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The Short Coat

The HONEST guide to medical school, featuring real students from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine–skip this show if you’d rather not know (and hate laughter)!

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The Multiple Mini Interview, the Prince of Funk, and the Erosion of Childhood

Prince has left the building, so The Short Coats take a moment to eulogize the Purple One. Listener Rayhaan is looking for advice on preparing for the dreaded multiple mini interview, and of course we have ideas for him to consider. Of course, some wackadoos think that if only he'd begun preparing for medical school in high school, perhaps he'd have it in the bag. And if you're worried that the over 40 crowd are too addled to work more than 25 hours a week, you're not alone--the University of Melbourne has the research to back it up.


28 Apr 2016

Rank #1

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Your Romance Could End In Tears, But It Doesn’t Have To!

We're devoting this episode to the perils of love between med students and their non-medical partners. Despite the clickbait title (don't hate the player, hate the game), it isn't destined to end badly! It just takes lots and lots of patience, communication, and sacrifice, not to mention a plan. Kelsey Adler, Madeline Slater, Terry Hayes, and new co-host Chris Schanbacher--all married or in committed relationships with people who aren't medical learners--are ready to offer an anonymous listener advice on keeping love alive with her soon-to-be med student. Plus, we talk about how med students socialize, how "their persons" can join in some of the more fun bits, and what changes significant others can expect to change about their relationships. To cap off their hard-earned words of wisdom, Dave decided to see how close his co-hosts and their "persons" really are, with a bit of fun we're calling The NewlyMed Game. Will each couples' answers to Dave's questions agree? Will their loving relationships dissolve in acrimony when they disagree? That's a chance Dave's willing to take! Are you dating a medical student? What advice do you have for others? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

1hr 2mins

11 Apr 2019

Rank #2

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The Harsh Truths and Pleasant Realities of Med School

Happy New Year! With the holidays slowing down the pace of listener questions, Dave asks new co-host LJ Agostinelli and old hands Rob Humble and Hillary O'Brien to discuss the harsh truths and pleasant realities of studying medicine. Plus, Yahoo! Answers gets another visit, and manages to live up to Dave's characterization of it as the saddest place on the internet. Scientists make themselves chuckle while proving a point about the gold standard of research, the randomized controlled trial, by elaborately studying whether parachutes save lives. Expensive drugs eek out a win over cheap exercise in treating high blood pressure, causing doctors and patients everywhere to cry, "Meh." And in the battle to curb the ever-increasing national sleep debt, Dave gets a weighted blanket for Christmas.


3 Jan 2019

Rank #3

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Night Float: Choosing a Specialty

From an early age people are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Whether they knew it all along or discovered their career path along the way, medical students have made a commitment to the answer, “I want to be a doctor.” As soon as that answer is given, however, an equally challenging question awaits. “What kind of doctor do you want to be?” In the second episode of Night Float, Dr. Tony Chung (R1: Ophthalmology), Dr. Travis Snyders (R2: Internal Medicine), and Lisa Wehr (M4) discuss the process of choosing a specialty. Some medical students will have an ‘aha’ moment, while many others will face a timeline and search more for a ‘tipping point’ that favors a particular choice. The resident physicians share their own experiences with decision making and encourage students to explore their options through making early connections, asking questions, gaining experiences, and not being discouraged or dissuaded even when the process involves navigating unsolicited advice or looping back around. How are you going about making your choice of specialty? What questions do you have about specialty choice? In general, what would you like to hear from residents about their medical school or residency experiences? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.


20 Dec 2017

Rank #4

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Your Pre-med Clinical Experience Can Cost You Money and Waste Your Time…and Hurt Your Application.

Medical school admissions committees look for clinical experiences on applications, so it behooves premeds to seek out ways to get into the clinic as a way of learning about the practice of medicine and to show they are serious about becoming a physician. But there are clinical experiences that can hurt your application, and the Association of American Medical Colleges want to warn premeds that participation might signal a lack of judgement. Corbin Weaver, Kylie Miller, Teneme Konne, and Levi Endelman give some advice on the ones to avoid. Meanwhile our president-elect is thinking about creating a 'commission on autism,' and may be looking to a well-known anti-vaxxer to head it up. And a cybersecurity flaw leaves pacemakers and defibrillators wide open to hackers, allowing them to shock patients or drain batteries. And we find out whether our co-hosts can really understand their patients, even if they speak sdrawkcab. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week. Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and see our Facebook page for a question to consider every Monday.


