Why Med Learners are Asked to “Reflect,” And What Does It Even Mean?

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How students should think about reflection when the word isn’t always well-defined.

TL;DR

  • Whether it’s a class assignment, a personal statement, or a scholarship essay, students are often commanded to reflect on their experiences.
  • Reflection is can be a useful part of understanding what you are becoming. But what that means and how to do it are frequently not well defined.
  • Our M4 co-hosts discuss whether their fears about the residency application process were well-founded or just wheel spinning.
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Listener Empirica Soberface (not her real name) called in to ask us about reflection–something medical learners are often asked to do during their education–saying that it doesn’t come naturally to her. So Dave invited Cate Dicharry, the director of the Writing and Humanities Program here at the Carver College of Medicine, to come on and give us her thoughts on this common assignment. M4s Emma Barr and Madeline Cusimano, M3 Ananya Munjal, and MD/PhD student Riley Behan-Bush are on hand to supply some of their ideas on how best to process what it is they’ve been becoming.

Emma and Madeline also discuss the fears they had about interviewing for their future residency jobs, the anxiety that many senior medical students are feeling right now, and whether their fears were realized or proven to be wheel-spinning.

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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 Question All Future Applicants should Ask: “What Will Help Me Grow?”

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Growth requires embracing unfamiliar and even scary situations.

TL;DR

  • Listener Riley wants some suggestions on experiences that will help him grow while he pursues his path to medicine.
  • We discuss some comments from YouTube on female urologists and male patients.
  • That leads to a discussion on why hospitals default to environments for adult patients which are downright hostile.

This week we start with a listener question. Riley’s about to apply to medical school after a winding path from high school dropout to welder to biochemist. He’s wondering if we can give him advice on activities that will help him to grow. Such a great way to put that question, and M4 Emma Barr, M3 Maddie Wahlen, M4 Abby Fyfe, and new co-host Jacob Hansen are on hand to offer some ideas.

Also, we discuss some comments we got on a previous episode’s YouTube video featuring urologist and men’s health specialist Amy Pearlman on the fear and shame some men feel when they think about seeing a female urologist. For instance: why do doctors make their patients wait for them surrounded by gross anatomy models and posters???

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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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Overcoming Your Undergrad Apathy Now that You’re Applying to Medical School

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Good news: medical schools don’t just want perfect people!

TL;DR

  • If your undergraduate studies in a different field lacked a certain enthusiasm but you’ve now decided to pursue medicine, it can be difficult to know where you’ll stand with admissions committees.
  • Fortunately, adcomms don’t just look for perfect grades and unwavering and early certainty from med school candidates on their path to medicine.
  • We discuss a great way to fill a hole in what your school teaches–create a course on the subject!

Listener Abby is thinking about taking the prereqs for medical school, but worries that her trajectory thus far isn’t distinguished enough.  Is she setting herself up for the poor house and failure? Hear the words of encouragement and wisdom we have for Abby, featuring MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M4 Madeline Cusimano, M4 Emma Barr, and M4 Abby Fyfe.

We also discuss the course on Sexual Violence that Aline and her team of enthusiastic partners developed and delivered this past fall to medical students interested in learning the signs of sexual assault and the roles that students and residents can play in getting help for victims. 

And we compose the voicemail greeting you’ll hear if you call our SCP Listener Line at 347-SHORTCT, and we discuss Aline’s impending return to medical school as she looks forward to completing her PhD.

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 (Recess Rehash)

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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.

We’ll be back next week with a new episode. Meanwhile, as COVID continues to wreak havoc in healthcare, it seems like a good time to revisit this topic. Enjoy.

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?

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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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Recess Rehash: 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.

We’re on a holiday break, but we’ll be back next week. Until then, enjoy this rerun.

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.

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

Academic vs. Community MDs: Who Has It Better? Ft. Santa Claus

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Among the many choices med students make is between community medicine and academic medicine.

