An Episode of Questionable Things

As medical science progresses, it not only answers questions but generates even more. Listener Tyler pointed out a study (now on hold) that proposes to withhold the current standard of care for victims of penetrating trauma to try something else, and he wondered what we thought of the ethics involved. Co-hosts Nick Lind, Kyle Kinder, Madeline Slater, and Justin Hababag are here to help unwind these and other questions.

Poor: a deadly diagnosis in America, ft. Sarah Smarsh

This past week, the Carver College of Medicine hosted its 12th annual Examined Life Conference. Our featured presenter, journalist and memoirist Sarah Smarsh, grew up in a family of farmers and teen mothers in Kansas. Her family, laborers trapped in a cycle of poverty, made the kinds of choices that poor people must make in rural America--whether to eat or seek medical attention, for instance. Decades of inattention--and scorn--from politicians and the media have widened this class divide, and have sent the inexorable message that their voices don't matter. Ms.

Hit By A Bus

Our newest co-host has already had a taste of fame. Abby Fyfe joins the crew this time, along with Aline Sandouk, Jayden Bowen, and Aditi Patel. Turns out, Abby is an old hand at being internet famous, because she was once run over by a bus. True story. She has since regained her 3-dimensional shape, but did she mine that experience for her med school applications? But first, listener Tyler wants to know: is your undergrad institution's reputation an important factor for med school admissions committees?

Nebraska has questions.

Jennifer Andersen, a sociology PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, teaches a course called Sociology of Health and Health Care. She reached out to us to propose that her students would send in questions for us as an extra credit assignment, which was a great idea we jumped on because it meant Dave would barely have to prepare for this show...I mean, it'd be a great education opportunity for her students' young, fertile minds. Ahem.

Listeners Revolt!

We love listener feedback...even when it's negative. And this whole obesity thing is really great for generating negative listener feedback. For instance, Marlene thought our comments on nutrition were mostly wrong. And Laura didn't seem happy with what we thought was our neutral stance on keto, either, as she's having some success with it...although a lack of carbs looks just as bad as a bunch of carbs. We could ride this obesity gravy train all the way...but Dave is le tired.

Bonus Episode! Why You Might Want an MD/PhD

The MD isn't the only degree offered by many medical schools. For those who get excited about data, research, and advancing medical knowledge, you can add a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Of course, there are those who get their PhD separately from their Medicinae Doctor. Others get their PhDs from combined degree programs, including Medical Scientist Training Programs (MSTP). Aline Sandouk and Jayden Bowen took on the topic with a number of first-year MSTP students--why is an MD/PhD something you should consider?

Ambien Dreams

This week, listener Jen sent us an article from JAMA in which the author bemoans his tendency to let the electronic health record (coupled with his data-entry difficulties) dominate his attention at the expense of his ability to really see and empathize with his patients. The cost: missing clues that indicate a patient's progressive decline and family dynamics that contribute to the condition.

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.

What Skinny Doctors Don’t Get About Their Obese Patients

Fifi Trixiebell (not her real name) wrote to theshortcoats@gmail.com asking us to discuss what medical students learn about nutrition, and whether they think the keto diet is just another fad. Luckily, Madeline Slater, Emma Barr, Kyle Kinder, and newbie Sam Palmer--M1s all--just had a unit on nutrition so that's an easy one. But Fifi Trixiebell had written in before, a message which--despite his policy of answering every listener question--Dave had passed over. Why did he ignore it?

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!