Tag Archives: author

Piecing Together American Healthcare, ft. Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz (Part 1)


We have GOT to get it together

What’s the best way to navigate a fragmented healthcare system? How are patients both the victims and unwitting custodians of their own medical stories? And can primary care address gaps in long-term cancer treatment? We had a fun conversation with Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz, the author of ‘Fragmented, A Doctor’s Quest to Piece Together American Healthcare.’ Jeff, Fallon, AJ, and Alex walked away not only enlightened about the gaps in the contemporary healthcare system but also the importance of primary care and specialists working together to build patient relationships and keep clinical information flowing.

The Primary Care Revelation

Dr. Yurkiewicz took an unconventional career path. Why would a trained medical oncologist with board certifications in hematology and oncology choose to open a primary care practice for cancer patients and survivors, you might wonder? The answer delves deep into the very core of our healthcare system’s inefficiencies.

Cancer treatment doesn’t end at remission. The aftermath brings a basket full of new health issues that often go overlooked. During these critical times, patients need primary care doctors who are also knowledgeable about oncology — enter the innovative primary care practice Dr. Yurkiewicz established.

Fixing Fragmentation in Healthcare

Unfortunately, the tools physicians use to track their patients’ progress aren’t great at sharing. The shortcomings of electronic medical records (EMR) are a source of frustration that healthcare providers commonly face due to their disjointed nature. Keeping the patient in the loop when it comes to their reports and critical information was highlighted as a key responsibility of healthcare providers in a fragmented system–the current state of affairs is that the patient is the one with the most incentive to keep track of their data! This only highlights the urgent need for an interconnected EMR system, that patients are often the only source of continuity in their healthcare narrative.

A Glimpse Into the Future of Healthcare

There are countries that do this better, but modifying the existing system rather than attempting to building a new one from scratch based on them may be tough. Though countries like the Netherlands boast more streamlined healthcare systems, it’s crucial to devise a model that accommodates the unique challenges and strengths of American healthcare and culture.

More about our guest:

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Continue reading Piecing Together American Healthcare, ft. Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz (Part 1)

Dr. Bruce Campbell, and a Fullness of Uncertain Significance


A cancer surgeon’s stories offer lessons of humility and grace


  • Medicine is filled with both the momentous and the prosaic.  Yet every interaction is a chance to process and understand the impact one person can both have and be subject to.
  • Dr. Campbell suggests students start journaling their experiences early.  Not only might this lead to a lovely book of essays near the end of a career, but it’s also a great tool to track the fleeting experiences that will much sooner make a great personal statement!
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In this episode, M2s Nicole Hines, AJ Chowdhury, Sarah Costello and M1 Zach Shepard visit with the author of a new book, A Fullness of Uncertain Significance: Stories of Surgery, Clarity, & Grace.  Dr. Bruce Campbell is also a head and neck cancer surgeon at the Medical College of Wisconsin.  The book is a series of short vignettes from Dr. Campbell’s life in medicine from as far back as his first experiences as a nursing assistant in 1973.  A blend of the momentous and prosaic, they offer the medical learner a glimpse of what a veteran doctor has seen, and the conclusions he’s drawn from his privileged window into the lives of the people he’s met over nearly 50 years.

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 Dr. Bruce Campbell, and a Fullness of Uncertain Significance

The Doctor is Burned Out ft. Jeff Moody, MD


We are honored to talk with author and physician Jeff Moody, University of Iowa College of Medicine class of ’92, and urologist, here to talk with us about physician burnout, It’s the topic of his new book The Doctor is Burned Out:  A Physician’s Guide to Recovery.

Co-hosts Madi Wahlen, Aline Sandouk, Ananya Munjal, and Nicole Hines talk about ‘wellness,’ the ways that med students and physicians look at medicine and medical education that contribute to burnout, like the dangers of maximizing everything you do and a reliance on external metrics for success, why some specialties are more likely to have burnt out docs than others. Dr. Moody also encourages us to understand our own value to the system–in dollars–as a way to ask for solutions for burnout. He encourages us to remember that our lives effect burnout, too–docs and students aren’t exempt from adverse childhood experiences, divorce and other stressors of life! And of course, we talk about his prescription for how to fix burnout if it happens to you.

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!

