Lessons from the Wards: what Future Residents Need to Know (Ft. Dr. Abbey hardy-Fairbanks)

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TL;DR

  • Abbey Hardy-Fairbanks is an OB/Gyn who often works with expectant moms who use drugs.
  • Future resident MDs: this episode features some of the many things she’s learned about meeting patients where they are, practicing medicine without judgement, and understanding what she and her clients can and cannot accomplish in the moment.
  • Approaching patients with an open heart from the first moment, even when their lives are outside society’s mainstream or approval, can mean the difference between losing them for good and them coming back to see anyone for more help.

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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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Today’s Healthcare Careers are More Varied Than Ever. Explore Them Before You Risk Med School

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Schools want to know that you’ve looked at other careers, otherwise they won’t take a chance on you.

TL;DR

  • Listener Preston is weighing PharmD or MD school. How can he choose, and how his process of choosing make schools feel better about him?
  • Brylee didn’t get into med school this time around, is facing a tight turnaround for the next application season, and she hasn’t even got a compelling gap year job lined up yet. Is she risking another rejection by rushing things?
  • M4 Mackenzie Walhof and M1s Happy Kumar, Matt Engelken, and Jacob Hansen try to convey their passion for random, made-up gap year. Can they convince a skeptical interviewer?

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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Criminal Charges for Medical Mistakes: A Bad Idea?

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Medical errors are an unfortunate and sometimes tragic fact of life. Jailing nurses without addressing root causes compounds the tragedy

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  • Nurse RaDonda Vaught faces jail time for an error that killed her patient, and the crew discusses what they learn and know about dealing with medical errors.
  • While Vaught (convicted later on the day we recorded this episode) made some pretty terrible errors that justifiably ended her career, her employer bears responsibility, too…but so far is getting off without meaningful consequence.
  • Threatening jail for nurses who make medical errors isn’t going to help attract people to the profession, especially when their employers create conditions that lead to errors.

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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Ableism in Medicine Often Forces Learners to Advocate For Themselves

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We live in a world that still believes the disabled are a danger to patient safety

TL;DR

  • An injury during medical school or residency can temporarily or permanently alter one’s career prospects and trajectory.
  • Even serious disabilities don’t have to be career-enders. But in many cases, it’s up to the injured to counter the ableism that still exists in medicine.
  • What unionizing residents might accomplish, and why it might be needed even in today’s graduate medical education paradigm.

Bluebell (not her real name) called The Short Coat Listener Line as she is recovering from an injury; her injury isn’t serious, but it got her thinking–in what ways would an injury, temporary or permanent, alter a medical student’s career trajectory? M3s Brandon Bacalzo and Nathen Spitz, M2 Lola Lozano, and M1 Noah Wick discuss what has happened to people they know who’ve faced this situation, some ideas on protecting their livelihoods from the effects of a permanent disability, and how ableism may continue to exist in medicine and medical education.

The crew also offers some thoughts following Match Day 2022, Brandon’s newfound responsibilities as a father, and the possibilities of unionizing residents.

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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Med Schools Hate When Students Have Jobs. Some People Take the Risk Anyway.

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Perhaps no school would recommend working during med school, but plenty of people do it.  

TL;DR

  • Sometimes, you just don’t want to take that extra loan money.  One option: a part time job.
  • But that is risky–the time you devote to that job could have been spent on studying, and perhaps could decrease your chances at those competitive residency programs.
  • But there are medical students who make the choice to work, and some jobs might even help your chances.
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Eliza wrote to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com because, as an older, married medical student with a young child in an expensive city, she wondered what our thoughts were on students who work during medical school.  We invited her on the show so M3 Nathen Spitz, M4s Abby Fyfe and Nick Lind, and M1 Grant Stalker could find out more about her choice to work as a therapeutic yoga teacher, and discuss some of the equity issues surrounding work during medical school.  And Nathen offers some ideas about paying jobs that can actually be a benefit to medical students in their academic lives.

We also discuss the Biden administration’s new mental health-focused initiatives, especially those focused on healthcare workers, as outlined in the president’s state of the union address. 

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 Med Schools Hate When Students Have Jobs. Some People Take the Risk Anyway.

Rushing to Med School means Missed Opportunities (RECESS REHASH)

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The gods of podcasting smote our recording session last week, but at least we can enjoy this rerun. Luckily, it’s a good one!

Taking your time may actually be better for your career than rushing through it

TL;DR

  • Rushing to med school may be a good idea, but there is a danger of missing experiences that make you a better student and a better doctor. But if you’re going to do it…go hard.
  • Nutrition is well covered in the med school curriculum, but there’s a lot we don’t understand.
  • Falling off a tall stack of milk crates on purpose has questionable health benefits.

Listener (and graduating high-school senior) Stephanie called 347-SHORTCT to ask about her plans to finish undergrad in 2 years and start med school at 19. While her actual question was how she could get everything done, our question was what would she miss out on that might inform and educate her about her medicine dreams? MD/PhD students Miranda Schene and Riley Behan, M2 Eric Boeshart, and M1 Zach Shepard discuss the cons.

