18,000 and Counting: One Year of the Talking Pediatrics Podcast

October 1, 2021

One year ago, we launched the Talking Pediatrics podcast, bringing the most up to date pediatric information, along with intriguing stories and guests, to pediatric clinicians everywhere. Over 18, 500 downloads later, we have had many amazing moments, incredible stories, silly slip ups and more and have been humbled by the overwhelming response to our podcast. Join our hosts and our production team for an anniversary conversation about the good, the bad and the surprising as we talk about what goes into bringing you Talking Pediatrics each week. And thanks to you, our listeners, for helping us grow and evolve this past year. We look forward to many more to come!


Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: This is Talking Pediatrics, a clinical podcast by Children’s Minnesota, where the complex is our every day. Each week, we bring you intriguing stories and relevant pediatric healthcare information, as we partner with you in the care of your patients. Our guests, data, ideas, and practical tips will surprise, challenge, and perhaps change how you care for the most amazing people on Earth, kids.

Welcome to Talking Pediatrics. I’m your host, Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd. August 14th was the Talking Pediatrics official one year anniversary. And we’re celebrating today by giving you a little behind the scenes insight. With me today are our guests hosts, and I will have each of them introduce themselves.

Dr. Gabi Hester: Hi, I’m Gabi Hester. I’m the Medical Director of Quality Improvement at Children’s Minnesota. I’m also a pediatric hospitalist, and I’m the host of Guidelines with Gabi.

Dr. Bryan Fate: Hi, I’m Bryan Fate. I am a primary care doctor at the Children’s Minneapolis Clinic, and a dabbler in music. And I host Crack the Case.

Dr. Samreen Vora: Hello, I’m Samreen Vora, and I’m the Medical Director of Simulation and an emergency physician, and a newly minted mom of a teenager. And I host the Simulation Section.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: James.

James C. Burroughs II: Yeah. Thank you, Angela. James Burroughs, Vice President and Chief Equity Inclusion Officer here at Children’s Minnesota.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: And also joining me today, out from behind the curtain, is Jake Beaver, our producer, editor, and engineer extraordinaire.

Jake Beaver: Hello, thank you for having me today.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: As well as our Executive Producer and showrunner, Ilze Vogel.

Ilze Vogel: Hey there.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: So I’ve gotten us all together today, so we can get a little bit better acquainted with some of the inner workings of the show and some unique reflections from each of our hosts.

Ilze Vogel: You know, I really can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we started this adventure into the world of podcasting. As I was thinking about this, I was just wondering, what was your thought process in wanting to do a podcast for Children’s Minnesota?

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: The building of the Talking Pediatrics podcast happened over some time. I think podcasting has really taken off in the last few years. And so, as the Chief Education Officer and someone who’s always wanting to think about new ways that we can reach our health professional audience, a podcast seemed like potentially the next natural medium for us to go into.

I’d had some conversations with a few different people at Children’s Minnesota about launching different versions of podcasts, Dr. Vora being one of them, and then a pandemic hit. And in the middle of the pandemic, we were really trying to figure out what is a really quick and easy way that we can get information to people who are caring for kids in practice, without them having to dedicate an hour to watching one of our grand rounds or really dig for some online printed material, but just something they could listen to in their car to keep up to date with what they need to know to take care of kids.

Ilze Vogel: So how do you think the Talking Pediatrics podcast stands out from other medical podcasts?

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: Other than being highly entertaining, which of course, all of us are, I think one of the things that was a differentiator is that we’re a podcast for clinicians. So there are other kid podcasts that are about pediatrics, but they’re really more designed for parents. And I’m sure that we do have parents who listen to our podcast as well, but we really launched it with the mind of someone who’s taking care of kids in practice and what would they need to know.

One of the other differentiators is we really wanted to have diverse perspectives on our podcasts. So rather than just a single host, we came up with the idea of multiple hosts and different segments, so that we could really hit different types of clinicians, different types of interests, and hopefully, really run the spectrum of what people want to know about pediatrics.

Ilze Vogel: So how exactly did you go about choosing the guest hosts?

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: Well, some of them chose me, and I think the first one who chose me was Dr. Vora. So, Samreen and I have worked together closely at Children’s for a while. She is our Director of Simulation and as the Chief Education Officer, we work really closely together. So she was a natural choice when we decided to launch this podcast. And I knew she had some really innovative and interesting things to share about simulation, which many people in practice don’t have as a part of their day to day life. And I thought that would be really interesting. A similar process happened with James Burroughs. Both of us have been interviewed several times for different podcasts, and so I knew he was interested. And I also knew that topics of equity and inclusion would be really relevant for our audience. So, James was an early add.

