Tag Archives: residency match

Tall Testosterone Tales for the Toxic testicle Troops

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A silly documentary about the decline of men.

TL;DR

  • A man in Germany takes 90 for the team to sell vax cards
  • Tucker Carlson’s new documentary seems to sell a bizarre vision of the decline of male supremacy.
  • Dave has an alternative idea for composing residency personal statements.
Background: screen capture from The End of Men, Fox News.

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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.
reject photo

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!

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Requiem for a Meme: Yahoo! Answers will close

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Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

TL;DR

  • Should Victoria also get a law degree to facilitate a career in health policy?
  • Shea sends feedback on our recent discussion of options for unmatched MD Seniors
  • We practice answering patient questions with a straight face by visiting Yahoo! Answers for what might be the last time!

The Big News in medical education is that a valuable resource for practicing patient interactions and understanding their concerns is shutting down. That’s right, Yahoo! has decided to shut down it’s beloved, if deeply sad, site that allows people like Dave to post their urgent health-related questions. Will they flock to Quora? Who knows, but for now M4s Sophia Williams-Perez and Marisa Evers, M3 Annie Rempel, and M2 Eric Boeshart celebrate its impact on medical school podcasts with some new questions and revisit some old favs.

Listener Victoria writes in wondering whether an MD/JD degree is right for a health-policy focused career. We can help, and we start by noting that no-one has signed up for this dual degree option at our school in several years.

And listener Shea fact checks (with love!) our recent discussion of options for unmatched senior MDs.

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!

What an AI thinks we said `

Continue reading Requiem for a Meme: Yahoo! Answers will close

Is Medicine A Calling, or a Job?

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Which take on medicine is best for patients and provider mental health?

Dave and the gang–including M1s AJ Chowdhury and Alex Belzer; M4 Holly Conger; and MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk–take a look at the prevalent idea that medicine is a “calling,” somewhat like religion is for many. That’s an imperfect analogy, but there are parallels. People talk, for instance, about the sacrifices, the altruism, the service, and the requirement that doctors be at all times upstanding and display exceptional integrity. This view has some obvious benefits for the profession, including that its practitioners are laser focused on being the best physicians and people they can be.

But that view of physician-hood carries with it a lot of weight. When medicine is viewed as a calling, being a physician may become one’s primary identity. And when perfection remains frustratingly out of reach, the risk is that you’ll come to view yourself as a bad person and not as a doctor who is still learning. At least, that’s what Dave worries, but is it true?

Plus, Holly brings us up to date on life as an M4, especially her search for a residency 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!

“Preference Signaling” –the Future of Applications?

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Preference Signaling Tokens may be a way to combat over-applying for residencies, but the schemes have a ways to go yet before they’re ready for prime time.

Dear Residency Program: I love you. Do you love me? Check YES or NO!!!

Dave noticed something he’d never heard of before: a company offering ‘tokens’ (for a fee) that could be used by residency program applicants to signal their love for particular programs.  The general idea is to combat the common applicant strategy of applying to as many residency programs as possible to be sure  the applicant gets a match.  While this strategy is quite reasonable from the individual applicant’s perspective, it causes problems for both programs and the general body of applicants because those extra applications flood programs with candidates that may not actually be interested. 

Then he found out that the Otolaryngology Program
Directors Organization will be doing something similar, and Aline Sandouk, Eric Boeshart, Emma Barr, and Nicole Lacina explore a analysis of who wins and who looses in such a scheme.  

Plus Dave creates an educational game to help students plan how they’ll react to common odd situations.  And by educational, he clearly meant “educational.”

We Want to Hear From You

Do you think Preference Signalling is a good idea? What if medical schools adopts the idea?  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 kick to hear from you!

Step 1 is Pass/Fail. Now what???

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explosion photo
Photo by ˙Cаvin 〄

Does making Step 1 pass/fail change everything?

