Case Study: A podcast for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the official not-for-profit body representing 7,000 registered surgeons in Australia and New Zealand. BE Media Production has been producing audio content for the College for 10 years, including the current interview-style RACS Post Op Podcast today.

The Concept

In 2009 BE Media Production began creating audio content specifically tailored and distributed to members of RACS. The first program was distributed as an audio CD attached to the printed magazine issued to RACS members five times per year. Since that time technology has developed to the point where we all now carry smartphones that are effectively also mini stereos in our pockets. To reflect that change in behaviour, since 2016, the content has been distributed as a fortnightly podcast titled the RACS Post Op Podcast.

The Sponsor

The RACS podcast is supported by The Bongiorno Group, which specialises in assisting medical and dental professionals to grow their practices, as well as manage and protect their wealth. The Group wanted to promote awareness of its services to surgeons in a genuine way that demonstrated the value it could offer.

The Audience

The podcast aims to inform members of RACS, more than 7000 surgeons and 1300 surgical trainees and medical graduates in Australia and New Zealand.

How it’s made

The team at BE Media Production works closely with the College’s communications department to examine and secure stories for the podcast. BE producers arrange interviews, write questions, conduct interviews in its Melbourne studio, edit and assemble the program, and – after approval from the College – upload each episode onto a podcast hosting platform for distribution onto Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Stitcher.

How it’s marketed

Each episode of RACS Post Op Podcast is highlighted in the College’s established communication challenges. The podcast is publicised in its fortnightly newsletter, social media channels like Twitter and LinkedIn, and it features prominently in RACS’s monthly magazine with handy instructions on how to access the audio.

The Results

The podcast provides news and in-depth stories from the College, as well as practical advice that surgeons can implement in their businesses. It’s become an integral part of the College’s communications. 

Example interviews

Stop the bleeding: World-leading neurosurgeon with lessons from conflict zones

Professor Jeffrey Rosenfeld AC OBE is a globally acclaimed neurosurgeon, whose current project as Director of the Monash Institute of Medical Engineering is developing a bionic vision device to help people see again. It’s a world away for the longstanding RACS Fellow who is a Professor of Surgery at Monash University and a senior neurosurgeon at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. He has spent considerable time on deployments in conflict zones overseas, where he has witnessed horrific injuries resulting from bomb blasts. He says the immediate action to stop bleeding by the use of tourniquets is a lesson first responders can apply in emergency situations back on home soil.

Grappling with burnout, mental health and ‘institutional health’

Some of the most overworked people in society are medical professionals. Doctors are suffering from increased workloads, and they are suffering in silence. ENT Surgeon, Dr Eric Levi has documented his own challenges in a blog, which has resonated with doctors around the world. Dr Levi delivered a plenary talk, titled ‘Broken Doctors, Broken Systems’ at the College’s recent ASM, addressing the issue of what he calls ‘institutional health’, which can result in burnout and can affect the mental health of medical professionals. In this episode, he discusses the widespread incidence of depression in the medical profession and discusses some ways to address the issues of mental health.

Takeouts for surgeons from the 2018 Federal Budget

With the 2018 Federal Budget done and dusted, what are the take-outs for surgeons? Michael Waycott, Director at The Bongiorno National Network, takes us through some of the announcements from what he calls a relatively safe Budget, with few outlandish spending promises.