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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)!

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 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)!






How We’re Preparing for Residency Interviews

M4s Nathen and Zack, M3 Rick, and MD/PhD student Riley offer their ideas on prepping for residency interviews and the questions they'll probably be asked. Dave offers up an 'educational' improv exercise to help them prepare. Premed listener Emily was told that Family Medicine is a dead her mom who is a Family Medicine doc! That's not really the case, is it?


How Climate Change will Change Medicine

Iowa College of Public Health Professor Peter Thorne visits with M4s Nathen and Zack, M3 Rick, and M2 Chirayu to look at what climate change means for doctors and patients in the future. As seas rise and weather events become more and more severe, there will be changes to the kinds of conditions and people that physicians will treat. Garrison writes in to ask us about a med school that just wants 90 credits and an MCAT–is it too good to be true?


You Should NOT Go to Med School

Co-hosts Aline, Riley, Jacob, and Tracy discuss why they’d have reconsidered their desire to go to medical school…if only they’d known! Things like medical ‘hazing,’ the opportunity costs, and the heirarchical nature of medicine are all infuriating at times, and cause a sort of stress that can make students miserable. Forewarned is forearmed! Plus, listener John and his fiancé will be applying to medical school together. Is that even a good idea, and should they tell their schools about it?


Actually Useful Premed Activies

M2s Matt, Chirayu, and Jacob, and PA2 Ariel discuss the premed activities they found most helpful (as opposed to required) now that they’re in medical school. A Yale study claims to bring pigs back to (some semblance) of life. The gang practice their patient interaction skills by delivering some fake bad news, then following that with fake breakthrough treatments.


Why Having a Pet in Med School is a Good Idea

A common question new medical students have is whether they should get a pet. Will they feel neglected when I have to be at the hospital or the library? Will they be too expensive for a poor med student? Will they be too much work? The answer to those questions can be answered by realizing that PLENTY of us do own pets, and we all do just fine. Also, Dave cornered some frightened-looking M1s during orientation for some people-on-the-street interviews. Riley, Mao, Madi and Matt discuss their...


Monkeypox: a National Health Emergency

Have we learned anything from HIV or COVID? M4 Nathen, M2s Noah and Shana, and MD/PhD student Aline discuss the new epidemic of “Monkeypox,” and try to discern if our country has learned anything about how to respond to emerging diseases. A BMC Medical Education journal article shines some light on the best (and worst) study techniques med students use to drink from the firehose. Dave asks his co-hosts to celebrate an incoming class of med students by PIMPing each other…while wearing mouth...



Race is commonly spoken of in medicine as a risk factor for diseases. It has even found its way into the equations that help doctors assess biological function. But race--commonly acknowledged these days as a social construct and not a biological one--really a valid way to factor in the differences between one patient and another? M3 Vijay and other students are helping lead the charge to re-assess these ideas. Also, MD/PHD students Aline, Levi, and Riley help listener Michelina decide what...


Recess Rehash: The Question All Future Applicants should Ask: “What Will Help Me Grow?”

Listener Riley wants some suggestions on experiences that will help him grow while he pursues his path to medicine. We discuss some comments from YouTube on female urologists and male patients. That leads to a discussion on why hospitals default to environments for their adult patients which are downright icky.


Recess Rehash: Why Med Learners are Asked to “Reflect,” And What Does It Even Mean?

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.


Recess Rehash: Med Schools Hate When Students Have Jobs. Some People Take the Risk Anyway.

Sometimes, you just don't want to take that extra loan money. One option: a part time job. But that is risky--the time you devote to that job could have been spent on studying, and perhaps could decrease your chances at those competitive residency programs. But there are medical students who make the choice to work, and some jobs might even help your chances.


Social Media: Med Ed Miracle, or Minefield?

MD/PhD students Michelle and Aline, PA2 Alice, and M2 Jacob discuss the pros and cons of their use of social media, including... ...who the heck gets to decide what is "professional," and does anyone even know what that means? Listener Alyssa joins the crew to discuss her question: how can she discuss the challenges she experienced during undergrad without sounding whiney (even if her challenges would sure have made Dave whine a bit).


SCOTUS Changed Med Ed As We Know It with Dr. Abby hardy-Fairbanks

Dr. Abby Hardy Fairbanks, medical director of Iowa City's Emma Goldman Clinic joins co-hosts MSTP students Madi and Riley, and M2s Mao and Tyler to help us understand how the recent SCOTUS decision striking down abortion as a federally protected right will affect their training. The changes may extend beyond OB-Gyn training to affect other well as the trust that confidentiality brings to the doctor-patient relationship. Also, Dr. Hardy-Fairbanks talks about the advocacy...


Does a Career in Medicine Make Financial Sense?

Chirayu (M2), Maddie (M2), Tracy (M2) and new co-host Levi (MSTP) discuss the financial changes that doctors experienced after COVID, and whether a career in medicine makes as much financial sense as it once did. MIT scientists use locust cyborgs to find cancer cells. And we visit with two premeds–Deeraj and Daniel–who are proving that competing with classmates is a losing strategy for studying medicine.


This is a test.

It won’t be here long! …

How Med Students Would Change Medicine

Dave asks his co-hosts--M2 Maddie, M2 Chirayu, MD/PhD students Aline and Hannah--to discuss the things they would like to change about medicine and medical education, if (when) they could. A study in JAMA Pediatrics finds one reason students of color may drop out of med school: mistreatment. Dave fiddles around with AI text-to-image software. Can his co-hosts guess what the AI was trying to create? We Want to Hear From You: YOUR VOICE MATTERS! No matter where you fall on any spectrum, we...


Stop Gatekeeping “Doctor.”

Yes, you will (did) work hard to get your MD, but others have doctorates, too. Lighten up. trainees will get a bunch of leave We Want to Hear From You: YOUR VOICE MATTERS! No matter where you fall on any spectrum, we want your thoughts on our show. Do you agree or disagree with something we said today? Did you hear something really helpful? Are we delivering a podcast you want to keep listening to? We’ll be sure your ideas are heard by all–leave a message at 347-SHORTCT (347-746-7828) and...


Med Student Life: Evals, Boards, and Carmel Corn Bribery

Morgan (M3), Eric (M3), Aline (MSTP), and Abby (graduate!) discuss their experiences being evaluated in medical school. Abby offers her big tips for new MDs to get the best deal on internet service (apply for Medicaid and wait for them to give you candy). A doc goes to jail for his COVID cure kits. We practice giving sincere compliments to each other while trying to make the other person laugh. Can the co-hosts reassure a freaked out Redditor who abuses Imodium?



Riley, Sahaana, Nicole, and newbie Mao discuss their answers to questions that incoming students often ask about medical school How do you find friends? Should you date classmates? How do you find your specialty? What kind of living situation works best? In the news: a medical student is suspended for allegedly retaliating against a patient with an extra needlestick; and we try to replicate the latest science from Tik Tok. Yes, it's the Hanger Reflex.


Hacks to Build Patient Rapport In An Instant

Short Coat Listener Josh wrote in to share some hacks he uses to get grumpy patients on his side the moment he walks into the exam room. Co-hosts Jessica, Aline, Hannah, and Riley share their own techniques on managing those first few seconds of the patient visit. Plus, many tangents along those lines, such as when not to use 'quips' and humor with patients and bosses.


What Is the First Year of Medical School LIke?

Dave asks his co-hosts to discuss the ups and downs of their first year, which some will argue is the hardest. What were their social lives like? How much leisure time do they get? What about sleep? Dave loves a good case study, so he subjects the crew to some to see if they can guess the patients' conditions.