Dr. Hester, interestingly, Gabi, she was on our COVID HICS Clinical Core team. And so when we were brainstorming about how we were going to get this COVID clinical information out to people, and the idea of the podcast surfaced in those conversations, she was really quick to say, that’s something I’d really love to be involved in. And as the Medical Director of Quality Improvement, Gabi oversees all of our guideline development. And the guidelines are really great tools for clinicians in practice. So, that’s how we came up with the Guidelines with Gabi segment.

Dr. Fate was a late add and Bryan really came to the show as we ended our first year. And we were really trying to think about what could we do to keep the show fresh and interesting? And what did we want to add? We added the Trailblazers show that I do in the context of the podcast, really interviewing pediatric trailblazers, and Dr. Fate mentioned in his intro, his musical background. And he had come to me and mentioned that he had done some music for podcasts in the past, and also brought this idea of a case-based podcast and really walking through a medical case and might that be of relevance, not only to people in practice, but particularly to our trainees who really enjoy case-based learning. And that’s where Crack the Case with Bryan Fate was born.

Ilze Vogel: James, Gabi, Samreen, Bryan, what made each of you actually say yes to Angela when she reached out to you to invite you to be a guest host? And what drew you to the idea of podcasting?

James C. Burroughs II: Good question. Fear. I’m not telling Angela no. I guess the reality, I wanted to also get the word out about equity at Children’s. So, the opportunity was to work with Angela as we had in our Grand Rounds and infusing equity into the work. I wanted to infuse equity and inclusion into the Talking Pediatrics podcast as well. So, that made it easy to say yes, and also easy to work with Angela.

Dr. Samreen Vora: So as Angela said, we had been talking quite a bit actually about starting a podcast. We had thought bringing different lenses into the world. I think Angela and I talked a lot about how our backgrounds and our identities shape who we are as physicians, as healthcare professionals in the pediatric world, particularly. So even our initial discussions were, how could we bring that to the world and share those discussions that we have that I imagine a lot of other people are either having or are afraid to have.

And so to me, I was already on that path of, gosh, podcasts would be a great way to bring some of these discussions forward. And then when this formulated and Angela said, what about this? And what about it being about simulation? I felt similar. And we think about providing this podcast, being for healthcare professionals in the pediatric world and how can we provide those scaffolded tools and the support for them to be able to do their jobs the best that they can.

Simulation is one of those tools that spans all of those different areas. You talk about Crack the Case, less frequent cases. We use simulation for that. You talk about guidelines, we can use simulation to test those guidelines. So, there’s just so much that we can use simulation for that a lot of people are not always aware of. And so this was a really great way for us to say, “Hey, here’s what we’re doing. Here’s what it can do.” And just get people thinking to become innovative and really help them with another tool in their toolbox.

So that was really my motivation to say, absolutely. I want to share all the love I have for simulation with the world.

Ilze Vogel: Yeah. How about you, Bryan?

Dr. Bryan Fate: Part of it was being a primary care doctor and bringing that perspective to the show. When I think in a lot of podcasts, specialist voices are heard loudly. And then I think being close to the resident experience. Residents are doctors, but it’s such a formative time of late nights. So much learning happens in a short amount of time. I’m a plucky youngster that’s not too far away from that. So I feel connected to it and connected to the residents that come to our clinic and their learning process.

Ilze Vogel: How about you Gabi?

Dr. Gabi Hester: Well, I would love to describe myself as a plucky youngster. However, I don’t think I can do that anymore.

Dr. Bryan Fate: Yeah you can.

Dr. Gabi Hester: I think this was a party I was going to crash and Angela made it easy by inviting me, as opposed to making me force myself into the situation. But it was in the middle of the pandemic when, really, the podcast began to take shape. And I just recognized, like everybody else has alluded to, a need to deliver education in a new way to keep things fresh. Particularly as we all were feeling overwhelmed with everything that was going on in the world.

I wouldn’t describe myself as technologically savvy. So, I had recently discovered what podcasts were and thought, “Hey, this is a cool, funky new tool that I could potentially use to strategically get information out to people on the front lines.” And so, when I’m developing a guideline or helping move the guideline forward, that’s a big challenge of how do we actually get this information to the people who need to use it? And podcasting seemed like a cool new strategy to try.

Ilze Vogel: Let’s talk about highlights. What have been some of your highlights from the show so far and what have been some of your favorite moments or just favorite episodes?

