Does anyone still read this?
To the 5 of you who are, welcome back! Thanks for reading.
So, for inquiring minds (again, approximately 5 people), life has been pretty great lately. I have a new “gig” this month that involves delivering something different than babies.
News, people! I’m delivering news to the world! You can say I’m like a young Katie Couric. Or Diane Sawyer, since I’m blonde.
Well…..not quite. You should not expect me to be on your TV tomorrow at 7 am telling you the latest headlines.
But, I am working at ABC News this month as my elective [we get elective time in our 3rd and 4th years of residency].
This has been especially cool for me because way back when I was just a young pup, I wanted to be a news anchor. Mostly, I wanted this job because I love asking people questions (and still do). Ultimately, the allure of talking to people all day led me to medicine, but I still harbor dreams of interviewing people for a living. That is, interviewing that doesn’t involve asking about your medical history.
What does this job entail?
So glad you asked!
Primarily, we (the residents) help to read the latest and greatest studies (“embargoed,” meaning not released to the general public, yet) and help to vet them. This means you must first read for medical content and evaluate the strength of the study. Second, you need to read the study in terms of “newsworthiness” or entertainment value. Ultimately, some of these studies get picked up for stories – either online or on television. Its somewhat cool to see a story you “vetted” end up on Good Morning America or World News Tonight!
We also help research background for certain pieces and we participate in the Twitter chats Dr. Besser (ABC News Chief Medical and Health editor and all-around extremely smart and nice guy) holds each week.
[Shameless plug – next week we are hosting a chat about infertility! Join us! Comment below if interested!]
And, if you’re really enthusiastic, you may even get to “produce” a video piece! Yes, Mom – I’m a producer! I just learned what “B-roll” is so I think my film career is really on the up and up.
I’ve learned to turn my writing upside down (turns out, you have to ditch your flowery, academic writing sometimes), have kept up with politics more than I ever have (how many more super Tuesdays are we going to have), and learned a lot about a totally different arena than medicine.
For those of you who work in the cubical/office world, hats off to you. I always thought that if I had a desk job, I’d go outside all the time because I wouldn’t be tied to babies about to deliver. Turns out, you can’t do that all the time. While babies may wait for no one, the same can be said for the news.
Second, I had no idea most of the world worked with TWO computer screens (and, at ABC, millions of TVs!). At first, it was overwhelming. Now, I sort of like it.
That’s all for now.
BECAUSE I LOVE QUESTIONS: IF YOU COULD ASK ANY NEWS ANCHOR A QUESTION, WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM?
First, I would start with how they got “their voice.” Second, I would ask them what is the most important part of their job that the general public probably has no idea that they do. Third, I would ask them how they hope to contribute to the field of journalism and how they hope to differ (or be similar) to the predecessors and contemporaries. Fourth, I would ask them their favorite form of exercise and coffee. Hard hitting news!
Daily coffee tally: 3
PS: Before my elective, I went to Costa Rica for a week and learned to surf. I recommend that you do this. Doctor’s orders!