I was lucky enough to catch some time with Dr Florence Wilcock who has been a huge proponent of name and role Theatre Caps.
More recently she has been devoting time to generating a podcast to improve awareness about Obstetrics.
Thank you for your amazing dedication Dr Flo:
What is The ObsPod?
I decided to start a podcast that would be accessible to both staff and pregnant women to explain the life of an NHS obstetrician. People seem to be endlessly fascinated about birth, I thought people would be interested to hear about birth stories ,how the role of the obstetrician differs from that of a midwife and my thoughts on common situations we encounter.
How did the initiative start?
I am a member of the RCOG women’s network and in December 2019 at one of our meetings we had a talk from @FertilityPoddy who explained that podcasts were an effective way to provide information to new audiences particularly younger people. We got chatting and she talked about how it can be quite easy to get started and produce something. I have done a lot of work on improving women’s experience of maternity care and was already enjoying writing about maternity care. I like talking so it felt like a natural extension to try podcasting. I mulled it over for a few months and did a bit of research discovering there are very few UK based medical podcasts. I was already preparing to start in the Spring, lockdown happened, and I went for it. Personally, for me it has been a positive distraction from the pandemic as I enjoy writing and recording each week.
What do I hope listeners are gaining from listening?
I hope my passion for obstetrics shows. I have had comments from medical and midwifery students as well as teenagers that they find it interesting, I had not thought of aspiring doctors and midwives listening, but it would be wonderful to inspire the next generation. I have also had feedback from midwifery colleagues that the podcast helps them understand the obstetric viewpoint I hope that it is also true for other members of the maternity MDT such as anaesthetists, nurses and support workers. I didn’t set out to do this as a safety initiative but some of the episodes topics apply to much more than maternity care for example Episode 15 Guidelines & Episode 13 Mistakes, so I hope that other health professionals can learn something from it too.
I am trying to demystify maternity care so I hope women listening feel that it makes them more comfortable talking to their obstetrician and reassures them that we really are doing our best to try and help them with pregnancy and birth.
Where can people find out more information?
My podcast is on most of the usual podcast directories e.g. Apple, Spotify and can be found here:
I can be found on twitter @FWmaternity @TheObsPod and there is also information on matexp.org.uk http://matexp.org.uk/the-matexp-journey/the-obs-pod/
What can people do to help?
I would love people to take a listen and if they like TheObsPod recommend it to others and write me a review. It is great to receive feedback on my episodes and for people to let me know what they would like me to talk about. I am brimming with ideas, but some episodes seem to hit the spot, and be especially popular for example my episode on homebirth is my most downloaded episode at the moment. Perhaps the most exciting outcome would be if a few other NHS doctors in other specialties started podcasts too!
Florence Wilcock Aug 2020
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