‘Tis the gift to be simple…

[ratings]

I had the delightful experience yesterday of meeting Dr. Carl May (@CarlRMay), a British collaborator of Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Victor Montori (@vmontori) on the concept of minimally disruptive medicine. I was honored that he wanted to meet with me during his visit to Mayo, and based on something he said during coffee I asked (or rather compelled) him to share his perspective on what makes social media valuable and successful in health care, and what he appreciates about our Mayo Clinic approach.

Here is some of what he had to say (shot in front of the famous bronze doors of the Plummer building):

Dr. May had earlier said that what he appreciates about our Mayo Clinic YouTube videos is that they are what the Quakers might call “plain” (although I’m not certain members of the Society of Friends would go for using video at all. But maybe I’m over-interpreting.”) Still, one of the famous Quaker (check that…Shaker) ditties extols the virtues of simplicity:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

I appreciated Dr. May’s compliments and wanted to share and react to them to illustrate a few points.

  1. It’s always good to have a video camera with you. If I hadn’t had my Flip camera, I would not have been able to capture this video. I almost always carry a camera in my coat pocket or laptop bag. That enables me to take advantage (in the best sense of the word) of opportunities.
  2. We do our best to make the quality of video the best it can be, given the circumstances. I would have like to have had a tripod to keep the camera completely steady, but it’s most important to get the video. It also would have been better to perhaps be a step back from him, but we were in front of a door through which people were entering and exiting, and it was slightly drizzling. We needed to be closer. And I also wanted to be sure viewers could hear him. Thus, being closer was the right solution for the situation.
  3. Unadorned video does appear more genuine and authentic, but we don’t pursue that for its own sake. The point is to be nimble and cost-effective, making valuable information and stories available. Some of the videos we put on our Mayo Clinic YouTube channel are from TV news segments our team produces, and others may be extended sound bites from those same broadcast-quality interviews, like this one on deep brain stimulation. Having those in the mix is great for YouTube, and the point is to make good information available in a nimble, resourceful way. If you have some video shot for TV with a broadcast-quality camera and lighting, by all means use that on YouTube too. But if the only video you put up is highly polished you will have some problems, which I will discuss in a future post.

Finally, here is a video of Dr. Montori discussing minimally disruptive medicine, which is among the videos Dr. May appreciated:

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2 thoughts on “‘Tis the gift to be simple…”

  1. He won my heart at “I’m a professor of Sociology…” I knew he’s make brilliant sense after hearing that! I’d love to have a convo with him. You’re so fortunate to have had the opportunity.

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