TL;DR

  • Doctors who practice community medicine make more than academic physicians (sometimes lots more).
  • As it often does, the question of which to choose depends on which aspect of each you can live without.
  • The co-hosts also visit with Santa, because Dave’s been naughty, to answer pop quiz questions on holiday crimes.
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Santa Claus is on hand for this episode to help listener Josh with his dilemma: which life should Josh choose, that of a community physician or an academic physician? As M4 Emma Barr, M1 Matt Engelken, MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, and M4 Madeline Cusimano see it, there’s lots to consider. For instance, do you want to teach and do research? Do you want to make a lot of money? What kind of patient population do you want to work with?

Plus, Santa gives the co-hosts a pop quiz on weird holiday crimes.

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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Finding Meaningful Research Opportunities

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You can ‘do’ research in med school or undergrad, but no one’s going to just give you the opportunity

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TL;DR

  • If you want to be an author on a publication, you’ve got to be open with your lab about your goals.
  • Go into research with the aim of improving your skills, and know exactly what skills you want to work on.
  • Some kinds of research are easier to do and get published in medical school.

“Friederick” (not his real name) wanted to know more about how to get good research positions in undergrad and medical school. But what does ‘good’ mean in that context? MD/PhD students Miranda Schene and Riley Behan, M1 Grant Stalker, and M4 Emma Barr have thoughts on how to look for an opportunity to publish, how best to understand the job of being an research assistant, and how to approach the principle investigator with your goals.

Riley discusses her impending nuptuals, and how she’s been thinking about a COVID wedding in late 2021, and the gang practices delivering bad news–diseases that Dave generated on some website–with Emma as the instructor.

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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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Med School App Mistakes to Crush Under Your Feet Like Worms (Recess Rehash)

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[Our Thanksgiving break involuntarily continues because a couple co-hosts were out sick on recording day. Rude. Anyway, enjoy this rerun!]

Screw these up, and you may not get in!

TL;DR

  • Our expert looks at the mistakes that can keep you from landing your spot in med school
  • Give the admissions committee what it needs to assure them you want this more than anything, and that you’ve done your homework.
  • When is the right time to apply? When YOU are ready. Don’t rush it, because whether you’re successful or not in finishing med school, a bad decision will affect you for many, many years.
Avoid these five med school mistakes!

You’ve got the grades, you’ve got the activities, and you’ve got the drive. You’re ready to apply to med school, right? Not if you haven’t squashed these critical errors in your application. Get these wrong, and you’ll be applying again next year. Get them right, and they can even turn a mediocre applicant into a desirable one.

Our Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator Rachel Ahearn joins MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Riley Behan, and M2s Rick Gardner and Sarah Costello to help you smash these problems under your heel.

Also, Rachel helps us answer listener Morgan’s question about post-bacc programs and damage control.

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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Recess Rehash: Life Hacks for Med Students

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Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, we weren’t in the studio to record a new show last week. Instead, enjoy this rerun!

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.

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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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BEST JOBS FOR A FUTURE MD/PHD STUDENT, and Turkey Day Shenannigans

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Any job can be a good premed job, but what about for the future physician scientist?

TL;DR

  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • We discuss the MD/PhD life, and the jobs that will prepare a hopeful MD/PhD student while also giving the admissions committees something to love.
  • We diss Thanksgiving while still loving it, including a special Turkey Day pop quiz.

Happy Thanksgiving! Now, settle down, we don’t mean to poop on anyone’s holiday traditions, but we are going to make fun of Thanksgiving and acknowledge it’s teensy little problems. Also, MD/PhD student Riley Behan, M1s Noah Wick and Matt Engelken, and PA1 Ethan Ksiazek are also going to help listener Stephanie with her questions about the MD/PhD life, and what kinds of pre-med jobs will be helpful to prepare her. And Dave delivers a pop quiz on Thanksgiving history. Then we’re going to do what Americans do and fill ourselves with carbs and then wish we hadn’t to celebrate.

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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An honest guide to the amazing and intense world of medical school.