It’s the 50th episode of 10 Minutes to Better Patient Communication! What happens when two complete podcast newbies start a series? How did we make it to 50 episodes on different topics? Go behind the scenes to hear our story, and what’s coming next.
Hi, this is 10 Minutes to Better Patient Communication from Health Communication Partners. I’m Dr. Anne Marie Liebel, and this is our 50th episode! Thank you so much – it’s only because of you listening and sharing and connecting with us that we’ve made it to this important podcasting milestone. So today, my co-host (and brother) Joe and I are going to take a look behind the scenes at the story of our first 50 episodes.
I’m on Skype with my brother Joe, hey Joe!
Hey Anne Marie, excited to be here.
It’s good to be here. It’s our 50th episode! Woo
Yeah alright, who’da thought?!
So we’re here to talk about the story of the making these 50 episodes. And i figured we’d start at the beginning. Why’d we do this. And you know by now I’m a literacy person, right. So my doctorate is in language, literacy and ed from University of Pennsylvania. About a half a dozen years ago, i was in a project where i was talking to a bunch of people in health sector. And they were telling me about problems they were having with patient education, or health literacy. And I was like, ‘yeah you know what, we face some of those same issues in education, or in higher ed, or in policy. We might have something here that might be helpful to you.’ So really, I started this because of interdisciplinary work. Because there’s so much material that’s available to those in the health sector. They just might not know about it because it’s in the education sector. So this for me is just a different way of serving the same kids and families and communities I’ve served my whole life as an educator. But I also had to cross sectors.
And that’s been tough. But I’ve been really lucky because people have been very nice and very helpful and welcoming. And i thought about it, there was an interaction I had the week we actually launched the show back in October of 2017. I was talking to Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow. He’s a rock star in health literacy. He’s a physician but he also founded the journal called Health Literacy Research and Practice. I was telling him what I was doing, and why I was doing it. And he said to me, he said, ‘It’s like you’re walking around with a backpack of the best studies in the world about learning and language and you’ve got em on your back.’ And I loved that image, here I am walking around listening to people, and then kind of reaching in the backpack and pulling out something and saying to somebody, ‘here, check out this study, it might be helpful.’
Yeah and before you approached me with the idea of doing a podcast–talk about that backpack of skills, well my professional background is in Pharmaceutical IT, and it has been since college days. I have had an interest and done some activity in voice-over, in music performance and audio production, more of as a hobbyist for about 10 years or so. I’ve gotten to work that into my job by doing call prompts, phone tree recordings, pre-show announcements, corporate training. And there’s even some hip-hop spoken word out there, some indy music projects. This all went hand-in hand with learning to do the audio engineering aspects of making a good, clean recording, of mic-ing and multi-tracking. So when you were suggesting to do the podcast, I thought, well let’s reach into that backpack and see what we can pull out, skills-wise, and collaborate, and see where it goes.
And here were are 50 episodes later. I remember where I was standing, we were on the phone. I was at mom’s house on her patio, and I asked you, like, ‘dude, you wanna learn how to podcast together?’ And I’m so glad you said ‘yes’ cause I don’t know what I would’ve done otherwise.
It’s been a lot of fun and as for what started just more of a technical question, let’s see if we can if we can do this, when I started to hear your message and how it could help Physicians and patients– something I could really relate to you know from the IT provider perspective– it really resonated with me in a way that the basic dry kind of voice over work, phone announcements and stuff, really didn’t. And I believe that when you’re, when you feel that you’re making the world a better place, that shows through in the finished product
It meant so much to me to have kind of your approval in that way because you’ve been in the health sector in a way in your whole life. And there are so many great podcasts out there by health professionals about various facets of this work. All the different specialties, allied health, nursing, pharmacy, so much. And then the same with public health. Same with med ed. And I’m not a health professional, right? I talk about language use and learning and what they have to do with each other in the specialized context of health. And I’m a consultant, right? You’re savvy people, you know there’s always something for sale, and in this case it’s: if folks find these approaches helpful, and they want more support, more education, some research advising around any of these topics, call me.