19 Jan 2017

Rank #5

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Dr. Paul Farmer and Liberation Medicine

Dr. Paul Farmer is sort of the rock god of global health.  He’s an incredibly busy and influential guy, so when he flew in from Liberia to spend the entire day here with us at the Carver College of Medicine, it wasn’t easy to keep the stars from our eyes.  Of course, he’s a physician, but he’s also a medical anthropologist, chief of Brigham and Women’s Division of Global Health Equity, professor of medicine at Harvard, and the UN Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Community Based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti.  One of the things you notice about Dr. Farmer is that although he’s clearly a celebrity in his field, it doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm, idealism, and the pleasure he takes in meeting students who share his passion for understanding and changing how healthcare is delivered to the world’s neediest people. What’s more, he’s the founding director of Partners in Health, an international non-profit that provides direct healthcare services, research, and advocacy to the sick and impoverished around the world in places like Liberia, Haiti, and here in the US.  So, yes, he has things to do. All of which is to say that it’s a particular honor that Petra Hahn, Katie Ryken, Josh Bleicher, Jordan Harbaugh Williams, and Greg Yungtum got to chat with him for this week’s show to explore the differences between charity, development and liberation medicine; it’s Dr. Farmer’s emphasis on the latter, and his view that the poor deserve preferential treatment, that makes him such a force in global health. We need validation. Leave a review: iTunes | Stitcher [huge_it_gallery id=”65″] Listen to more great shows for medical students on The Vocalis Podcast Network. 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; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.…


28 Jan 2016

Rank #6

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Post-acceptance anxiety, Match stats, and backup plans.

Listener Oscar's having the pre-med/post-acceptance jitters; luckily Aline, Marc, Dylan, and Lisa are on hand to offer some advice on this all-too-common case of impostor syndrome. Plus, now that Match Week has concluded, we discuss what the Match 2016 stats reveal, and ask ourselves what options exist for those who don't match. And we play One-Word Medicine--can the good doctor treat an embarrassing problem in the emergency room?


31 Mar 2016

Rank #7

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Rejection Happens

Euthalia (not her actual name, though it probably should be. Feel free to take that name, anonymous caller) called us at 347-SHORTCT to express her sadness that she didn't get a secondary interview at Iowa. Which sucks for Iowa because...well, we might not get to meet Euthalia. Of course, she knows rejection is not the end of the road for her dream. Brett Hanson, Tony Mai, Patrick Brau, and Levi Endelman share some things she needs to do now to prepare her for the next time she applies, if that's what she decides to do. Euthalia might be feeling anxious, a good bet because just about everyone we know has anxiety up the wazoo. Luckily, Dave heard about a study in which subjects were able to decrease their anxiety by talking to themselves in the third person. This seemed like a good idea, so we gave it a try. Warning: you might want to turn down the volume. Or unsubscribe. Meanwhile the Endocrine Society has new guidelines for how young transgender kids can begin hormone therapy. And, to the surprise of no nurses at all, nurses in some places have more dangerous jobs than prison guards and police officers. Be kind to the nurses, doctors. What are your rejection stories? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!


21 Sep 2017

Rank #8

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Your Gap Year Job Doesn’t Matter

A flood of listener questions this week! It's probably due in part to medical school application season has begun, which means medical school applicants are trying to figure out if they have what it takes...on paper. For instance, an anonymous listener ("Meldor") called in to find out what kinds of gap year jobs Liza Mann, Elizabeth Shirazi, Kelsey Adler, and Teneme Konne thought would allow her to keep connected to the world of medicine while she's applying. Of course, there are lots of jobs like that...but is it really necessary? We play a game to find out who can best spin any gap year job to an admissions interviewer. Also, listener Mike returns to let us know more exactly what he was concerned about in our long-past episode in which we spoke of gun violence. Meanwhile, Andrea wants to know more about what medical students learn about health disparities; given that much of human disease is about societal influences, including economic and racial divides, it turns out the answer is quite a lot. Lastly, after hearing our recent discussion on food deserts, Erica let us know about an organization at her alma mater, the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Brightside Produce is devoted to generating scientific results that increase yields and reduce environmental impacts of small-scale agriculture in cities. Basically, they're fighting inner-city hunger using science to enable urban farmers.