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: Well, for me, I was really excited to launch this Trailblazer series this year. And one of the reasons I was excited to launch it is that some of my favorite podcasts are more conversational podcasts. And so I was really looking forward to just having some conversations with people who I really admire in pediatrics, and who’ve really left a mark on kids or on the field of pediatrics.

And one of my favorite interviews with that, I absolutely loved interviewing Patsy Stinchfield, who we’ve released as a trailblazer, a longtime colleague. But I think for me, it was interviewing Jana Shortal, who is one of our local news anchors and someone who I’d been interviewed by on local news. But it was really fun for me to get a chance to interview her. And I think flipping that a little bit, having her be the interviewee and me asking the questions was a really fun take on it. And the other side of that is that some of my favorite podcasts have actually been when I’ve been interviewed by some of our other guests hosts.

So, Gabi has hosted shows that I’ve been on. One that we’ll be having come up about children’s books soon. I’ve been interviewed by James for a couple of his shows. I did the first Crack the Case with Bryan, and it’s always fun for me to be on the other side of the questions too. So I really enjoyed those.

James C. Burroughs II: I don’t want to sound like a suck up, but probably my interview with Angela. And the reason is twofold. One is it allowed us to take our hair down as hosts and just talk to each other about things impacting race and also LGBTQ rights and families as well. And for the first time, in a long time, I got a chance to not be the interviewer. I got a chance to be the interviewee and just have a conversation about those things. We talk a lot about intersectionality as a concept, but we got a chance to live it out amongst our 20-minute conversation between us.

Dr. Gabi Hester: I love just getting to talk with the guests that I’ve been able to bring on. In some cases, it’s people that I’m just meeting for the first time, which is really cool and getting to know them and the scope of their work and expertise. But for many of my guests, actually, they are old friends of mine that I have coerced into being on the show with me. And so, it’s been really fun to listen to them and see them in this position where they are the content expert. And I’m sitting there learning from them at the same time as this other part of my brain is thinking back to the time that they stuffed themselves into a linen closet on the top floor or skied down an avalanche shoot in polyester garb with me.

So it’s really been fun to bring some of that cast of characters from other parts of my life back together and have us share how we’ve grown and learned in the field of medicine. So, that’s been really fun.

Jake Beaver: It’s fun being able to put together a project and listen to the final piece. And the education behind this is unreal. For somebody who’s never been to medical school, to be able to learn from the hosts as much as I possibly have through this process, has been amazing.

Ilze Vogel: Jake Beaver, what has been the biggest difference producing a medical podcast?

Jake Beaver: Most of the shows that I do are live shows. So there is no editing. There’s just whatever you get, you get. And going into this, there’s a lot of editing that goes into it. A lot more than I ever expected, to be honest, but it’s fun.

Ilze Vogel: Although Jake has the most formal experience with podcasts, almost everyone here has listened to a podcast. And what have you taken away as a podcast listener that you’ve inserted into your role as a podcast host?

Dr. Bryan Fate: So I started off music nerd podcast. I still listen to a lot of music podcasts, but Song Exploder and Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend has a podcast called Time Crisis, which goes all over the place, which does not have as much structure. It’s more like friends riffing and nerding out on music, which is my thing. But I do listen to a lot of medical podcasts and I know the residents love Cribsiders, which is a case-based podcast. I’ve been studying how that has been made in terms of trying to have some riffing and fun with the guests while also sticking to a pretty predictable structure that’s memorable, with every podcast episode.

I also love NPR. This American Life, I think, uses music in a wonderful way to really make you feel things between the different stories and does a wonderful job of giving all these different narratives, and at the end, tying it all together with this wonderful, underlying point and theme that somehow they’ve connected with all these different points. And I really value how they use music as a way to build your emotional state and keep you attuned throughout the episode. So I go all over the place, but I’m working on the structure and trying to see how the music piece can fit in and keep people engaged as well.

Dr. Samreen Vora: So, I didn’t listen to a ton of podcasts, although despite Angela and I having talked about, “We should start a podcast,” and I was like, “I should go listen to some to learn.” Since then, I have listened to a bunch, one podcast that I listened to a ton now is Hidden Brain. And just thinking about, for me, it was bringing from that is the storytelling. That’s what I connect with.

And so, giving examples, using storytelling, and then tying it to something personal for the person who’s listening or at least giving some bridge for them, is what I’d like to aim to do. I will say the past episodes in SIM, I was very nervous going into doing all those episodes and felt like, okay, it has to be structured and got to get information out. And as I’ve listened more to these other podcasts and thought about some of the things you guys just said too, put the music into there, just the lessons I think after I’ve listened to all of these, bringing in those pieces, right?

