Policies and Guiding Principles

Introduction

This project is part of a course called FLEX, which encourages self-directed scholarly inquiry. The goal of the podcast is to create a safe space to explore issues relevant to medical students. For each episode, the author will interview an expert with relevance to the topic of interest. In order to mitigate psychological harms children, vulnerable populations or incompetent adults will not be interviewed.

Procedures

Topics will be chosen at the author’s discretion. Each interview will take roughly thirty minutes to conduct and will be less than fifteen minutes in length. Days before each interview, participants will be provided with a list of questions. This is to provide an opportunity to reflect, come up with thoughtful responses and request to avoid certain topics. In order to maintain the spontaneity of a natural conversation, the author may rephrase questions, ask them in a different order and eliminate others. Questions will be formulated during the interview in response to the dynamics of the conversation. After the interview, audio files will be edited for length. This second file will be sent to the participant for a second review to ensure the message has not been distorted.

There will be three instances where interviews can be modified at the request of the participant (before, during and after). While this procedure may limit some creative independence, the primary principle guiding our approach is “non nocere” or “no harm.” The purpose of this podcast is education and therefore will avoid aggressive interview techniques found some schools of journalism such as investigative journalism.

Opinions are encouraged and welcomed. In order to protect against libel, the author will ensure any negative opinions shared are based on sound evidence.

Use of Interviews

When an interview is recorded, it will be edited before publication for length. At our discretion, we may choose to rebroadcast an interview in whole or in part, post it online or not publish at all. We will do so as to try to portray the core of the message in a fair and unbiased manner.

Each interview (“episode”) will receive its own page that will contain a brief biography of the person interviewed, the photograph of the person interviewed, a list of points discussed, link to further resources, an area for comments and a bibliography of resources used to guide questions. At a future date, material may also be published on itunes, undergraduate magazines and on posters for class education.

Editing

Every interview will be edited for length. It may be intercut with narration, music or excerpts from other interviews. The author will send the edited audio file to the participant to be reviewed prior to publishing to ensure the message has not been distorted.

If a participant wishes to remove or edit a portion of the interview, the author may publish a statement disclosing the reasons around the request such as “the original transcript contained questions about X, for legal reasons, answers to these questions were removed.” This statement will only be included if the removal of audio content dramatically changes the essence of the interview.

Addendums

Whenever possible, the author may ask to include an addendum rather than remove audio content. Addendums allow for greater dialogue and understanding without compromising the main points of the subject discussed.

Statements made outside of recording

If an interesting point comes up before or after recording, and is of interest, participants may be asked for consent to include this statement in the final episode. This statement may be shared in the following manner “while the microphones were off, Dr X mentioned the increase consideration of Y in solving the problem.”

Request for non-publication

Requests to edit, remove or not publish audio files will be granted to interviewees only. Requests from parties other than the participant will be taken into account. These requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Requests for reproduction

Audio files are property of Rule Out Podcast. No audio files or portions of audio files can be reproduced without consent.

Balance and Fairness

Tackling issues by interviewing one expert at a time creates bias. Highlighting one person’s opinion gives weight to that one point-of-view. A single narrative is powerful because it gives a unique insight into broader issues. However, this approach may minimize equally valid but opposing views. To mitigate bias and attempt to achieve balance the author may (in select cases) choose to include a summary section and/or feature differing perspectives in future episodes. The summary is intended to mention opposing perspectives as well as add statistics of the greater issue. Additionally, each interview will host a section for comments so that listeners can share differing opinions. These measures are not in place to undermine the interview but to frame the discussion in the broader societal narrative.

To achieve fairness, any conflicting association, affiliation or special interest a guest may have will need be mentioned.

Disclaimer: The topics discussed on this website are for educational purposes. Advice given is not meant to replace clinical judgement. Opinions shared are not meant to replace medical or legal advice.