Tag Archives: MSPE

Why Med Learners are Asked to “Reflect,” And What Does It Even Mean?

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How students should think about reflection when the word isn’t always well-defined.

TL;DR

  • Whether it’s a class assignment, a personal statement, or a scholarship essay, students are often commanded to reflect on their experiences.
  • Reflection is can be a useful part of understanding what you are becoming. But what that means and how to do it are frequently not well defined.
  • Our M4 co-hosts discuss whether their fears about the residency application process were well-founded or just wheel spinning.
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Listener Empirica Soberface (not her real name) called in to ask us about reflection–something medical learners are often asked to do during their education–saying that it doesn’t come naturally to her. So Dave invited Cate Dicharry, the director of the Writing and Humanities Program here at the Carver College of Medicine, to come on and give us her thoughts on this common assignment. M4s Emma Barr and Madeline Cusimano, M3 Ananya Munjal, and MD/PhD student Riley Behan-Bush are on hand to supply some of their ideas on how best to process what it is they’ve been becoming.

Emma and Madeline also discuss the fears they had about interviewing for their future residency jobs, the anxiety that many senior medical students are feeling right now, and whether their fears were realized or proven to be wheel-spinning.

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 Why Med Learners are Asked to “Reflect,” And What Does It Even Mean?

The Obscure Document Residency Programs Use to Decide If You’re Worthy

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The Medical Student Performance Evaluation (or dean’s letter) will be sent to all your potential employers. Let’s talk about what’s in it!

TL;DR

  • You may have heard of the dean’s letter. It’s sent to all residency programs, one of the things they’ll use to choose who to invite for an interview. But do you know what’s in it…and that it’s creation begins on your first day of med school?
  • YouTube announces blanket ban on vaccine misinformation, and axes the biggest misinformation peddlers.
  • Can The Short Coats pass the 2021 IgNobel Prize Winners Quiz?

Today’s episode is sponsored by Panacea Financial, a division of Primis, Member FDIC. Check out their PRN Personal Loans to help cover board exams or application costs, with decisions in as little as 24 hours and great interest rates!

To Dave, it sometimes feels like the process of medical education is as complex and opaque as the actual medical knowledge it works to impart to students. In this elaborate system, absolute transparency is difficult to achieve, but there’s one thing Dave thinks students should keep in the backs of their heads from day one: the medical student performance evaluation (MSPE, or ‘dean’s letter’). That’s because this document will be sent to all their future employers, including their residency programs. And those programs will use it (and other data applicants and colleges supply) to decide whether to invite you for an interview. Yet Dave has the impression that many don’t even know what’s in this important document–which includes comments from residents and attendings on their personal qualities and performance–until just before they begin to apply for residency! That’s a problem for some students who, upon reading it for the first time, find that there’s a pattern of behavior that they should have addressed long ago. Dave discusses what all students need to know about this important document.

Also, the 2021 IgNobel Prizes for improbable research have been awarded; YouTube bans all vaccine misinformation and the peddlers of bogus vax claims; and California begins using a controversial–but effective!–technique to help people who use drugs kick the habit: paying them to stay sober.

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 Obscure Document Residency Programs Use to Decide If You’re Worthy

Too Idealistic for Medicine?

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Photo by JeepersMedia

Fourth-year students David Rudolph and Chandini Reddi join co-hosts Brendan George and LJ Agistonelli to answer listener Krista’s question–a self-confessed “loud mouth” with radical thoughts about how she’d like to practice medicine one day.  Can she bring those ideals to life, or will she be drummed out of medicine.  Are there other, related careers that might allow her to achieve her goals even better?  We’ve got you, Krista!

Plus, Dave asks David and Chandini what they learned from watching their Medical Student Performance Evaluation take shape before it gets sent off to residency programs they’re applying to.


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This Week in Medical News

Weill Cornell joins the list of schools offering med school for free (to some).  Napping is good for you,  up to a point.  And skeletons aren’t just scary during Halloween–they seem to be part of the fight-or-flight response in a rather big way.

We Want to Hear From You

So, how are you? Tell us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

Continue reading Too Idealistic for Medicine?

Routines, Right To Try, and Reviews

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What Routines Do Medical Students Find Helpful When Drinking from the Firehose?

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From her perch among the clouds of medical school, Yolanda stared longingly at the residency program of her dreams, knowing deep down inside that her inability to establish a study routine would doom her to a life of *shudder* psychiatry.