The news that the USMLE changed the all-important Step 1 exam–which many residency programs have been using improperly to stratify applicants and which can affect one’s specialty choice–to pass/fail starting in 2022-ish caused quite a bit of shock and consternation last week.  Sure, some celebrated the change as a victory, but there’s just one liiiiiittle problem: the more competitive residency programs feel they need some standardized measure to base their choices on.

Several listeners wrote in with questions on the change, and the underlying concerns those questions addressed was the uncertainty left in the wake of this change–to wit, “what am I to aim for if there is no three-digit score I can point to as a mark of excellence?”  Though the powers-that-be are essentially responding, “we’re working on it, we’ll get back to you on that,” there are some possibilities to consider.   And we shall, with the help of M4 Matt Wilson, MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Hannah Van Ert, and M1 Nathen Spitz.

Special thanks to listener Terrified Chihuahua and everyone who reached out with questions on this sudden shift in the medical education landscape!


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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

What are your thoughts on how a pass/fail Step 1 score will change medical education and the residency application process? Did we miss anything? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com!

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Get to Know the Nurse, Save Yourself from Grief

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Medicine is a team sport

mad libs photo
Writing your residency application personal statement is easy! Photo by jenna.kaminsky

A cliche, but true.  Because without the nurses (and other people) doing their jobs to help the doctor, the doctor can’t do nuthin’–no IVs, no regular BP checks, no comfortable patients, no monitoring while they’re home sleeping, no nothing.  Listener Amber stops by to ask what med students learn about nurses and how to work with them. M4s Hillary O’Brien and Kylie Miller and new M1 co-hosts Jessica De Haan and Greta Becker are happy to help, because nurses are the spine and a big portion of the central nervous system of medicine.  And Fifi Trixiebell returns, craving med school war stories.  Also, Hillary and Kylie discuss the residency personal statements they wrote and where they sought 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

Do you have war stories to share? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime to tell us.  We’ll play them for Fifi (and whoever else is listening).

Continue reading Get to Know the Nurse, Save Yourself from Grief

What Research Means for Residency Applications

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Does research mean a whole lot when applying to residency?

research photoListener Nathan called in to the SCP Hotline at 347-SHORTCT to ask how research works for medical students.  Is it necessary? Is it recommended?  How do you find research to do?  Irisa Mahaparn, Miranda Schene, Emma Barr, and newcomer Nadiah Wabba are on hand to discuss the roles of research in med school, how  it can help a residency applications, for which residency applications research is a recommended component, and how it all works.

Also, can the crew figure out what has been censored from medical stock photos?  To play along, here’s the gallery:

[huge_it_gallery id=”133″]


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

Cancer Dogs is a Canadian organization looking to make cancer-smelling dogs a valid screening tool; we discuss whether physicians and med schools discourage med students from pursuing primary care; and as a generation of vaccine deniers’ children comes of age, are they going to defy their antivaxxer parents?

We Want to Hear From You

Is research important to you?  Do you plan to do research in med school or residency? Let us know at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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Preparing for Residency Interviews

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Preparing for Residency Interviews

interviews photo
Photo by Matt From London

Welcome to Night Float! In this series  of special episodes, resident physicians take a break from the demands of their days (and nights) to offer information, guidance, and support to medical students and to share their residency experiences. Fourth year medical students are currently in the heart of residency interview season, and they are doing all they can to secure a position through the residency match process. In the first episode of Night Float, Dr. Desiré Christensen (R2: Psychiatry) and Dr. Matt Maves (R1: Pediatrics) discuss their interview experiences and offer suggestions about how to prepare.

Helpful links

AAMC Careers in Medicine – Careers in medicine is a resource designed to assist medical students in choosing a specialty and navigating the residency match process in a strategic way.

Doximity – Doximity is a network of physicians and medical students.

FREIDA – FREIDA is the AMA Residency & Fellowship Database.

We Want to Hear From You

What are your residency interview stories? What suggestions do you have for medical students preparing to match? Medical students, what questions do you have about the residency application process?

Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

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