For many of us, our daily chores, commutes, and downtime is soundtracked by our favourite podcasts. They make niche information more accessible, more understandable, and more engaging, Dr Shyr Chui, a radiologist at University Hospital of Northern British Columbia, and co-host Deanna Danskin, a Physician Quality Improvement (PQI) coach, interview a broad range of physicians and health care leaders on their show, Qualitycast North. The podcast has fast become an effective method of sharing quality improvement (QI) projects, insights into physician life in northern BC, and the personal stories of their physician guests. Qualitycast North is a podcast that is released in collaboration with the Northern Health Authority and Physician Quality Improvement (PQI), which harnesses the power of storytelling to share to share diverse quality improvement project that are underway in northern BC.
Dr Chui explained that the podcast is a great way to integrate the diverse physician communities across northern BC’s vast geographical area, creating a sense of community. Ms Danskin added that goes a long way towards demystifying quality improvement for patients and physicians alike. Generally, QI projects are the stuff of medical journals and conferences, and this podcast brings these innovative and inspiring stories to anyone who can listen. The podcast is a production of the Northern Health PQI initiative, which is one of the Specialist Service’s Committee’s (SSC) flagship initiatives. It aligns with the provincial PQI strategy to support sharing and showcasing of QI work at regional, national, and international levels using various channels and platforms. The Northern Health PQI team’s Qualitycast North exemplifies the power of podcasts as a medium for knowledge sharing as a way to spread learning and impact, far and wide.
Dr Chui is finding a lot of personal joy in the project, as he had not previously had any experience in podcast hosting or production. Both he and Ms Danskin commented on the sense of community the podcast fosters, particularly through the difficult and isolating days during the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Production and honoraria costs are covered by PQI, and physicians are interviewed outside of clinic hours to make the most of their time on-air. Guests include physicians who are working on PQI projects such as improving MRI image quality, tackling weight bias in medicine, and exploring cultural safety and humility. For the second season, the team has interviewed a number of Northern Health staff, in a move that has boosted relationships, and created a more trusting atmosphere. As well as speaking about the projects themselves, we get fascinating insights into how the physicians came to practice medicine, as well as their day-to-day lives in northern BC.
Dr Chui noted that the podcast benefits are so much bigger than simply spreading QI news in northern BC, “It became apparent through the development of the show that it does a lot more than just spread the news. It also spreads projects, as people may listen and see that the project may work in their area. It may also be used as a recruiting tool to attract physicians to the Northern Health region, and it’s an empathetic tool.”
It is clear the podcast is making an impact far beyond the Northern Health region, with episodes being downloaded in more than 25 countries, including the United States, India, Nigeria, South Korea, and the United Kingdom.
Currently in its second season, Dr Chui and Danskin hope to expand the podcast topics for future episodes, and are keen to profile more physician well-being projects, and emphasize the joyful parts of working in medicine.
Ms Danskin described the podcast being produced in the spirit of collaboration, acting as a way for patients to, “get a different understanding, and foster a sense of pride in our work.”
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