Most exciting thing in medicine is not going on in medicine – Podcast with Sue Woods, MD & Paulanne Balch, MD

Paulanne Balch, MD and Sue Woods, MD, from the mHealth Summit

(click here to download directly into iTunes)

After seeing colleagues Paulanne Balch, MD ( @BPBMD2 ), a physician at Kaiser Permanente and Sue Woods, MD , at Department of Veterans Affairs ( @suewoods , also blogs at ) at the recent mHealth Summit, I wanted to follow up by interviewing them for a podcast on this blog.

We talked about their impressions of the summit, how a cell phone can be used as a tool for health (hint, it may not be as complicated as people think, based on real patient stories) and how and why the medical profession may change in this new era.

I respect and and drawn to Paulanne and Sue’s work in a big way, and it came to me by the end of the ‘cast as to why this is. They are physicians who are excited about the future, and optimistic about every challenge along the way. They are not bystanders.

Enjoy, feel free to let us know what you think in the comments or at respective places in the twitter/blogosphere.


The payoff for the title of the post isn’t until minute 37, but it’s worth it: Ted asks, “What is the most exciting thing in medicine?” and after a long silence, Sue replies with the title quote, following up with her opinion that consumer engagement is the most exciting development. Wow.

Boy, I picked a good week to fix my email subscription, which for ages had been going to a dead account. :-/

If you ever want to post transcriptions of audio files, I found a company that will do it for $1-$1.50/minute. It takes a bit of editing later, but it’s worth it…

p.s. Thanks, Susannah, for delivering the punch line – I’m not sure when I would have teed it up, but now I will!

@ePatientDave Hey Dave,

$1.50 a minute!?!!? What happened to the CIO on a shoestring :). Maybe if it was going to be published somewhere else (and they wanted to underwrite it, the skin in the game thing), otherwise I’ll let us survive on iTunes….

As always thanks for taking a listen, and a look,


I don’t know how good YOU are at transcribing, but when I need a 20 minute thing converted to text, typing takes me long enough (with stop-start) that I’ll gladly pay that.

Maybe if I had a Dictaphone-style foot pedal it would be easier. Hm, I wonder where I can find a USB foot pedal. 🙂

@ePatientDave Dave,

Ha ha, i’m not very good at it at all, it really is a skill that should be respected. I was just kidding with you – I think if an audio stream is destined for republication somewhere a professional transcription is a good idea, so I support you in keeping your typing fingers handy for the 1,000 other things you do so well,


I should say, btw, that I’m intrigued with the apparent maturing of mHealth. A year ago, it seems, mHealth was a maybe looking for a could. Now, it seems, they’ve met.

Ted Eytan, MD