in order to make med school parenting work. Also unintentionally, but predictably, on the mic–Nick and Miriam’s newborn Ingrid and Michael and Tina’s 11-month old Michaela. Warning–cute baby coos and mic-grabbing noises are a feature of this episode, not a flaw! Check out our YouTube channel for the video to see cute babies.

One of the things that’s come out of Nick’s efforts putting together this series for The Short Coat is that the families have started talking more. In fact, they’ve begun organizing a parents’ group to open lines of communication and support for each other. Podcasting FTW!

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!

Continue reading Parenting in Med School, Part 3: What About the Partners?

Life Hacks for Med Students

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Med school life hacks are all about maximizing efficiency, minimizing friction.

TL;DR

  • Eliminate unnecessary friction to the completion of a task
  • Paying others to do other life tasks can be helpful
  • Saying no is as important as maximizing efficiency.

Today we explore the things that med students do to maximize their efficiency. These are the small steps they take to eliminate friction to completing chores, focusing attention where it’s needed instead of where your brain wants it to be, and eliminating those tasks that just aren’t that important to them. M4 Mackenzie Walhof, MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 Nicole Hines, and M2 AJ Chowdhury explore with Dave their own personal life hacks.

Also, Dave ran famous doctors’ photos multiple times through an app that makes caricatures until they were no longer recognizable, then made videos of the progression. How fast can the crew identify them when the video is reversed? Play along at home on our Instagram.

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!

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HAVING BABIES IN MED SCHOOL, PT. 2: HOW DO SCHOOLS SUPPORT PARENTS?

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Is it enough to deal with issues on a case-by-case basis, or do schools need to do better?

TL;DR

  • We share more stories from our med student parents.
  • What the research says about how medical schools are supporting parents and pregnant students in medical school.
  • How should med schools support student parents and pregnant students–can schools do better?

Physician training comes smack in the middle of prime parenting years. Yet the intensity and time commitment required to study medicine doesn’t make the decision to have kids while in school or residency–or to go into medicine when you already have kids-seem viable.

Of course, parents do it all the time, so CCOM Dad and M3 Nick Lind is back to host another in his series on medical school parenting with some other mommies and daddies. M1 Katie Higham-Kessler, M2s Jessica De Haan andSally Heaberlin, and M3 Zach Tully discuss what schools are doing to support their students who are considering or having children, and what they can do better.

Jessica also clues us in on the body of research into this important issue. There seems to be a lack of robust research on parenting in medical school, with most such studies focusing on residency–a very different situation. Perhaps the concept of the “traditional” medical student (who is age 22 to 26) has obscured the needs of the non-traditional student who is older and wants to start or has a family.

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!

Continue reading HAVING BABIES IN MED SCHOOL, PT. 2: HOW DO SCHOOLS SUPPORT PARENTS?

Urology is about more than penises and prostates, ft. Men’s Health Doc Amy Pearlman, MD

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Serving Your Patients Shouldn’t Just Happen in the Office

TL;DR

  • Urologist Amy Pearlman has built her practice upon the opportunities offered by YouTube, Twitter, and Tik Tok.
  • The one question no one asks themselves that can help you decide on your future specialty: what can’t you live without?
  • Medical school does not teach you how to be a doctor. That’s what residency and fellowships are for.
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Dr. Amy Pearlman is a urologist who operates a men’s health clinic at the University of Iowa. Co-hosts AJ Chowdhury (M1) and Aline Sandouk (MD/PhD) suggested her as a guest on the show, and boy is he glad he listened. Dr. Pearlman has so much to offer students on everything from offering patients value before they even arrive for their in-office visit, picking a specialty, and why men need a provider that focuses on their needs just as women do.

AJ and Aline join M3 Mason LaMarche and M4 Zach Tully for a fantastic conversation with Dr. Pearlman that could change the way you think about your future medical career.

Also, Dave keeps reading about a humanity-extinguishing sperm count “crisis.” But The New York Times reports on new research that suggests the crisis is non-existent.

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!

Continue reading Urology is about more than penises and prostates, ft. Men’s Health Doc Amy Pearlman, MD

When Life Is Getting In the Way of Med School: the Value of the Tactical Retreat.

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Save Your Resources to Fight Another Day

TL;DR

  • Medical school is all-consuming, but sometimes you need to take time to deal with the slings and arrows of life.
  • Don’t be afraid that you’ll jeopardize your career by taking a leave during medical school. Better to do it before your situation causes harm to your test scores or grades.
  • A Brown University study finds that schools are failing in their diversity goals for admitting URMs.

Poking around on Reddit’s r/medschool, Dave found a rather desperate message from an M3 who’s life is collapsing around him–death, marriage troubles, family illnesses, and all at the same time. so much so that Dave fears their progress might suffer. Is it time for what a military commander might call a “tactical retreat?” Note: Dave isn’t really sure of the technical definition of a tactical retreat, but let’s just say it’s about stepping back and conserving your resources until the situation becomes more favorable to your goals. It’s a metaphor, go with it.

And co-hosts Aline Sandouk (MD/PhD), Nicole Hines (M1), AJ Chowdhury (M1), and Miranda Schene (MD/PhD) discuss the disappointing news that medical schools have made negative progress in attaining diversity goals for students underrepresented in medicine, despite years of effort.

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!

Continue reading When Life Is Getting In the Way of Med School: the Value of the Tactical Retreat.

Hot Takes: Dr. Marty Makary dissects the US COVID Response, and he isn’t happy

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We were too slow, too cautious, and too “old-guard” in our responses to COVID

TL;DR

  • Guest Marty Makary condemns the old way that healthcare responds to current events.
  • Sticking to the clinical trials process and a reluctance to use the knowledge already available from Chinese doctors slowed US responses and killed people.
  • “We had terrible medical leadership throughout the pandemic, and I think it’s good for our leaders to show some degree of humility to say, look, we consistently got it wrong.”

This episode is sponsored by Panacea Financial, a company just for medical students and doctors. Check them out!

New York Times bestselling author and Johns Hopkins surgeon Marty Makary returns to the show to just blast US healthcare and medicine’s response to COVID. The flip-flopping on mask effectiveness, the distribution of vaccines, ignoring the role of natural immunity of people who were infected and survived, insisting on a two-dose vaccine rollout instead of first getting everyone vaccinated once. All of these decisions were slow, ill-considered, and in some cases theatrical rather than scientific. Even Fauci got it wrong! *gasp*

Join MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, and M1s AJ Chowdhury and Rick Gardner as we dissect the chaos. The paperback edition of Dr. Makary’s book, The Price We Pay, includes an update that discusses COVID’s implications for the business of healthcare.

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!

Continue reading Hot Takes: Dr. Marty Makary dissects the US COVID Response, and he isn’t happy