Tag Archives: competitive specialties



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!

MD or DO: What is the Difference?


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!

Putting the Anxiety Cart Before the Horse


Anxiety about your competitive specialty ambitions in your first year isn’t worth it.

anxiety photoListener Luis wrote in expressing his anxiety that his med school–which he’ll begin attending this fall–doesn’t have the prestige or programs to support his desire for a competitive specialty like ophthalmology.   If that’s the case, he wondered, what can he do to increase his chances of obtaining his dream career?  Fortunately for Luis, Irisa Mahaparn, Gabe Conley, Brendan George, Jason Lewis, and new co-host Andres Dajles were on hand to give Luis the advice and encouragement he needs…and a tiny dose of tough love, too.

Also, Dave indulges in his interest in tech startup culture by having his co-hosts pitch to him random product ideas for random people.

This Week in Medical News

Did an astronaut’s genetic code change after being in space?  Of course not.  Should med students upgrade their stupid brains with “cognitive prosthetic” implants?  Anything to pass that test!  Should Dave have his brain turned to glass when his stupid body is ready to kick it so he can be uploaded to the cloud someday?  Er…ask again later?

We Want to Hear From You

Would you get a chip in your head if it made you a better student?  Or is there a line you just won’t cross? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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