Some of the storytelling, making connections and pulling on people’s, this sounds crazy, but the emotion, right? There’s got to be some connection there, I think, for people to come back the next time or to remember it. For simulation, a big part of it is, I want you to think about how would it apply to you and then think of it when there’s an opportunity for it, right? We know that when there’s emotion to attach to things, people are more likely to remember certain things.

Jake Beaver: I started out by listening to solo podcasts. So, one person just talking behind a script. And what I really found in that is that I enjoyed it, but you didn’t get the conversational aspect behind it. And from there, I started listening to conversation podcasts: two people, three people, four people. To be able to hear a conversation between two people and be that person on the outside listening was always so much fun for me, because you end up learning so much more about the two people in the conversation, and their sides of the story of that conversation, without having to interject your own side.

Dr. Samreen Vora: Great point. It almost forces you to learn to listen, to hear instead of respond. That’s really cool.

Dr. Bryan Fate: Fly on the wall, like a good little corner cafe between two people you respect.

Ilze Vogel: Jake, you have the unique challenge of editing each and every single episode. You’re so lucky. So tell us a little bit about how you go about that process and maybe share with us some funny stories.

Jake Beaver: So the editing process, it takes a while. It takes about a day worth of editing. What we like to do here is we try to make everything sound as clean and as polished as we possibly can. So all of the ums, buts, ands, ors, long pauses, stutter steps. So what we do is we go through the entire show and we take all of those out. Once those are all out, we’ll give it another listen to make sure that everything flows well. If it doesn’t, we’ll start piecing things together. The flow does sound well as a complete story.

After that, we’ll run it through a compressor to make sure that our audio levels are all kind of the same. So that way, nobody’s coming off a little bit too hot or too soft. Everybody sounds about the same. I then send it off to the host, as well as you, Ilze, as our executive producer, to give a listen, to let me know of any additional cuts that need to be made.

Sometimes there’s a couple, sometimes there’s not many. And then we’ll overlay it with the music and the introduction. And then we have it all set up and ready to go for 8:00 a.m. every Friday morning. Fun recordings, I will say that the Jana episode was fun. I remember some of Samreen’s first ones, how nervous Samreen was going into this.

I’ve only recorded with Bryan for a couple of times, but you can always see that Bryan’s mind is consistently working while he’s doing his podcast. So it’s not only having the conversation with the resident, but he’s also thinking about, what am I going to say next? How am I going to lay this out where it sounds good? You’re always sharp in what you’re thinking in the podcast.

For Gabi… When I record with Gabi, the first recording that we ever did with Gabi, was a scripted podcast.

Dr. Gabi Hester: And it was awesome. I’m kidding.

Dr. Bryan Fate: It was the best podcast.

Dr. Gabi Hester: That is the way to do your podcast.

Jake Beaver: The first podcast we did with Gabi was scripted. That was the last podcast we did with Gabi that was scripted. Gabi comes super prepared, okay? And the way she works, her show is really fun because she’ll come and she’ll do the intro. We’ll do the take home points and then we’ll do the interview. And then after the interview, we’ll redo the take home points based off of what the interviewer said.

Dr. Gabi Hester: Because, sometimes I get those take-home points wrong. I learn from the expert. You actually should do this. And I’m like, oh, change that take home point.

Jake Beaver: Recording with James is always fun because he has built such a relationship with his guests that when he has them on, it’s genuinely a conversation between two buddies that have been around for a while.

Ilze Vogel: So, how about the rest of you. Do any of the rest of you have a memorable, funny moment or maybe a valuable lesson that you’ve learned along the way?

James C. Burroughs II: I think Jake’s interaction with me, along the way, has been funny. We rename the podcast every time we get together, because I forget what I called it the last time. I introduce myself differently each time about my role and responsibilities. I tell corny jokes to my people that I interview, but Jake laughs, but they don’t really laugh. So, I think that goes over not as well as I thought, but I think just the energy and the vibe, it allows me to just stop for a second and realize that my job is to interact and engage people who don’t necessarily engage with Children’s Minnesota all the time and just have a dialogue and a conversation. I think the other thing that I take away, most of the time, Jake always finds a musical interlude for me or gives me a song after or before the podcast. It kind of gets my motivation up. So I share those with my daughter, too. So that’s the fun part for me.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: Yeah, that’s fun.