You’ve asked this in many episodes in the past: so if there’s any topic question out there you like us to cover– the topic of health literacy, as I have come to learn, can be a very big tent. So please let us know.
And I think it’s important to talk about the topics that we do in the series. because it’s not like I’m coming up with them, like I feel like you should know about this. This series is based on issues and problems and questions that health professionals bring up. That’s an approach–it’s very intentional– I learned that approach from my program at Penn. So as much as it’s a monologue, mostly a monologue series, it’s still a conversation, we’re still learning from each other. Because I’ve been listening to folks and what people are asking, or what they’re facing. And then I can say, ‘ooh there’s a learning issue there,’ or ‘there’s a question of how words and phrases are used there.’ Then I can link to the research. And I try to grab studies from the health sector and from the education sector. So, giving ways to think about an issue or problem.
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I think that these topics can be rather heavy.
That is a constant challenge. Cause these are–we’re dealing with big, long-standing, deep-seated issues here, and they are often quite heavy and serious. So we work hard to keep the tone as welcoming as possible, while still being respectful to the issues and to the listeners.
Yeah and a part of that welcoming tone was your request for me to provide some show music that conveyed a positive and upbeat message. And I really got to say, of all this, that was what got me out of my comfort zone the most.
When you wanted me to try my hand at composing some show music. And that was a fun and exciting process, working kind of on a blank sonic canvas, throwing some things out there, of us collaborating and arriving at something that we felt was appropriate, and in that in a few brief moments conveyed a feeling and an expression that goes with the show.
Right because your music is doing a lot of work. Because you are, you are literally setting some of the tone. And I think that’s something that people might not be aware of. Like how much treating issues with respect and treating you with respect, Joe is down to you and your incredible attention to audio quality as well. So we want to show that we take this seriously, and let that show through our attention to detail. And the 10 minute format, right?
Oh yeah. I do like the conciseness. And it goes back to respecting your audience. These are busy people, and so to be able to give them something of value, hopefully something that’s thought-provoking, in a short format like this, I think is a particularly nice aspect of the series.
It takes a lot of time to make a 10 minute podcast.
Hours and hours to make these. ‘Cause from the start we’ve got to find an appropriately bite-sized chunk of a large issue that can be dealt with meaningfully, in some meaningful way, in 10 minutes, going beyond just surface-level stuff. And then, of course, linking to all the research. That gives people a chance to spend more time with it if they want to, and go ahead and go back and click on the links. I keep forgetting to tell people about like following us on social media. I probably should be saying this in every episode and I forget. I also forget to put in the plug that every episode has transcripts with clickable links to the research! It takes a lot of work to do that to make those, and I keep forgetting to tell people about it.
The written word. Now here if you want to hear it though the ears. It’s kinda this buffet-style of information out there.
So let’s talk about what’s next for us Joe ‘cause
This is super exciting. So As you know we’re going for more interviews. You and I have done a couple co- episodes before this. And the episode right prior to this one was a great interview with Dr. Ann Ancona. We’ve got a couple more interviews lined, up to so I’m super psyched about that.
Yeah and it’s been a lot of fun to go from being a little bit behind the scenes to when you started to turn attention towards tech, and apps, being able to leverage some of my industry experience in healthcare IT and bring that to bear on a couple of the episodes.
We are also getting on more podcast distribution services. Right so we’re on HealthCommunicationPartners.com. We’re on iTunes, we’re on Google Play, we’re just going to keep on going to a couple more of those distribution services. Because right now we’re in about a dozen countries outside of the US.
Yeah let’s end by saying: listeners! tell us, what do you want to hear? Because we have listeners now! 50 episodes, 16,000 downloads
Yeah let us know if there is topic or issue in patient education, in health communication, and health literacy that you would like to hear about. Follow us social media! Haha
This has been a lot of fun thank you and congratulations on 50 episodes. Let’s hope for 50 more good ones.
Nice, nice! Everybody, thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing this with friends. Thank you for downloading this. And go ahead and give us a shout let us know what you would like the next episodes to be about. This has been 10 Minutes to Better Patient Communication from Health Communication Partners. I’m Dr. Anne Marie Liebel.
And I’m Joe Liebel.