Hi all! If you haven’t heard, our very own Jeff Singer (GS4) has been beefing up his resume, reaching out into the community, and having a bit of fun on the producing team of Magic City Medcast–a newly inaugurated podcast by medical students at UAB. Read on for Jeff’s words on this awesome project, and follow the links to check out the website and listen to their first episode:
Paige: What is Magic City Medcast aka MCM? Also if you’re not calling it MCM you totally should.
Jeff: As it says on our website (see link above): A podcast produced by the UAB medical students convering the incredible and often hidden stories of medicine, medical school, and Birmingham. We were thinking MC squared for a while, but we’ll keep that in mind.
Paige: Sounds mysterious. And MC squared is clever, I like it. But really, this sounds like something that would interest medical students, UAB faculty/staff, and the Birmingham community as a whole. What prompted you all to start Magic City Medcast?
Jeff: I listen to a lot of podcasts in lab, whether walking between buildings, running flow cytometry samples, or doing work in the vivarium. Working on a podcast was something I had been interested in, but thought would require a lot of time and equipment to do well by myself. I saw an email sent out to the medical school from another medical student (Corey Duke) gauging interest in starting a podcast and figured that would be a good opportunity to test the waters. Having a group of students and funding from the medical school greatly reduced the time and equipment barriers that were preventing exploring the podcast world before.
Paige: Yeah that is an incredible opportunity, for sure. Do you have any experience broadcasting or are you, as you said, just “testing the waters?”
Jeff: I don’t have any experience in broadcasting or PR. I did a little audio/video editing on the creative direction committee for the Best Medicine Show. I listen to a lot of podcasts, though.
Paige: That’s a cool way to mix up the grad student routine of running flow cytometry samples in lab, and seems like it’s been successful thus far! What audience are you primarily targeting with the medcast?
Jeff: This is a question we’ve asked ourselves a bunch as a group and we still don’t have a definitive answer for. Right now, we’re just trying to make stuff that we would want to listen to. We use Medcast in the title, so you can expect most stories to be medically related. There’s a 600+ person medical school audience that we can easily promote our show to, but we’re trying hard not to cater to just UAB or just medical students. One of the great things about podcasts is that they’re easy to get anywhere in the world. There aren’t a ton of medical-student-produced podcasts out there, so we may occupy a cool niche. Regardless, we’re also looking for feedback from people who do listen. On our website, you can leave comments, or even pitch stories, that you think would be interesting for us to explore.
Paige: Awesome. It’s a unique position you all have, too, to let it morph into whatever your “niche” ends up being, so I’m excited to see where it goes. From an outsider’s perspective, the team behind the medcast seems brimming with students ready to hit the ground running with this project. What do you think about the response from medical students willing to help out, and the resulting team dynamic?
Jeff: It’s been a lot of fun seeing a bunch of students get together and figure this out. None of us have really done this sort of thing before, so it’s a learning and evolving dynamic. Some students are really into the audio editing and technical aspect of making the podcast. Others want to do interviewing or recording. Others have no interest in being on the microphone, but want to help out with the research and background that goes into this. We’re organized around small teams that are each in charge of an episode. We think that’s away to encourage lots of people to participate and also make sure that one person doesn’t get stuck doing all the work every time. If someone has an idea, they can lead a group of excited students to help make the episode.
Paige: Teamwork for the win. I’m sure it helps to have an excited production team ready to work. What would you say is your ultimate goal of the podcast?
Jeff: Honestly, my goal is to have fun sharing interesting stories and perspectives and hopefully someone else finds it enjoyable. Other producers at the podcast may feel differently, but I’m not quitting my day job or making grand plans for the podcast.
Paige: You have a pretty sweet day job (hayyyy MSTPs), so I don’t blame you, but this is definitely a great “side project.” So now, tell us your shameless plug for why we should listen.
Jeff: To the first episode? You should listen to that one because it’s about a person with a building named after them. Usually that only happens when someone pays a lot of money or does some interesting stuff. Volker was the latter. It turns out when we wanted to find out how Volker Hall got its name, we ended up learning how UAB came to exist and, to some degree, how Birmingham’s medical leaders dealt with the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s. Why should you listen to other episodes? We’re finding equally interesting stories around town from both the past and present. And, we’re striving for a high degree of quality in everything we do. It won’t sound like it’s recorded in a trashcan and it’s not going to be just people rambling on around a microphone. That’s probably worth 15 minutes of your time, right?
Paige: Yes! No doubt, 15 minutes well spent.
Big shout out to Jeff for conducting this interview and be sure to check out the “Volker” episode, and future episodes of Magic City Medcast. Here are the links again if you made it all the way to the end and you’d rather not scroll back to the top of the page.
Happy listening! Until next time,