I spent three days this week in Massachusetts filming patient stories and conducting clinician interviews on video (physicians and physician extenders). This aspect of my job is always a lot of fun. I enjoy the challenge inherent in conducting on-camera interviews: Helping the personal being interviewed to relax, overcome their fear, and forget about the cameras. A good interview should be a conversation. It is my opinion that if you’re simply reading from a list of questions, you are not conducting an engaging interview. And you won’t be helping to relax the person you’re interviewing.
One of my biases is that the interviewer, when interviewing clinicians, should be well-versed in various aspects of medicine and healthcare. This type of background lends itself to a better interview. A couple days ago I was interviewed a GYN surgeon who specializes in minimally invasive surgeries. She didn’t volunteer information about the benefits of minimally invasive hysterectomies; but because of my experience in the industry, I knew to take the interview in that direction. It is a small example, but when you’re interviewing a large number of physicians from various specialties and subspecialties, it pays to be nimble and knowledgeable.
I go into interviews with a well crafted list of questions (not your standard questions about medical school, etc.) but I rarely refer to the list. My goal is always to strike up a conversation with the clinician or patient and cover my questions throughout the course of the conversation. At the end of the interview I’ll glance at my list to see if there’s anything we missed. By the end of the interview the subject is definitely more comfortable, so I’ll go back and have him or her revisit some of the things we discussed early on. I’ll also have the subject introduce himself once again. It’s unfortunate that the introduction is usually the first thing we film, and the first thing someone sees when viewing a video, yet it takes place when the subject is the least comfortable and the most nervous. It is something to keep in mind.
Below are some patient and clinician photos from this week’s shoot in Massachusetts. These photos were taken with my iPhone during the shoot. Enjoy!
And here are a couple of crew photos: