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Medical Education
Center for Faculty Educators

UCSF Medical Education Podcasts #NarrativesForTheWin

Spark: Medical Education for Curious Minds

In May 2017, the UCSF School of Medicine launched a podcast series called "The Spark: Medical Education for the Curious Minds" to share narratives behind the scenes of health professions education at UCSF. This series highlights UCSF educators and leaders, their impactful initiatives, and community perspectives. Co-hosted by Megan O’Connor and Karin Fleming from the Office of Medical Education, there are three podcasts thus far, which feature new Associate Dean for Curriculum Dr. John Davis, medical student Danielle Cipres, medical student Ogonna Nnamani, retired Associate Dean Dr. Susan Masters, medical student Christine Zachek, and Academy member Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

  • Episode 1: Transforming medical education for better healthcare: Dr. John Davis reflects on his career thus far and specifically his interest in healthcare disparities for the LGBT and sexual/gender minority populations, and Danielle Cipres discusses her disparities research which resulted in her Journal of Adolescent Health publication "Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Young Women's Health-Promoting Strategies to Reduce Vulnerability to Sexually Transmitted Infections."

  • Episode 2: Spiral learning and innovations in medical education: Ogonna Nnamani discusses the value of coaches and the concept of spiral learning, and Dr. Susan Masters shares why the Bridges curriculum is groundbreaking and keeping up with today’s healthcare landscape.

  • Episode 3: Infectious diseases research and the continually curious scientific mind: Christine Zachek discusses about her research on Chagas disease in tropical countries, and Dr. Peter Chin-Hong shares insights about the challenges involving his infectious disease research on the  Zika virus, yellow fever, and dengue.

  • More Episodes

Download the free Soundcloud app, and subscribe to the inspiring UCSF Spark podcast series on Soundcloud. Listen to it during your commute or while on the treadmill, and spark your own ideas in education!

ALiEM: Academic Life in Emergency Medicine

In 2009, Academy and emergency medicine faculty member, Michelle Lin, launched the ALiEM blog. Since then, ALiEM has livestreamed and recorded multiple webinars using Google Hangout on Air. In 2015, ALiEM began converting many of its videos into podcast form after recognizing the growing popularity of podcasts amongst medical students and residents. Podcasts provide learners with on-demand learning. The ALiEM podcast features discussions from multiple ALiEM initiatives.

Some highly-viewed podcast collections include the following:

  • EM Match Advice: Started in 2015, this series provides expert advice to senior medical students applying into Emergency Medicine, featuring residency program directors from around the country.

  • Wellness Think Tank: Started in 2016, this series features discussions about resident wellness from our Wellness Strategists, which even includes a featured appearance by a UCSF alumnus Dr. Zubin Damania (a.k.a ZDoggMD).

  • 60-Second Soapbox: Started in 2015, this series allows for clinicians to "rant" about something near and dear to them for 60 seconds.

  • Chief Resident Incubator: Started in 2015, this series features the audio highlights from our professional development webinars within our virtual community of practice for EM Chief Residents from around the country.

Download the free Soundcloud app or subscribe to the ALiEM podcast account. Or listen to ALiEM on iTunes. We hope you will find something that will resonate with you and your professional career.  

Tips on developing your own podcast by Dr. Michelle Lin

  1. Start small: Most educators think that they need to have developed a whole 20-episode podcast to launch a series. While you may not be the next Serial podcast producer, you just need a handful (3-5 recorded podcasts) before you start.

  2. You do not need expensive equipment or software: You do not need a sound-proof studio and professional-grade microphones. There are now many relatively affordable high-quality USB microphones that you can purchase for under $200. Also a secret pro-tip is to record in your closet. This provides a great sound-recording environment, because the clothes dampen the echoes. There are many inexpensive recording platforms under $50. Audacity is the most commonly used platform (it is free), but there are others including Call Recorder and Sound Studio (which is what I use). Furthermore, you can use Skype to record conversations with anyone around the world.

  3. Remove unnecessary fillers: Your listeners’ time is valuable. Spend a few minutes in the post-production phase to delete the random "um," "you know," and "like" filler words and prolonged pauses. Your listeners will thank you, and you will sound more professional.

  4. Find a partner: Podcast segments are more memorable and engaging when you have a dialogue. Record with a colleague to talk about something about which you are both passionate. Remember that you can always edit and delete undesired segments.

  5. More information: For other more crowdsourced tips for becoming a podcaster, check out some crowdsourced tips on "How I Podcast Smarter:" The Gear, The Workflow, and Pearls of Wisdom.

Know of other UCSF health profession education podcasts?

Please share them with us! Email your podcast URL, podcast description, and podcast contact to Karen Brent. We only post podcast information with permission from the podcast owner.