Podcasting from the Green Mountains of Vermont

Matt Tsai '21 and Dylan Koundakjian '21
Matt Tsai ’21 and Dylan Koundakjian ’21

Written by Matt Tsai ’21 and Dylan Koundakjian ’21

“Testing 1, 2, 3. You’re listening to Green Mountain Medicine, an original podcast series for all things internal medicine…”

We found the inspiration for our podcast at the end of our Foundations curriculum at the UVM Larner College of Medicine, after spending a year running the Internal Medicine Student Interest Group, engaging our classmates with case discussions, and dominating the meme presence on our class Facebook page. As we transitioned leadership of the SIG to the next class of medical students, we began to look for new ways to explore internal medicine and share this amazing field with members of our community. We started by taking new roles as medical student state representatives for the Vermont chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP), a national organization for internists. Through this involvement we learned about a national podcast series featured on the ACP’s web page, The Curbsiders. We enjoyed how the hosts covered a wide variety of topics in medicine, all while balancing a tone of levity with an unmatched affinity for medical puns. We thought to ourselves, “This sounds like so much fun, we should do something like this for our school!” Often there seems to be so much happening in the medical world that it feels impossible to keep up with new literature and guidelines. We thought our podcast could be a way for clinicians and students alike to gain clinical pearls and perspectives that would prove valuable. Admittedly it was an ambitious project, but we were both determined to give it a shot. We never looked back.

We envisioned Green Mountain Medicine with one simple goal: To present a wide variety of topics in internal medicine and relay to our audience how these topics apply to the practice of medicine in Vermont. These topics would include anything from landmark clinical trials relevant to our medical education and future practice, to interviews with members of our own Vermont internal medicine community. After a couple months of planning, we were ready. Our ACP chapter governor, Dr. Allen Repp, lent us the endless support and community connections to make it happen. On June 6, 2019, we launched our pilot episode: An evidence-based and balanced debate on current conversations around the STEP 1 scoring format (i.e. making it pass/fail). What we thought would be a 20-minute podcast became a 45-minute discussion—turns out there was a lot to break down! We were thrilled to hear in the coming days how much our classmates and faculty had listened, learned from and enjoyed our discussion. The only thing more exciting than their feedback was the number of inquiries for the next installment.

Five episodes and hundreds of downloads later, we never imagined hosting a podcast could be so fulfilling. We have covered issues from chronic opioid prescription to the internal medicine residency at UVM Medical Center. In the process, we have learned a lot about what it takes to formulate a good episode, both in terms of preparation and production, all of which has pushed us to make each episode better than the last.

To our listeners (past, present and future), thank you for joining us on this incredible ride. Our mission starts and ends with you. We cannot wait to share our next content with you all, and we hope you have enjoyed listening to our show as much as we have enjoyed producing it. If you would like to provide feedback or contribute ideas for future topics, please reach out! And until then, thanks for listening…

Be sure to check out current and future episodes of Green Mountain Medicine on the iTunes store and GooglePlay!

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