Doctors Create News-Style Health Show
November 20, 2006
These doctors are in. All the time. Kingston doctors Sanjay Sharma, an ophthalmologist, and Susan Sharma, a family physician, have launched a website that provides accurate, timely information for patients who love to Google. Insidermedicine (www.insidermedicine.ca) is a daily news program that is written, reported and produced by the husband and wife duo, with input from Queens University doctors, residents and students
City docs go global on the web with news-style program Doctors get into show production to bring public lively medical information online, translated for world use
Lynn Rees Lambert
These doctors are in. All the time. Kingston doctors Sanjay Sharma, an ophthalmologist, and Susan Sharma, a family physician, have launched a website that provides accurate, timely information for patients who love to Google. Insidermedicine (www.insidermedicine.ca) is a daily news program that is written, reported and produced by the husband and wife duo, with input from Queens University doctors, residents and students. Its been in the works for some time, says Sanjay, going back about two years. But since last December, the physicians realized the potential of videos on the net and decided to jump in. Hes got the camera. Shes got the delivery. And, between the two of them with help from the latest in research and journals they provide cutting-edge health information at the click of a few keys. Topics range from disease prevention to breaking news pertaining to specific diseases.
Patients today often visit a doctor already armed with some information, they explain. Some of it is accurate; some is not. We started the service because more patients were coming into our offices with information that they downloaded from the Internet, says Sanjay. The problem, says the professor of ophthalmology and epidemiology at Queens University, is that much of it wasnt correct. If people are attempting to make health care decisions for themselves or their loves ones on incorrect information, it may affect their health, he says. Getting the message out has also meant delivering it in a user-friendly manner. Aside from easy to search tools, they have translated Susans video reports into Chinese. More translations are being arranged.
The family doctor says she never anticipated being seen and heard on the Internet when she started out in practice. We wanted to have multiple inputs to get the job done and hit on a variety of ways of learning. They seem to have made their point. Since the site was launched in early November, there have been tens of thousands of global hits. Sanjay is keen on being able to update the site with the latest from medical conferences and something perhaps from The New England Journal of Medicine. As far as they know, this is the only daily news service for health information.
Sharma said the next step the founders are looking at is to add a registration feature and perhaps some forums where people can discuss the information being presented and make contact with others who may suffer from the same conditions.
It would be a way for patients to know that theyre not alone, he said.
Id like to think that doctors know it all, but they dont, and from a pragmatic point of view, patients often have a pretty good understanding of what things work and what dont.