Listener Meghan is about to start med school in the fall, and is thinking about what sort of regular habits medical students like Aline Sandouk, Tony Rosenberg, and new co-host Jayden Bowen use to keep them on track.  Not only do we look at some routines they use (and debate whether they’re even helpful), but we also have a suggested routine for the new student.

What Every New Medical Student Needs to Know about The ‘Dean’s Letter.’

And Dave, who’s begun writing dean’s letters (or ‘Medical Student Performance Evaluations’) for students who will be looking for jobs this year, has some sobering news for his co-hosts: they are, themselves, already writing them.  Dave thinks most first-year medical students have never heard of this important document, nor do they know what will be in it…and how it could help or hinder their efforts to land that plum residency.

This Week in Medical News

Dermatologists are less accurate in diagnosing melanomas than the stupidest artificial intelligence…but don’t cancel your derm dreams yet.  Meanwhile, patients get the ‘right to try‘ from the Trump administration…but is bypassing the slow FDA approval process almost completely a good idea, or will the bad actors in medicine end up lining their pockets on the hopes of their desperately ill patients?

We Want to Hear From You

What are your med school routines?  Did your school read you in on the MSPE when you started?  Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.  Do all three!

Continue reading Routines, Right To Try, and Reviews

Making Clerkships Work

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Are clerkships a grind, or a boon?  It’s up to you.

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Photo by m.a.r.c.

The second-year students are moving from the pre-clinical curriculum to the clerkships this week.  This transition is exciting–after all, seeing patients is what they’ve come to medical school to do, and now it’s finally happening.

Pat Brau, Kylie MIller, Brady Campbell, and Levi Endelman discuss some of the things they’ve learned in their Transition to Clerkships week, and Dave has some advice for them on how to get the most out of clerkships and how to get good evaluations for their ‘dean’s letter’ that will make them shine for future residency directors.

This Week in Medical News

Of course, one thing that is helpful if you’re seeing a patient is being able to tell if they’re truly sick.  That becomes second nature at some point, but even lay people can do it.  That skill will come in handy for those in California who subscribe to the idea that raw water is a good idea.

We Want to Hear From You

Transitions are exciting and tough…what makes changes easy or harder for you? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Recess Rehash: Nick’s Post Apocalyptic Harem

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Nick cranes his head around to look into the back seat at his little group. “Ladies, we’re almost at the compound.” Photo by Nico Time

 

 

 

 

 

[Today’s episode is a rerun, brought to you by Dave’s vacation.  Enjoy!]

This time, Mark Toral, John Pienta, Kaci McCleary and Nick Sparr discuss Medical Student Performance Evaluations and Dave’s problem: if you’re looking for it to be a recommendation, that’s not going to happen; but the good news is that when you start your clinical rotations, you are already starting to write your own MSPE through the comments you get, so we discuss how to get good comments and how to learn from the formative ones. We debate Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine ongoing program that guarantees admission to college sophomores who have good grades and are humanities majors, no MCAT required. And Nick describes one of his medschool interviews in which he laid out his plans for an end-of-the-world harem.

Won’t you leave us a review? iTunes | Stitcher

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Nick’s Post Apocalyptic Harem

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end of the world photo
Nick cranes his head around to look into the back seat at his little group. “Ladies, we’re almost at the compound.” Photo by Nico Time

This time, Mark Toral, John Pienta, Kaci McCleary and Nick Sparr discuss Medical Student Performance Evaluations and Dave’s problem: if you’re looking for it to be a recommendation, that’s not going to happen; but the good news is that when you start your clinical rotations, you are already starting to write your own MSPE through the comments you get, so we discuss how to get good comments and how to learn from the formative ones. We debate Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine ongoing program that guarantees admission to college sophomores who have good grades and are humanities majors, no MCAT required. And Nick describes one of his medschool interviews in which he laid out his plans for an end-of-the-world harem.

Won’t you leave us a review? iTunes | Stitcher

Continue reading Nick’s Post Apocalyptic Harem

Freestyling in Flocks!

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Summer is here, and…everyone’s gone. Except for Lisa Wehr, who joined Dave Etler for a little freestyle convo in Flocks Community.   We congratulated the recently graduated M4s, talk a little about the dreaded ‘dean’s letter,’ or MSPE, and some of our favorite stories from the past few weeks’ news:

Listen to Episode 033: Freestyling in Flocks!

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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.