Good Advice: Wrong Answers Only

Share

The advice students get from mentors, peers, and advisors isn’t always good.

Photo by CarbonNYC [in SF!]

This episode is sponsored by Panacea Financial, a division of Sonabank, member FDIC. Panacea is banking for medical students, built by doctors.

Opinions are like a-holes. They’re everywhere. But that doesn’t mean that the advice you’ll get is always useful. On today’s show, Marisa Evers, Rick Gardner, Eric Boeshart, and Nicole Hines discuss the advice that co-hosts have gotten during their journey that didn’t quite pan out as true.

Plus the crew try to guess what’s been censored out of stock photos Dave found–play along 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!

In Med School We Trust. or not.

Share

When should med students trust their school…and when should they push back?

This episode is sponsored by Panacea Financial, a division of Sonabank, member FDIC. Panacea is banking for medical students, built by doctors.

Med students sometimes find it difficult to trust their school will get them through this ordeal of learning medicine.  Sometimes you’re taught things that seem less than useful.  Sometimes your professors or administrators don’t seem to understand what’s at stake for you.  Sometimes the rules and procedures are puzzling.  When should you trust the system, and when should you push back?  To help him with this topic Dave talks to M1s Rick Gardner, AJ Chowdhury, and Eric Boeshart;  and M4 Holly Conger. They discuss times when trust was warranted (turns out the Kreb’s cycle really does have clinical applications), and when to push back if something needs fixing.

Plus, Dave and the crew visit the saddest place on the Internet to practice answering real medical questions: Yahoo! Answers.

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 Jobs to Med Students Actually Do in their clerksh?

Share

The medical student’s jobs may be less than sexy, but they’re important.

Medical students are both learners and an important part of the teaching hospital labor pool. Recently, Dave realized he doesn’t actually know–what are their actual jobs? And how do they find out what they are?

In general the job is to both learn medicine and be helpful. There are many tasks that belong to no particular person, and students can take advantage of this by being there to jump in and take on the job. Whether it’s getting that cup of water or calling another hospital for a patient’s records, someone’s got to do the unsexy stuff. By taking on that task that no one else has time for the student frees up a nurse, a resident or an attending for the more complex tasks. Like teaching! Perhaps as important, that student has an opportunity to demonstrate their can-do attitude and get that all important positive comment on their evaluation to show their prospective residency programs as they apply for jobs.

M3s Nick Lind and Emma Barr, and M4s Holly Conger and Joyce Wahba join Dave to share what they’ve learned, and show that even if you’re not the brain of the operation, even if you’re just a kinesin dragging your vesicle around a cell in between the hospital’s toes, the least glamorous task is a lifesaver to someone.

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!

DROWNING IN EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Share

Doing stuff outside of your coursework is fantastic…until it isn’t.

explosion photo
Actual photograph of Gwyneth Paltrow’s “This Smells Like My Vagina” candle in use.

Listener Tasneem Ahmed–a fourth-year medic at London’s King’s College–joins MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M4 Holly Conger, and M1s AJ Chowdhury and Alex Belzer on the show. She wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com because she wanted to talk with us about those times when extracurricular activities are too much of a good thing. These activities are important to both schools and students as a way to convey and learn vital lessons about service and career opportunities. But there is a temptation to overdo it in an attempt to distinguish oneself as a competitive applicant. Take that far enough, and it’s a recipe for exhaustion and burnout.

We also take time to compare the two systems of medical education, dance on the grave of Step 2 CS, and cover the most important story of January 2021: Gwyneth Paltrow’s exploding vagina candle.

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!

Is Medicine A Calling, or a Job?

Share

Which take on medicine is best for patients and provider mental health?

Dave and the gang–including M1s AJ Chowdhury and Alex Belzer; M4 Holly Conger; and MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk–take a look at the prevalent idea that medicine is a “calling,” somewhat like religion is for many. That’s an imperfect analogy, but there are parallels. People talk, for instance, about the sacrifices, the altruism, the service, and the requirement that doctors be at all times upstanding and display exceptional integrity. This view has some obvious benefits for the profession, including that its practitioners are laser focused on being the best physicians and people they can be.

But that view of physician-hood carries with it a lot of weight. When medicine is viewed as a calling, being a physician may become one’s primary identity. And when perfection remains frustratingly out of reach, the risk is that you’ll come to view yourself as a bad person and not as a doctor who is still learning. At least, that’s what Dave worries, but is it true?

Plus, Holly brings us up to date on life as an M4, especially her search for a residency 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!

What You Should Tell Your FAmily About Med School

Share

How they can help, support, and understand what you’re doing here.

caveman photo
“I’m afraid medical science has yet to find a cure for ‘Brown Owies,’ madam.”

[We livestream our recording sessions most Fridays on our listeners Facebook group, The Short Coat Student Lounge. Join us to add your questions and comments to the show!]

Families are a blessing (usually). A source of support, love, and acceptance, they can prop you up in those moments when you need it. Sure, sometimes they goof–well meaning comments, misplaced efforts to help, and untimely visits do happen–but they just want what’s best.

On this episode MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk and M1s AJ Chowdhury, Alex Belzer and Nicole Hines talk about the things they’d have wanted their families to know about before med school began.

Speaking of misguided attempts to be helpful, Dave leads the team in an exercise to develop their communication skills, to see if the crew get their medical points across to their patients even when forced to speak as cavemen.

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!

MD or DO: What is the Difference?

Share

Are you an allopath or an osteopath?

[Happy New Year! Did you know you can join The Short Coat Student Lounge on Facebook, and help us with the show? We livestream there every time we record, and if you’re there you can help us make sure we get all the angles.]

A while back we got a somewhat provocative listener question: do osteopathic medicine students have a disadvantage in entering competitive specialties?

Our answer back then was not really. And we weren’t wrong, but recently Dr. Ian Storch of the DO or Do Not Podcast offered to sit with us and expand on our ideas. Of course, M3s Jenna Mullins, Allison Klimesh, and MD/PhD student Miranda Schene were only too happy to get some new information on the topic. And he brought with him two of his podcasting DO students, Amir Khiabani and Courtney Merlo. Among the clarifying points they offered:

  • Why do people choose an osteopathic education over an allopathic education?
  • What is the real deal with board exams–do DOs really have to take both the USMLE and COMLEX boards?
  • Do osteopaths really experience bias when trying to match in subspecialties?
  • What is osteopathic manipulative medicine, anyway?

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

Share

annoyed photo
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

Share

shame photo
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

Vaccine Fever

Share

Happy Holidays!

celebrate photo

As we recorded this show, vaccine doses were beginning to spread across the world–well, across the rich countries of the world, anyway. The poorer countries were left with the WHO’s risky donation-funded program to distribute doses, causing concern that the program might just collapse because some countries we could mention decided not to contribute. We’re looking at you, United States of America and China.

We discuss ‘the right to be forgotten,’ a right which many in the USA and elsewhere might not meaningfully have. And Dave pretends to be a medical educator with a pop quiz on historical medical practices.

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!

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