Have a listen:
For each podcast episode, although the medium is primarily audio, I have been producing a talking heads video that can be seen on the gasnet YouTube channel.
Quite a lot of work, but also a lot of fun, and a very good practical way to practice some long lost skills!
So lets take a step back and think about what podcasts, both audio and video, can offer in the modern medical world.
Most medics in the western world are very familiar with creating presentations and speaking to small or medium sized audiences. Many presentations are duplicated the world over. Whilst at first this might seem a waste of time and effort, some degree of repetition does help the presenter learn the material. Knowing the presenter personally and the effort involved in preparation tends to keep the audience a little more engaged. So perhaps there is a balance to be had. Enough local presentation to allow customisation for a local institutional audience, but the inclusion of enough externally produced content to provide topic validation.
So lets think about the benefits and impediments to this approach.
The huge benefit is that the local presenter does not need to start from scratch every time. He or she should be able to access a library of freely available, peer reviewed and revised content upon which to build his presentation.
Whilst noble in principle I see two impediments to this approach:
DISCOVERY and COPYRIGHT
How do we find content that has already been created?
Modern search engines are actually very good at this, provided the content has been published onto the internet in a form that can be indexed, and not hidden behind a paywall or institutional firewall. That means publishing in PUBLIC and is something that many medical practitioners are not very comfortable with. As practitioners, we speak to patients daily and to their family nearly as often. So why do many of my colleagues have such a hang up about public speaking. I suspect the answer lies in lack of practice, nothing more. Yet many are already speaking out publicly by posting on Facebook, Google plus and Twitter. This is to be encouraged. So whenever you see one of these posts, please lend your support with a like, a plus or a retweet. Whatever the mechanism of the platform in use. Go out there, take part, at whatever level. Indeed, one can see a hierarchy in public interaction using social media platforms:
Producer/Expert >> Commenter>> Sharer >> Encourager >>Consumer
We will always have more content consumers than producers, but at least become an encourager.
“Go out there and like something.”
As to copyright. Well the reality is that in the internet age copyright law is broken. Pure and simple.
That does NOT mean it is ok to just go copy someone elses work. No, not at all. But equally it is unrealistic for major publishing houses to control the flow of information across international boundaries. As we publish more medical content online, make it all creative commons copyright. Creative Commons does NOT mean you lose control of your masterpiece. If anything you have more control. But that control is exercised through a user agreement (the creative commons license) rather than archaic laws that do little to promote online content being used for what it was intended. Creative commons is not complicated. Creative commons does not prevent you selling your work or licensing it for commercial use. Indeed, it facilitates that.
So as it says at the end of so many podcasts and similarly licensed works:
Go share this with your friends. Make copies. Give them away. Just don’t sell it or modify it without direct permission from the author!
Go explore the world of #FOAMed. Learn from the amazing resources out there. Encourage the authors with likes and public comments. Tell your friends. And when you feel you have something to add to the conversation … GO FOR IT!
Oh and if you are interested in Anaesthetics, head on over to the Gasnet subscription page