Elders Need Docs Who Understand Them (ft. Louise Aronson, MD)


Elders are not just sickly adults.

Author photo
Louise Aronson, MD, author of Elderhood.

Ours is an aging society, and as the populations skews older, medicine has begun to realize that treating elder patients isn’t the same as treating adults or children.  Treating the conditions of older people means that clinicians have to understand them in ways that go beyond diseases and drugs.  Hence, the science of geriatrics.  Dr. Louise Aronson is a geriatrician and the author of Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life (Bloomsbury 2019).  It’s a beautifully written book the focuses on the stories of our elders and what they can teach us about their needs both biological and psychological.  Among the things co-hosts Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, Mason LaMarche and Nick Lind learned:

  • Older people respond in unpredictable ways to medications.  Often the work of a geriatrician is to ‘deprescribe’ medicines that are hurting them.
  • Never undervalue the things that are important to elders just because they aren’t medicines or procedures.  If the patient needs something from their doctor that increases their success in life, then it’s important.
  • Recognizing when you as a doctor are doing things for you, vs. when you’re doing things for your patient is important.
  • Older people are no longer beyond help simply due to age.  With the right training and an in-depth understanding of the science of aging, huge gains can be made in treating the serious disorders of elderhood.
  • American medicine’s concept of “the Good Death” (aka, dying at home surrounded by loved ones) isn’t a given for elders.  Understanding what elders want, rather than subscribing to some monolithic idea, is important.

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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 considering geriatrics, and why?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Elders Need Docs Who Understand Them (ft. Louise Aronson, MD)

Author Sam Kean and the Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons


sam keanLisa Wehr, John Pienta, and Kaci McCleary, along with producer Jason Lewis, get to interview New York Times Bestselling author Sam Kean. Mr. Kean has written several meticulously researched books that tell the stories of science and scientific advances. His most recent book, The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Human Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery.

Continue reading Author Sam Kean and the Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons

Terrence Holt interview audio only


smjHaving a little trouble with iTunes, so I’m posting this to (try to) make sure listeners get our discussion with Dr. Holt delivered to their iDevices properly. See the previously posted episode description here. I hope this works!

A Doctor’s Story with Terrence Holt


Terrence Holt, MD
Terrence Holt, MD

On this week’s show, Dr. Terrence Holt, author of Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories visits with Writing and Humanities Program Director Jason Lewis, and students Cole Cheney, Ethan Forsgren, Aline Sandouk, and a studio audience. Dr. Holt is a geriatrician at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  His book is about residency, and is an exploration of how doctors find the compassion and strength to care about their work and patients.  The first chapter,  “A Sign of Weakness,” takes us through an inexperienced doctor’s confrontation of his own helplessness against the impending death of his patient.  You may want to read it before you listen. (Look for the link below the audio player.)

 Dr. Holt has a lot to offer med students in terms of wisdom.  How having a deep and thoughtful appreciation of your own humanity helps If you’re going to practice medicine humanely.  The role doubt plays in the life of a doc, and the fact that If you’re not having doubt multiple times in the course of a day, you’re not paying close enough attention.  The things that keep him going as a doctor and as a writer. How the connection between writer and reader gives writers advantages that other kinds of artists may not have. And using literature as a way of getting the kinds of experience that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

Episode 048: A Doctor’s Story with Terrence Holt

Excerpt: Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories, “A Sign of Weakness”

Excerpted from Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories by Terrence Holt. Copyright © 2014 by Terrence Holt. With permission of the publisher, Liveright Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved

Listen to more great shows for medical students on The Vocalis Podcast Network.

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Marilynne Robinson and Gilead


Here at the Carver College of Medicine, on the campus of the University of Iowa which is famous for its legacy of writing and writers, we are lucky enough to receive occasional visits from some pretty outstanding authors.  Recently, during the annual CCOM Reads contest, medical students were encouraged to read author and Iowa Writers’ Workshop Professor Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead, a novel for which she won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.  It’s an account of the memories of John Ames of his father and grandfather, all of whom are Congregationalist ministers in Gilead, Iowa.  After the contest was over, we asked Ms. Robinson to visit with the students to talk about her writing of the novel.

Listen: Episode 022 – Marilynne Robinson and Gilead

The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.