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How to Find a Non-Trad Friendly School

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What to look at when shopping for schools to apply to when you aren’t like other students

TL;DR

  • We discuss with a listener how to find a school that is friendly to non-traditional students.
  • Bringing wooly mammoths back to life?
  • Is talking about people who engage in questionable COVID treatments just adding to the problem?

This episode is sponsored by Enso Rings, makers of soft, safe, attractive silicone rings. Listeners get 10% off rings at EnsoRings.com using promo code SHORT!

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Dave invited listener Brenna on the show to ask her question–as a decidedly non-traditional applicant to medical schools, how can she go about finding schools that will be open to her application? And what can she expect from those schools socially–will she be so different from her classmates that she isn’t able to find her people? MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk, Miranda Schene, Riley Behan, and M2 Sarah Costello have the answers!

We also discuss some special news items this week, like the startup that wants to CRISPr up some woolly mammoth/elephant hybrids to roam the tundra, the hospital that wants to use med students to fill in for their nursing shortage, and the people now (allegedly?) sipping betadine to prevent COVID.

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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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Music Soothes and Builds Teams

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Medical students who play instruments together and with others see benefits for teamwork and learning

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!

TL;DR

  • Medical students can use their music background to enhance their education
  • Playing together and improvising is great practice for working in teams
  • The mental health benefits of playing or singing are huge–it’s impossible to play or sing without forgetting your cares.

M2s AJ Chowdhury (bass guitar), Trey Krupp (guitar), Anthony Piscopo (vocals) and M4 Dhruv Kothari (singer-songwriters), discuss their lives as musicians, and the uses that music has for understanding their lives as medical students and team members. Keeping music in their lives despite what feels like the all-consuming nature of medical education.

Listen to Trey Krupp on Spotify!

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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Lone Stars and Lawsuits : Will Texas’ unique Solution to Abortion stand?

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Texas thinks it’s finally found the solution to the abortion ‘problem.’ What will it cost them?

TL;DR

  • Now that Texas has conferred on its citizens the responsibility for enforcing it’s ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, what will be the effects?
  • The University of Iowa community protests alleged sex abuse in Greek life, but the movement is tearing itself apart.
  • We play a game to distract ourselves from all that stuff.

This episode is sponsored in part by Panacea Financial, a division of Primis, member FDIC. Check out what a bank built by doctors for doctors and med students can offer!

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The big national news this week is Texas’ ban on abortion after six weeks. Such laws in other states have routinely been blocked at the Federal level as unconstitutional. But the Texas law is different–instead of giving its attorney general the responsibility for enforcing the new law (and thus, someone to block from enforcing it), Texas has given the power of enforcement to all citizens of the US, allowing anyone to sue in civil court anyone who aids and abets in an attempt to seek an abortion, for up to $10,000. In other words, there’s no one for the Federal government to sue to block the law. What will be the effects on medical education, especially residency training, in Texas?

Also, we discuss our own community’s struggle as a large group accuses a fraternity of creating an environment that encourages sex abuse. But the movement–like many large activist groups–seems to be eating itself as its members debate the methods it should use. Is property damage a viable way to send a message, or does it detract from the message?

And we play a game to distract ourselves from all that stuff.

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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Rushing to Med School means Missed Opportunities

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Taking your time may actually be better for your career than rushing through it

TL;DR

  • Rushing to med school may be a good idea, but there is a danger of missing experiences that make you a better student and a better doctor. But if you’re going to do it…go hard.
  • Nutrition is well covered in the med school curriculum, but there’s a lot we don’t understand.
  • Falling off a tall stack of milk crates on purpose has questionable health benefits.

This episode is sponsored by Enso Rings, makers of soft, safe, attractive silicone rings. Listeners get 10% off rings at EnsoRings.com using promo code SHORT!

Listener (and graduating high-school senior) Stephanie called 347-SHORTCT to ask about her plans to finish undergrad in 2 years and start med school at 19. While her actual question was how she could get everything done, our question was what would she miss out on that might inform and educate her about her medicine dreams? MD/PhD students Miranda Schene and Riley Behan, M2 Eric Boeshart, and M1 Zach Shepard discuss the cons.

Another listener, Varsha, wants to know how much nutrition is covered in med school; and Dave points out a study that claims a hot dog reduces your life expectancy by 36 minutes. One more thing that reduces life expectancy: the milk crate challenge.

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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Overthinking: Keeping AdComms Up To Date

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Is there etiquette on staying in touch with admissions?

TL;DR

  • A listener asks about the etiquette of keeping the adcom up to date on their activities.
  • We discuss Dave’s experience in the TSA line with an anti-masker.
  • Dave tries to come up with new business ideas that YOU can use (if you’re brave).

This episode is sponsored by Enso Rings, makers of soft, safe, attractive silicone rings. Listeners get 10% off rings at EnsoRings.com using promo code SHORT!

Listener Krazenwaz (not her real name) called 347-SHORTCT to ask if there is any etiquette surrounding staying in touch with admissions when they’ve asked you to. MD/PhD student Miranda Schene, M2s Nicole Hines and Rick Gardner, and M4 Emma Barr help Dave answer the question of how not to bother your adcom with your meaningless life (hint: don’t overthink it.)

Also, Dave discovers “farm brewed beer” after encountering an anti-masker in the TSA line, which leads him to think about other products that his imagination won’t let him make a million dollars on.

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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Unsatisfied Just Learning Medicine, These Students Became Journalists, Too

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The case for the physician-journalist

The Takeaways:

  • One important responsibility that doctors can and should take on is to educate their communities on health issues.
  • Learning how to do this in medical school can be as easy as collaborating with your university news paper.
  • Plus, our advice for a young mother and wife whose med student husband will be away during third year: plan, iterate and empathize.