22 Jun 2017

Rank #9

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Bonus Episode! Palliative Care: A Perspective from A Land Where It Barely Exists, ft. Dr. MR Rajagopal

In most of India, palliative care--a medical specialty focused on improving the quality of life of people with life-limiting or disabling diseases--is available to only 1% of people who need it. But in Kerala, one organization is making lots of headway in promoting this vital specialty. In this episode, Pallium India's founder, chairman, and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. MR Rajagopal visited the University of Iowa College of Medicine to talk about their efforts to introduce to Indian providers a new way of thinking about pain and other symptoms by providing emotional, social and spiritual support. As you might expect from such a practitioner, Dr. Rajagopal is an extraordinarily thoughtful man with a kind, quiet voice that belies what must be an extraordinary force of will needed to accomplish his goals. Tony Rosenberg, Ellie Ginn, Rachel Schenkel, and Jayden Bowen discussed how he began his journey, what his fellow Indian providers made of these ideas, and what his hopes are for the future of palliative medicine around the world. Do you or anyone in your family have experience with palliative care? Tell us about it at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. We'd love to hear from you!


2 Oct 2018

Rank #10

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Choose a Specialty, Choose a Lifestyle: Factors We Consider

Short Coat Scribbleson Wordsonpaper (not his real name) wrote a paper for one of his classes, and was told it'd be worth putting it out there for publication. But where, and how? So we asked Writing and Humanities Program Director (and SCP exec producer) Cate Dicharry to give some guidance. Scribbleson's second question, about the lifestyle factors that medical students weigh when making a specialty choice, was a great one for co-hosts Mackenzie Walhof, Miranda Schene, and Abby Fyfe to dig into. Plus Dave puts on his ten-gallon perfesser hat, offering up a pop quiz on the 2019 Ig Nobel prize winners.This Week in Medical News: what happens when you want to study pregnancy and other women's health issues? Yeah, your research proposal gets rejected because you didn't include men among your subjects. And an Oregon doctor finds out that he has 17 kids he didn't know about from his time in medical school. We Want to Hear From You: What factors are you weighing to make your specialty choice? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.

1hr 5mins

17 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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Losing the white coat, psych fears, and Internet questions answered

Cole Cheney returns from our state capital, where he’s been doing his clerkships at our kind-of satellite campus (more about this program specifically is here, if you’re interested). He and Kaci McCleary, John Pienta, and Rachel Schenkel talk about the differences between doing rotations in a teaching hospital and doing them in a community hospital. For example, how are community hospital patients different? And in that setting, what does it really mean if your patient is non-compliant? Cole reveals that he’s ‘afraid’ he’s going to love psychiatry and wants to know: are other students also wary of the specialty? We talk about the downsides of the field, as well as the rather big professional and caregiving upsides. Meanwhile, the white coat–short or otherwise, along with ties, jewelry, and other dangling fashion statements–may be disappearing in an effort to eliminate hospital acquired infections. What effects will that have on patients, their understanding of who’s who in the hospital, infection rates, perceptions of status and hierarchy, and more? John leads us into a discussion of healthcare rationing, and argues that while folks get really upset about the idea, it’s already happening in a country that treats healthcare as a business. Kaci’s mom has a bug removed from her ear–something Dave hadn’t thought of as a possibility, thanks very much. And we answer some questions from Yahoo! Questions’ health forum, because we think we might be better at it than random Internet people. We need validation. Leave a review: iTunes | Stitcher Your Hosts This Week: [huge_it_gallery id=”62″] Listen to more great shows for medical students on The Vocalis Podcast Network. 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; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.…


