The medical student’s jobs may be less than sexy, but they’re important.
Medical students are both learners and an important part of the teaching hospital labor pool. Recently, Dave realized he doesn’t actually know–what are their actual jobs? And how do they find out what they are?
In general the job is to both learn medicine and be helpful. There are many tasks that belong to no particular person, and students can take advantage of this by being there to jump in and take on the job. Whether it’s getting that cup of water or calling another hospital for a patient’s records, someone’s got to do the unsexy stuff. By taking on that task that no one else has time for the student frees up a nurse, a resident or an attending for the more complex tasks. Like teaching! Perhaps as important, that student has an opportunity to demonstrate their can-do attitude and get that all important positive comment on their evaluation to show their prospective residency programs as they apply for jobs.
M3s Nick Lind and Emma Barr, and M4s Holly Conger and Joyce Wahba join Dave to share what they’ve learned, and show that even if you’re not the brain of the operation, even if you’re just a kinesin dragging your vesicle around a cell in between the hospital’s toes, the least glamorous task is a lifesaver to someone.
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It feels risky to be wrong…here’s how to get used to that
[Don’t forget to share the show with your friends and family–send a screenshot of the share to email@example.com to get a free thank you gift from Dave!]
The Socratic method–teaching using questions–is a big part of medical education. It’s also often a big adjustment that medical students have to make when arriving at med school. Why is this method so important to med school profs, and how do you get comfortable speaking up in front of everyone when you know you’ve got no idea? Short Coats Emma Barr, Nick Lind, Holly Conger, and Tim Maxwell have all been there!
Also, since Dave is a news junky, he has the gang play a headline mashup game. Come along as we find out the controversial views of a professor about the function of bones!
In the race to re-establish supply lines in the midst of the pandemic, The White House paid the Texas company $7.3 million for test tubes which turned out to be unformed soda bottles. And fears of out-of-control coronavirus transmission due to BLM protests fizzles.
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[Once again, our circumstances force us to endure mild sound quality issues. Sorry, but that’s round-table podcasting in the pandemic age. You’ll be alright.]
We got some lovely responses back from listeners of last week’s show (in which we discussed racism in America and in medicine), including a most important one from Cachae on the best ways to talk to your black friends about racism (hint–it’s not asking them to educate you).
And Cam wanted to know whether he could ask an admissions office member for feedback on his primary application before he submits it instead of getting a rejection after. Wouldn’t it be more efficient?
And Dave and his co-hosts–Abby Fyfe, Nick Lind, Madeline Cusimano, and newb Holly Conger–exercise their minds with a game of Would You Rather.
Logan wrote in to comment on what we call ‘box-checking,’ the idea that med school admissions committees only want applicants who’ve done all the best activities and lots of them, and that applicants must participate in activities that “stand out” if they want any chance of getting in. Co-hosts Nick Lind, Aline Sandouk, Emma Barr, and Sally Haeberlin discuss what adcomms really want.
Also, we visit Yahoo! Answers for those odd questions we love so well. Shouldn’t docs carry tranquilizer guns?
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[Here’s an episode that we thought was gone forever. Dave claimed that to release it required extensive bitbashing by forensic data reconstruction specialists, but we suspect he just forgot it in his other pants.]
On a previous episode, M2 Mason LaMarche discussed a college friend who had a habit of sketching his bowel movements. On this episode, his friend defends his artistic endeavor, while another LaMarche friend writes in with a question about mind over matter.
And the gang–Mason, and M2s Emma Barr, Nick Lind, and Sahaana Arumugam–tastes some treats from another land. What does that have to do with med school? I don’t know, cultural competency?
The amazing Dr. Ryan Gray, host of quite a few of the pre-med focused podcasts over at mededmedia.com (of which we, of course, are a member), joins Maddie Mix, Hillary O’Brien, Nick Lind, and Kyle Kinder as guest co-host! Which is good, because we start with a rather difficult topic: should the parents of a profoundly disabled child–who will never be able to care for herself in even the most basic of ways–be allowed to ‘freeze’ her development so that she remains physically six years old if it will enable them care for her at home?
A question from listener Blake–do we use Anki or Brainscape for studying–led to a discussion of the various tools and techniques Aline Sandouk (MD/PhD student), Nick Lind, Madeline Cusimano, and Mason LaMarche (all M2s) use to shove medical knowledge into their brains.
And the co-hosts get some practice with their patient communication skills using questions posed by Yahoo! Answers users.
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.
Why med students should think ahead about their response to unethical requests
Brandon Bacalzo and Angeline Vanle join the team as incoming medical students. Luckily for them they have the chance to put questions about med school to M2 Nick Lind and M3 Brady Campbell, including how to find the new study habits they’ll need to succeed.
Ethical objections to a controversial practice in medical education have been simmering for a while, so we discuss how medical students should prepare for potential dilemmas that may occur during their training. And Dave is snared by clickbait yet again–because who wouldn’t want to know more about how tickling elders could keep them young? And are there other kinds of stimulation we should study to cure disease?
What are (were) you thinking about when you started medical school? Did your hopes and fears pan out? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Do all three!
The thing about conspiracies that’s hard to combat is that there is sometimes a kernel of truth in them that makes them more believable. Dave found some unfortunate ‘facts’ about medicine and doctors on a random website , and asked Miranda Schene, Kyle Kinder, Nick Lind, and Dr. John Pienta not to refute them, but to discuss the little nugget of truthiness they’re based on. Warning: in the end, we didn’t bother to refute them–we figured y’all are learned enough to know why they’re truthy-but-not-true! Let us know if we’re wrong about that!
And Dave asks his co-hosts if they can find the true research title among the truthy garbage titles he made up.
A new class of MD students is getting ready to begin at med schools all over the country. What questions do you have about med school? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email email@example.com. Do all three!