Top “Demystifying Medicine” videos of Winter 2017

Top “Demystifying Medicine” videos of Winter 2017

Students in HTHSCI 4DM3 – “Demystifying Medicine” have voted for the top 3 student videos produced in the course this semester.

Of the ~70 videos produced by the students in the course this semester, the winners were “Maroon’s Anatomy: Low Cholesterol Linked to Violence”, “Computer Vision Syndrome: ‘Mo Screens Mo Problems’ ft. Eyez Cube and The Bad Eyed Peas”, and “Get Your Grandparents Moving!”

In “Maroon’s Anatomy“, Stanis Xavier, Sina Nastarani, Mannish Jogendran and Noor Al-Switi explored the link between low cholesterol and violence.  Muhammad Mateen, Karam Noel, Meena Al Saigh and Michael Romaniuk examine how our ubiquitous use of digital media can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome, and suggest some strategies for preventing or addressing symptoms.  The importance of exercise in healthy aging is explored in “Get Your Grandparents Moving!“, produced by Stanley Wong, Karan Talwar, Cara McDiarmid, Tara Regmi and Jessica Gualteri.  In all cases, the videos are accompanied by references to some of the crucial research on these topics for those who want to delve into the original studies themselves.

The Demystifying Medicine project is led by Dr. Kjetil Ask, who brought the concept to McMaster from NIH; from those origins, he has expanded the program in ways that engage undergraduates, graduate students, health professional trainees, clinicians, researchers, patients, and the public.  Along with faculty colleagues Dr. Darren Bridgewater and Dr. Renee Labiris, the course in Demystifying Medicine in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) Program (HTHSCI 4DM3) was short-listed for a 2016 “Reimagine Education Award” in the Teaching Delivery category.

In HTHSCI 4DM3, students develop their skills in knowledge translation and communication while delving into cutting edge medical literature, and finding creative ways to convey that information to non-experts, including working with associations like the Hamilton Scleroderma Group, the Canadian Kidney Foundation, and the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal.  “We try to obtain questions from patients and involve patients in the feedback process to help us better understand how we can demystify complicated concepts in an enjoyable, informative, useful, and evidence-based manner,” explains Dr. Ask.  “They have to learn how to take something complex and make it understandable to non-experts, while learning about the technical processes in video creation, and refine their ability to give and receive constructive feedback.”

The course engages not only the students themselves, but invites members of the public to provide feedback on videos under development, and then makes the finished videos available on the Demystifying Medicine YouTube channel.  Students in the course have even produced a video to explain the how the course works:

Over the past few years, the YouTube channel has grown from having a view views a day to 1500-2000 views per day, now gaining over 10 000 views per week, with over 400 videos published on the channel.  Not only are the videos being used by patient associations as part of their websites, but there have been recent requests to translate the videos into different languages for use around the world.

“All facilitators in 4DM3 enjoy seeing the student-driven nature of the course and witness their growth across the semester,” says Dr. Ask.  “Demystifying complex topics is not straightforward, nor is there a single correct approach.  Students have to be creative, take risks, be prepared to learn from mistakes, and adapt.  Seeing their final products is very rewarding for us.”