There are some interesting noises that have made their way into the podcast that Jake subsequently edits out. The room that we sometimes record in sneaks interesting noises in there that can interrupt the podcast. I’ve interviewed several guests who were notably nervous during the podcast, which resulted in either a lot of repetitive prefaces to their answers. Ums, I think, yeah, things like that or very long pauses in their answers, which Jake then seamlessly edits out. Probably at the end of this episode, maybe you’ll get a sneak peek of the musical interlude where I tend to say yeah, a lot when I do podcasts and Jake, one time, spliced all of my yeahs to Usher, which was a particularly delightful moment. So, maybe you’ll hear a little bit of that.

*Yeah by Usher playing*
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Ilze Vogel: As you think about our listeners and, if there’s anyone out there that has an aspiration to maybe start their own podcast, or maybe they’re going to be interviewed on our podcast or they’re just going to be interviewed in any podcast, do you all have a piece of advice you’d like to offer up?

Dr. Samreen Vora: Take a deep breath. Sometimes I count in my head so that I can slow down. And now, maybe I’ll stick yeah into my sentences because it’ll slow me down.

Dr. Bryan Fate: I was very nervous for my first one as well. And it’s gotten easier, but it’s not live, all can be edited and forgiven, take deep breaths. There’s kind of a momentum in the conversation like you’d talk to any person. It should be a conversation. There should be some spontaneity like sticking to your structure. As someone with the least experience, you know, I’ve got only a couple of rounds under my belt; I do think that treating it, like you said with James, like you’re talking to a friend will come off the best to the listeners and make them feel the most engaged with the conversation.

Dr. Gabi Hester: My advice would be to remember who your audience is and what you’re hoping to communicate with them and to pull that to the forefront of whatever you’re doing, just to make sure that that’s clear. And I think that keeping that in mind helps me to relax so that I know this is what I’m here to do today, this is who I’m talking to in that broader audience, and this is what I want to try to say to them.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: I would echo what all the other hosts said in terms of whether you’re doing the interviewing or you’re being interviewed to try to stay relaxed, be conversational, don’t speak too fast. Know your audience and what your goals are. I think for anyone who wants to start their own podcast… So there’s a lot of podcasts out there. So you always have to think about what space am I filling up that isn’t currently filled up or what need is there for this podcast? Who am I trying to reach and why?

As someone who has been interviewed for a lot of podcasts, remembering that you have something important to say and thinking ahead of time about what are the two or three key points that you want to get across. And so, one of the tricks to being interviewed is you have your two or three points. And whether you get asked about them or not, you answer with those two or three points. So you find a way to work your point into whatever gets asked of you. So that’s helpful when you’re being interviewed by someone, if you happen to be asked to be on a podcast.

James C. Burroughs II: I would say, bring your full self to the podcast. Don’t script it. Don’t write it up. Don’t put letters behind it. Don’t say you’re going to add inflection to this answer, to that answer. Just be yourself. The second piece I’d say is don’t take yourself too seriously and just enjoy the moment, enjoy the time, enjoy the experience. I said the other thing, the last thing would be just be kind to those who want to hear from you. And what I mean by that is give a person that you’re having on the podcast, a piece of your heart, piece of your soul, something they may not know about you. Anybody can learn about the academic portion of James or the professional side of James. But if I give you my heart in a podcast or talking about something that’s meaningful to me, I think those are the most influential moments.

Jake Beaver: I want to echo what Samreen said. Just breathe, just breathe. You come into a room and you see all these wires and cables and microphones and headphones. And you start to freak out a little bit about what’s going on. Just breathe. All it is, is a conversation between two people. It’s just, you guys are wearing headphones now and you have a microphone in front of your face this time.

Ilze Vogel: It is super fun working with all of you. And I’m just really excited about what we have cooking for the next months ahead. And it’ll be fun to get input from you all on what you’d like to do and what else we can try and it’s great working with you all.

Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd: Thank you to everyone for joining us today for our one-year anniversary episode. And thanks to you, our listeners for being with us as we’ve grown over this last year. Coming back every week to learn about pediatrics, we’re excited about where we’re going to take you in the years to come. And we look forward to learning together.

Thank you for joining us for Talking Pediatrics. Come back each week for a new episode with our caregivers and experts in pediatric health. Our executive producer and showrunner is Ilza Vogel. Episodes are engineered, produced and edited by Jake Beaver. Lexi Dingman is our marketing representative.

For more information and additional episodes, visit us at childrensmn.org/talkingpediatrics. To rate and review our show, please go to childrensmn.org/survey.