31 Dec 2015

Rank #12

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General Haze-pital

Improvisational acting is a greater part of medical school than one might expect. Between pretending to be doctors for one's simulated patients, or acting like you know what you're doing when you're not entirely sure, a big part of med ed is faking it until you make it. So Dave, in his never ending quest to offer (ahem) valuable teaching moments, asks Mark Moubarek, Irisa Mahaparn, Kaci McCleary, and newcomer Johnny Henstrom to put on their masks once again for a game of General Haze-pital. Will Johnny be cured by the dashing doctor Dr. Mark and his two eager med students, Kaci and Irisa? Tune in to find out. Also, we discuss the recent trend of trying to cure public health issues by using market forces, including the recent proposal to tax prescription opioid manufacturers a penny per milligram to fund addiction treatment and prevention. And an Indian medical student turns to Whatsapp to deliver a baby on a train...thus fulfilling a heroic daydream we've all had about saving the day in dire circumstances. Listeners, share your thoughts with us each week. Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, or send your greetings to us at theshortcoats@gmail.com.


27 Apr 2017

Rank #13

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Recess Rehash: Medical School Secondary Applications: What Do They Want?

A listener wants to know more about the secondary application. Given the the turnaround time often recommended (a week), how important are they? Do they need to be as well crafted as your personal statement? What do schools get out of them? And are they just a way for schools to extract more money from applicants? We asked our medical school's admissions staff for answers to these questions so you can get on with crafting your best possible application. And JC writes in to say nice things, including that he wants to start his own show when he matriculates this fall. Go, JC, GO! In science and medicine news, one major destination for patients' medical dollars is the emergency room visit. One recent study asks what do docs know about the costs of caring for some common complaints they see in the ER? Turns out, not much...but when doctors are in charge of knowing the costs of care, is the patient really helped? Meanwhile, a startup in (where else) California wants to charge $8000 to give old people young blood, because we need more dystopian sci-fi concepts. And a discussion on the problems people can experience surrounding orgasms reveals something about Kylie that would have made Jim Henson blush. We LOVE hearing from listeners, and we really work hard to answer your questions. If you have something to say or a question to ask, call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.


3 Aug 2017

Rank #14

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Reaffirming points of pride, and life in rural Iowa

Dave has been noticing a certain mid-semester droopiness among some students at the College of Medicine. Perhaps, he conjectured, we all need a bit of a pick-me-up. So, Levi Endelman, Issac Schwantes, and new co-host Derek Bradley share things about themselves of which they are proud. Issac, however, finds himself less than impressed by Dave's contribution. And the boys reminisce about their rural Iowa upbringings, from careening over the ubiquitous gravel roads to romancing atop grain elevators. Vox has begun collecting data from ER visitors on the resulting bills, so the American Hospital Association issues a warning to its members. And the US opioid epidemic is finally a national emergency, officially. Will the president's latest proclamation have any effect? Will there be any actual, you know, funding applied to the problem? Your guess is as good as anybody's. What do you do when you're academically down in the dumps? Do you take your cell phone to the bathroom? Admit it! Show the world you aren't afraid of its judgement by calling us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com.


2 Nov 2017

Rank #15

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Are physicians hopeless in the face of the obesity epidemic?

Listener Hannah wrote in after shadowing physicians, noting that many of the morbidly obese patients she observed resisted their doctors' advice to lose weight. Is there any hope that doctors can treat this intractable illness when patients don't "want" to do the work? Aline Sandouk, Claire Casteneda, Ali Hassan and Kylie Miller offer their views and what they've learned so far about treating this difficult disease. Also, in Dave's constant quest to 'contribute' to his co-hosts clinical skills, we visit the saddest place on the Internet, Yahoo! Answers, so they can practice their patient education techniques. Congratulations, Sperm Donor #2757! You're the father of 45 girls and boys between the ages of 1 to 21 years old, and your generosity has made things very weird! And we discuss yet another questionable beauty practice, the vampire facial, which OH COME ON NOW, HOW CAN THIS BE REAL? What are your views on the obesity epidemic...is it hopeless? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email theshortcoats@gmail.com. Do all three!


