Tag Archives: admissions

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.

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!

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!

Recess Rehash: What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

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Diversity includes disability

halt photo
Photo by b_lumenkraft

[We took a break last week, so here’s a rerun in case you missed it!]

Dr. Marley Doyle is a reproductive psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  She’s also “legally blind”, with 20/400 vision.  She struggled through medical school just like all med students, but with that additional complication.  She made it, however, and her discussion with Aditi Patel and Irisa Mahaparn gives some clues as to why.  First, her disability was invisible which made it easy for people to assume that she wasn’t disabled.  And second, she was naive to the fact that she could ask for help.  In other words, she stumbled through it all and came out the other side without having been a “burden” for her school. Years later, she acknowledges that she could have asked for more help.

We also discuss the technical standards that most schools have in place to define what a student physician should be able to do physically, intellectually, and emotionally to succeed in school.  These standards, however, often seem to be written with a stereotypical disabled person in mind, one who cannot possible succeed because of their disability, and thus should not be in medical school.  We discuss the concept of “assumed competence” which, as  recent CCOM guest lecturer Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami pointed out, allows people with disabilities to show they are able to fulfill their duties as opposed to assuming they cannot.  And we discuss the AAMC’s recent first-of-its-kind report “Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities,” which brought to light the inconsistent policies and procedures for, lack of support of, and lack of awareness many schools have of their legal obligations under the law towards students with disabilities.  And we talk about why med schools that don’t encourage disabled people to apply are missing out on a piece of the diversity puzzle.

Plus, Dr. Doyle helps answer a listener who is lucky enough to have several med school acceptances, and wants to know how to decide among them!  Lucky you, ‘Anxious Premed!’  Don’t worry, we can help.


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

Are you living with a disability and discouraged about your med school plans?  Are you in medical school, disabled, and have some advice to offer? Tell us about it by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

A Tinkle In Our Pants and A Song In Our Hearts

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pants photoThis week, with help from LJ Agostinelli, Irisa Mahaparn, and new co-host Fili Bogdanic, Dave offers listener Karstan some advice for med students (and others) who want to start a podcast.  It’s a worthwhile activity, without question, for discovering and understanding the field you’re growing into, provided you can find the time!

Listener Coleman writes in to find out what kind of plan we’d suggest having for visiting medical schools.  Dave has ideas…but to his surprise his co-hosts weren’t even sure pre-interview visits were necessary!  Vive la difference!

And we once again plumb the depths of Yahoo! Answers for some real-life medical questions, the excuse Dave always gives for doing this to his co-hosts.


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

To Dave’s relief, scientists have found that declines in working memory can be temporarily reversed using transcranial alternating-current stimulation, but to his eternal dismay, his co-hosts always…uh, the always…wait, what was I writing about?

We Want to Hear From You

What would you do to increase your working memory? Let us know that, or anything else by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading A Tinkle In Our Pants and A Song In Our Hearts

What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

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Diversity includes disability

halt photo
Photo by b_lumenkraft

Dr. Marley Doyle is a reproductive psychiatrist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  She’s also “legally blind”, with 20/400 vision.  She struggled through medical school just like all med students, but with that additional complication.  She made it, however, and her discussion with Aditi Patel and Irisa Mahaparn gives some clues as to why.  First, her disability was invisible which made it easy for people to assume that she wasn’t disabled.  And second, she was naive to the fact that she could ask for help.  In other words, she stumbled through it all and came out the other side without having been a “burden” for her school. Years later, she acknowledges that she could have asked for more help.

We also discuss the technical standards that most schools have in place to define what a student physician should be able to do physically, intellectually, and emotionally to succeed in school.  These standards, however, often seem to be written with a stereotypical disabled person in mind, one who cannot possible succeed because of their disability, and thus should not be in medical school.  We discuss the concept of “assumed competence” which, as  recent CCOM guest lecturer Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami pointed out, allows people with disabilities to show they are able to fulfill their duties as opposed to assuming they cannot.  And we discuss the AAMC’s recent first-of-its-kind report “Accessibility, Inclusion, and Action in Medical Education Lived Experiences of Learners and Physicians With Disabilities,” which brought to light the inconsistent policies and procedures for, lack of support of, and lack of awareness many schools have of their legal obligations under the law towards students with disabilities.  And we talk about why med schools that don’t encourage disabled people to apply are missing out on a piece of the diversity puzzle.

Plus, Dr. Doyle helps answer a listener who is lucky enough to have several med school acceptances, and wants to know how to decide among them!  Lucky you, ‘Anxious Premed!’  Don’t worry, we can help.


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

Are you living with a disability and discouraged about your med school plans?  Are you in medical school, disabled, and have some advice to offer? Tell us about it by calling 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading What Med Schools Miss Out On Because of “Technical Standards”

Is Your Previous Career A Strike Against You?