Another listener, Varsha, wants to know how much nutrition is covered in med school; and Dave points out a study that claims a hot dog reduces your life expectancy by 36 minutes. One more thing that reduces life expectancy: the milk crate challenge.

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 Rushing to Med School means Missed Opportunities (RECESS REHASH)

Sociaizing and Studying: How do Med Students Do It?

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Med students are usually intentional about everything, even the balance between social and school

TL;DR

  • The M4s are picking their favorite residency programs in the hopes that they love the next phase of their training. We discuss the factors they’re weighing now that interviews are done.
  • A listener about to start med school wants to know how students study, and how they also have social lives when studying is so intense.
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Listener Sunrise Warghost called the Short Coat Listener Line (347-SHORTCT) because she’ll start school in the fall, and is wondering about the study techniques and mental habits medical students use to crush it in medical school. M4s Emma Bar, NIck Lind, and Madeline Cusimano, and M3 Nathen Spitz help with the tips and tricks they’ve discovered. And they also offer their methods for maintaining a social life as well, both within and outside the cloistered world of medical school.

But first, a discussion from the M4s on the factors they’re weighing as they nail down which residency programs they would like to train at next year, because like everything else in their lives, intentionality is key.

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 Trainees Who Don’t Fit the Med Ed Mission

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Should medical education make a larger space for trainees who don’t want to see patients? 

TL;DR

  • Medical schools’ mission is to create doctors that treat patients. In that context, the options provided for trainees who don’t see that as their own mission may be limited.
  • However, those options do exist–should schools acknowledge them?  Should schools promote those options to their students?
  • Listener Nicole asks what prerequisites she can take at a community college, if any. 

Even during medical school, Alison Yarp, MD, felt as though her personal career goals didn’t reflect those of the school she intended–she did not want to see patients and practice individual medicine! But she was in med school already. She wanted to be in medicine, but given how much blood, sweat, and tears she’d already spent on that, how could she change directions? What would she even change directions toward? Eventually, she settled on psychiatry…and hoped it would be right for her.

Following her intern year, Dr. Yarp resigned from her psychiatry residency and seek a new path. It was then that she decided to build MARCo Community, a private and exclusive social network for trainees of any level who don’t feel like they fit with the typical medical education narrative.

Dr. Yarp got lucky this past year. She found a new specialty that fit her goals nicely, and sought a new match in a residency she hadn’t been aware of during medical school–preventive medicine. M1s Matt Engelken, Tracy Chen, Grant Stalker, and Alec Hanson talked with her about the difficulties of finding a career in medicine when the path fully acknowledged by medical education is narrower than what actually exists.

Also, can Listener Nicole do any of her prerequisites for medical school at a community college?

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 Trainees Who Don’t Fit the Med Ed Mission

Low MCAT Ruins Listener’s Med School Plans. Or Does It?

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Med schools denied this listener’s application, so he worries his low-and-not-improving MCAT will mean he’ll have to settle for a non-research career

TL;DR

  • “Cuddles” worries that he can’t be a research MD if he doesn’t get into an allopathic med school due to his low MCAT. But is that really the problem?
  • Can osteopaths be academic (research) physicians?
  • Dave gives his co-hosts a pop quiz on old time remedies after learning chimps may be practicing folk medicine.
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Listener “Cuddles” seems to be panicking after he didn’t get in to any of the medical schools he applied to. He’s worried that if he can’t get in to an MD school attached to an academic health center he won’t be able to fulfill his dream of doing medical research. He fears he might have to “settle” for a DO school to get in anywhere with his low MCAT score. M1s Matt Engelken, Noah Wick, Mallory Kallish, and M4 Nick Lind try to talk Cuddles down from his panicky state.

Dave also wants to take these fancy physicians down a peg after reading in the New York Times that chimps have been found practicing folk medicine. Who’s to say that they won’t develop vaccines and MRI machines in the future, and topple doctors from their lofty place atop the medical heap? So Dave makes them take a pop quiz on folk medicine.

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 Low MCAT Ruins Listener’s Med School Plans. Or Does It?

Pre-med Advisors Don’t Know Everything: Recovering after Dismissal

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Don’t let negative feedback from an advisor cause you to self-scuttle your med school dreams!

TL;DR

  • Listener Valerie’s pre-med advisor still haunts her years later, despite a stellar recovery from academic disaster.
  • We got hammered by anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers on our Instagram. Will our response get the same result?
  • The co-hosts and Dave celebrate the upcoming Valentines Day observance–can we guess what our SOs and parents think of us, Newlywed Game style?

Listener Valerie was dismissed from college long ago, and was told by her pre-med advisor as a result she’d never get into a medical school. Years later, she’s recovered nicely, with great grades and a Master’s degree, as well as valuable work experience; but her advisor’s statement has prevented her from pursuing the med school path. How should she address the disaster now that she’s ready to apply? Who should people listen to if not pre-med advisor’s? Is it hopeless? M1 Matt Engelken, M3 Ananya Munjal, M3 Nathen Spitz, and M4 Emma Barr have good news for Valerie.

And with Valentines Day coming up, Dave asked his co-hosts’ family and friends to send in answers to questions about them–some of the answers proved surprising!

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 Pre-med Advisors Don’t Know Everything: Recovering after Dismissal

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