20 Sep 2018

Rank #16

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Cardiothoracic Surgery: A Woman’s World, For Dr. Sharon Larson

Dr. Sharon Larson is Iowa's first female cardiothoracic surgeon. You might be forgiven for thinking that Iowa's been a bit backwards for not having had this glass ceiling broken sooner, but there aren't exactly a surplus of women who've sought out this demanding career. In the United States, only 5% of CT surgeons are women in this already-tiny specialty. When Dave read about her in the local paper, he figured she'd be a great guest for Kylie Miller, Philip Huang, Hadeal Ayoub, and Erin Pazaski to talk with about things like glass ceilings and how women succeed in a man's world. Turns out, Dave was right--she's a great guest to talk to about the long road to becoming an attending in her field, what male surgeons should know about female surgeons and vice versa, and how a woman might find she and her friends taking golf lessons to prove a point. Listeners, hearing from you makes everything better. Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.


9 Mar 2017

Rank #17

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Sacrifice It All to be A Med Student? Don’t Do It!

The world of work, and medical school, is often about adjusting for a number of "top" priorities. Dave's been having one of those weeks where his work is pulling him in several directions at once, and thought to ask his co-hosts Erin Pasaski, Patrick Brau, Elizabeth Shirazi, and Kaci McCleary what techniques they use when they, inevitably, find themselves struggling to manage all of the important tasks med school throws at them. Also, since the CCOM Writing and Humanities Program exists to bring art into the lives of busy med students, Dave went out and bought playdough so his co-hosts could flex their sculpting skills on common patient complaints. Visit our Facebook page for the gallery! Speaking of priorities, a research letter in JAMA takes note of the FDA's somewhat lackadaisical interest in surveilling the cosmetics and hair care industry, and why that should probably change. Will flu shots (and other vaccination injections) soon be replaced by a tiny bed of nails? And Dave warns medical students not to study with their phones in the same room. If you have something to say or a question to ask, and think we are the best people to do so, who are we to question your judgement? Call us at 347-SHORTCT any time, and email theshortcoats@gmail.com.


23 Jul 2017

Rank #18

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Advice for your first clinicals: slow your roll.

When listener Caven wrote in asking why CCOM graduates don't include hardly any specialists and why they all seemed to be going into primary care, Dave was puzzled. While it's true that a state school like ours, serving a rural part of the country, emphasizes primary care, he knew that not 'everyone' goes into primary care. On further questioning, it turns out Caven's info came from the Medical School Application Requirements (MSAR) tool on the AAMC website! What was going on? Dave sought help from his friends in Admissions, and it turns out that MSAR doesn't tell the whole story...and aspiring med students have to dig deeper. Also, Dave asks his co-hosts Matt Wilson and Tony Mai, both rising M4s, to give their advice for those starting clinical rotations. And they help Aline Sandouk and LJ Agostinelli answer some of Yahoo! Answers most probing health questions. This Week in Medical News, there's good news in med school diversity--the number of students underrepresented in medicine is on the rise. A paper in Nature Microbiology says the authors have found an easy and economic way to convert A and B red blood cells to type O cells, the universal donor type. And a study in JAMA notes that patients of surgeons who behave unprofessionally around their colleagues have more complications. Plus, cell phone horns are probably not a thing.

1hr 6mins

27 Jun 2019

Rank #19

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The Laws that are Shrinking the Telomeres of OB/Gyn Residents

Admissions counselor Megan Kosovski joins Aline Sandouk, Emma Barr, Nick Lind, and Hannah Van Ert for this show, because we had a listener question from a Canadian listener not-named “Molson.” What’s it like, Molson wanted to know, for a Canadian to apply to medical school in the US, which he’s considering doing since Canadian schools are so few and the odds are so low.  Molson, pull the tab on that brewski and we’ll get you sorted. As Executive Producer Jason Lewis is leaving us for greener pastures, Dave is preparing to take part in interviewing his replacement.  Which means that he’s gotta rev up his BS detector so he can help select the right person.  With that in mind, can his co-hosts detect the BS or truth found within the often ridiculous claims found Snopes.com? 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 A tragic incident of a trans man losing his baby after a series of errors and confusion related to his gender is detailed in a case study.  Yet another reason for the US graduate medical education system to change how it treats residents might be found in their shrinking telomeres.  And the risks to OB/Gyn training that recent abortion bills in Alabama and elsewhere are posing (WARNING: politics and conspiracy theories ahead!). We Want to Hear From You How do you feel about the recent anti-abortion bills? Call us at 347-SHORTCT anytime, visit our Facebook group, or email 

1hr 3mins

23 May 2019

Rank #20