What do an aortic valve and sound editing software have in common? On the surface, not much. But if you’ve listened to Rotations, a collaborative podcast between the Scripps College of Communication and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (HCOM), the connection might seem clearer.
Rotations is part of the larger Media in Medicine project, which aims to teach and create through medical storytelling. The podcast was the brainchild of second-year medical student Nisarg Bakshi and Todd Fredericks, assistant professor of family medicine in HCOM. It focuses on medical students, particularly those entering their second year, and some of the challenges they face.
Kyle P. Snyder, lecturer in the School of Media Arts & Studies who serves as the audio engineer, explained that it’s important to create a sense of community for medical students to let them know other students are experiencing similar triumphs and challenges.
“Personally, I’m very interested in the human side of medicine — the stuff you can’t find in a textbook. I think most medical students love learning about these things too, but we don’t always have the time to hunt down the information ourselves,” Bakshi said.
Brian Plow, associate professor in the School of Media Art & Studies, serves as the director of editing. “It’s really fascinating to see the role media plays in interdisciplinary study,” Plow said. “We really are building a bridge between media and medicine and becoming storytellers together.”
“I also think that podcasts are a great way to disseminate information. They’re quick; easy to put on while driving, running or doing other tasks; and I thought it would be cool to have a medically-oriented podcast that was both interesting and accessible for anyone interested in medicine,” Bakshi explained.
Plow stressed that although Rotations has a target audience of medical students, the information it provides can be relevant to anyone. A recent podcast that featured College of Fine Arts professor Lori Esposito in a talk about how creating art can be used to avoid burnout — advice that everyone needs from time to time.
Currently, the podcast has pre-recorded enough material to make about 40 half-hour episodes. They plan to measure and compare data from both iTunes and YouTube to help shape the show for future seasons. Rotations will also partner with assistant professor Laeeq Khan and the Social Media Analytics Research Team (SMART) Lab to analyze its social media presence.
The work done by the Media in Medicine team has already made an impact, even on those like Snyder who are involved in production. “I really like what Media in Medicine is doing, which is taking issues within medicine and using media to go out and create good with it.”
For more information about the Media in Medicine project, visit their website at http://www.mediainmedicine.com/.