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Admissions committees care most about what you got out of your experiences, less about what exactly they were.

worried photoHere’s a question we get often, in one form or another: will [some aspect of my life to date] hurt my chances for getting into medical school?  Kyle Kinder, Irisa Mahaparn, Aline Sandouk, and Hanna Van Ert are here to reassure listener Rachel that, despite her background in medical malpractice law, she’s going to be fine…if she can articulate what she took away from that part of her life.

Listener Fifi Trixiebell, who you may recall set off the keto wars of 2018 which ultimately led Dave to declare a moratorium on diet related topics, wrote in to apologize (no need, Fifi), and also point out that Iowa is the most America of the states.  Can the co-hosts discern which other states have achieved total-Murica status based on their rankings for bald eagles, fast food, and astronauts?


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

The Chinese researcher who claimed that he’d genetically engineered two girl infants may have accidentally (or as Dave speculates, purposefully) made them into super-intelligent, super-stroke-recovering humans.  And researchers my have discovered an entirely new form of neural communication.

We Want to Hear From You

Do you need advice? We give it out, whether it’s related to med school or not? Call in your pleas for help to 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Is Your Previous Career A Strike Against You?

Man Ovens, Shoring Up Weaknesses, and Ditching the MCAT

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Should you fix a bad grade, or concentrate on making your strengths even stronger?

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Photo by Thad Zajdowicz

Activia (not her actual name, though it probably should be. Feel free to take that name, anonymous caller) emailed us at theshorcoats@gmail.com to ask whether she should retake her physics classes (which she took while coping with other unfortunate life-related stuff) or concentrate on getting great grades in other courses.  In addition, she wanted to know if admissions committees REALLY take into account extenuating circumstances?  Well, you’re in luck, Activia!  We’ve got answers from non-traditional first-year students Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Emma Barr; and our friendly admissions staff Dan and Amy chime in, too.

We also play a game of Psych! while Dave tries to use their performance to make judgements about their personalities.  Can he do it?  No he can’t, though he notes with concern Kyle’s suspicious ideas about male anatomical structures  and function.  Too late, Admissions, you said yes!

This Week in Medical News

Facebook has become known as a place where you can find any number of suspicious ideas, but it seems ready to judge so-called alternative health pages as unworthy of its platform.  And we discuss an article that argues the MCAT should no longer be used because of a legal concept called “disparate impact.”

We Want to Hear From You

Have you just started medical school?  What’s been the best and worst parts of your new life? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Man Ovens, Shoring Up Weaknesses, and Ditching the MCAT

Recess Rehash: Medical School Secondary Applications: What Do They Want?

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How to Think About Medical School Secondary Applications

Photo of a cosplayer's big bird costume
Good lord, she wore him out. Photo by Doug Kline

A listener wants to know more about how best to approach medical school secondary applications.  Given the the turnaround time often recommended (a week), how important are they? Do they need to be as well crafted as your personal statement?  What do schools get out of them?  And are they just a way for schools to extract more money from applicants?  We asked our medical school’s admissions staff for answers to these questions so you can get on with crafting your best possible application.  And JC writes in to say nice things, including that he wants to start his own show when he matriculates this fall.  Go, JC, GO!

This week in science and medicine news

One major destination for patients’ medical dollars is the emergency room visit.  One recent study asks what do docs know about the costs of caring for some common complaints they see in the ER?  Turns out, not much…but when doctors are in charge of knowing the costs of care, is the patient really helped?

Meanwhile, a startup in (where else) California wants to charge $8000 to give old people young blood, because we need more dystopian sci-fi concepts.

And a discussion on the problems people can experience surrounding orgasms reveals something about Kylie that would have made Jim Henson blush.

We want to hear from you

We LOVE hearing from you, and we really try to  answer your questions.  If you have something to say or a question to ask, call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Recess Rehash: Medical School Secondary Applications: What Do They Want?

Medical School Secondary Applications: What Do They Want?

Share

How to Think About Medical School Secondary Applications

Photo of a cosplayer's big bird costume
Good lord, she wore him out. Photo by Doug Kline

A listener wants to know more about how best to approach medical school secondary applications.  Given the the turnaround time often recommended (a week), how important are they? Do they need to be as well crafted as your personal statement?  What do schools get out of them?  And are they just a way for schools to extract more money from applicants?  We asked our medical school’s admissions staff for answers to these questions so you can get on with crafting your best possible application.  And JC writes in to say nice things, including that he wants to start his own show when he matriculates this fall.  Go, JC, GO!

This week in science and medicine news

One major destination for patients’ medical dollars is the emergency room visit.  One recent study asks what do docs know about the costs of caring for some common complaints they see in the ER?  Turns out, not much…but when doctors are in charge of knowing the costs of care, is the patient really helped?

Meanwhile, a startup in (where else) California wants to charge $8000 to give old people young blood, because we need more dystopian sci-fi concepts.

And a discussion on the problems people can experience surrounding orgasms reveals something about Kylie that would have made Jim Henson blush.

We want to hear from you

We LOVE hearing from you, and we really try to  answer your questions.  If you have something to say or a question to ask, call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Medical School Secondary Applications: What Do They Want?