In 2018, CCOM M4 Pavane Gorrepati launched The Doctor Is In, a recurring column in The Daily Iowan, the University of Iowa’s newspaper. The goals were to give all healthcare students an opportunity to publish science and opinion pieces, to bridge the divide between our undergrad and grad campuses by focusing on health-related issues that are relevant to the undergraduate population, and to give students experience on how they might convey complex topics to the general public through the popular press.

Pavane and her successor M2 Vijay Kamalumpundi join us for a discussion on this very successful endeavor and what they’ve learned. Among the things COVID has taught us is the importance of understanding complex topics!

But first, offer some advice to a nervous med student’s wife who will be spending a significant time apart from her spouse during his third year. MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, and M2s Nicole Hines, Sarah Costello, and AJ Chowdhury offer some ideas on how they might cope with the separation and make sure their very young children don’t miss their dad too much.

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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5 Med School Application Mistakes Everyone Makes, and How to Crush Them Under Your Feet Like Worms

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Screw these up, and you may not get in!

TL;DR

  • Our expert looks at the mistakes that can keep you from landing your spot in med school
  • Give the admissions committee what it needs to assure them you want this more than anything, and that you’ve done your homework.
  • When is the right time to apply? When YOU are ready. Don’t rush it, because whether you’re successful or not in finishing med school, a bad decision will affect you for many, many years.

You’ve got the grades, you’ve got the activities, and you’ve got the drive. You’re ready to apply to medical school, right? Not if you haven’t squashed these critical errors in your application. Get these wrong, and you’ll be applying again next year. Get them right, and they can even turn a mediocre applicant into a desirable one.

Our Admissions and Enrollment Coordinator Rachel Ahearn joins MD/PhD students Aline Sandouk and Riley Behan, and M2s Rick Gardner and Sarah Costello to help you smash these problems under your heel.

Also, Rachel helps us answer listener Morgan’s question about post-bacc programs and damage control.

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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Ask Your doctor if COVID is Right For You.

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As COVID numbers tick up, we choose to drown our sorrows in French/Korean fusion baked goods.

TL;DR

  • Dave picks his co-hosts’ brains on how they interpret the latest numbers on COVID
  • We eat baked goods that AJ brought us and try to guess what’s in them, and fail because they’re deliciously unlike anything we’ve had before.
  • We play Out of the Loop.

NOTE: this episode was recorded a few weeks back–some of the COVID numbers referred to are out of date, but the discussion is still valid.

Dave’s growing concerned about the recent uptick in COVID numbers, but like most non-epidemiologists, he isn’t quite sure what exactly they mean. So he brings it to the closest people he has to doctors to talk about it with on a Friday afternoon, his medical student co-hosts. MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 AJ Chowdhury, M2 Nicole Hines, and M2 Sarah Costello help him process.

To help that bitter pill go down, AJ brought some sweet tasty pastries all the way from Shilla Bakery in the Washington DC area. They aren’t a sponsor, we just really enjoyed their Korean/European fusion baked goods! Folks with misophonia, Nicole says sorry for her chewing noises.

And we play a game of Out of the Loop.

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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The Coming Physician Exodus: Why Doctors May Leave the Profession Soon

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COVID taught many employees what their employees think of them. Doctors are no different.

TL;DR

  • Most people don’t see themselves as partners in success, but as hired hands. Doctors are employees, too, and have similar issues with their employers!
  • 30% of administrators reported losing physicians during the pandemic. Either an exit from healthcare or a mass shift of physicians from low-engagement jobs to higher engagement positions may have already begun.
  • We discuss what a great job for a doctor might look like.

In this episode future physicians M2 Nicole Hines, and MD/PhD students Miranda Schene, Aline Sandouk and newcomer Riley Behan are on hand to talk about “employee engagement,” the idea that workers–and physicians are workers, remember–feel best utilized and appreciated when they are partners rather than cogs in the success of their employers.

And while many physicians have experienced job dissatisfaction and burnout, COVID seems to have taught some docs that they no longer have to put up with that. As employers of all kinds struggle to bring disengaged workers back to their dissatisfying, low-paying jobs, a white paper from a physician recruiter ominously suggests that doctors are also re-thinking their work as employees.

With that in mind, Dave asks his co-hosts what, for them, might be the features of a job that they could feel engaged with, like a partner in success?

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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Awesome, More application Hoops!

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Get ready for new application requirements (and to pay more money?)

TL;DR

  • CASPer seeks to help schools understand applicants’ non-academic and people skills. It’s never been validated, but more and more schools are using it.
  • Some residency programs have begun using ‘supplemental questions’ as so-called objective measures like STEP 1 and STEP 2 CS fall away.
  • Are these new hurdles useful? Or do they add to the burden of becoming a doctor for no reason?

Dave had never heard of CASPer before (Iowa doesn’t currently use it), so he was surprised to hear that a bunch of schools–and more all the time–are using it to outsource their judgements of applicants’ so-called ‘soft’ skills like ethics and collaboration. However, there are reasons to doubt CASPer’s utility, including that it’s not clear it’s actually measuring these things. And while it costs students a small amount per school (‘small’ being a relative term, especially if the student is cash-strapped), what does it cost the schools who use it and how much of that gets passed on in tuition?

And in their never-ending quest to find the ‘best’ applicants, residency programs are finding new ways to evaluate them, such as requiring answers to ‘supplemental’ questions that sound an awful lot like a secondary application. And the part that includes signaling the applicant’s program preference seems a wee bit suspicious to Dave, MD/PhD student Aline Sandouk, M2 Nicole Hines, M2 AJ Chowdhury, and M4 Mackenzie Walhof.

And is Britney Spears being subject to reproductive coercion by her conservators?

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 Awesome, More application Hoops!