issue Winter 2023

Power of the Pod

Hosts of HelixTalk Khyati Patel Kotak, PharmD, BCACP and Sean Kane, PharmD, BCPS.
Photo by Michael R. Schmidt

The College of Pharmacy’s HelixTalk, one of the most downloaded podcasts of its kind since its inception in 2014, posted its 150th episode, “Keep on Going Strong,” on July 5, 2022. Hosts Sean Kane, PharmD, BCPS, and Khyati Patel Kotak, PharmD, BCACP, both faculty members and practicing clinicians, talk about the rich collaborations that drive the exchange of ideas and knowledge that is the lifeblood of the podcast.

“For us it’s about the listeners, it’s about the collaborators that we’ve had,” Dr. Kane says in introducing the episode. “It’s about the opportunities that the podcast has opened up for us and our creative outlet, our scholarly outlet, our ability to teach.”

Contributors have joined the podcast from around RFU and across the nation. Interesting collaborations include students who help lead the university’s Interprofessional Community Clinic; pharmacists whose 2018 study on hypertension management in Black barbershops was published in the New England Journal of Medicine; and Chicago Medical School Dean Archana Chatterjee, MD, PhD, on her work with the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

The podcast offers students and health professionals who need to stay up to date in rapidly changing patient-care environments an alternative to more traditional modes of learning. It offers “bite-sized, need-to-know information” that can be absorbed while driving or working out on a treadmill, according to Dr. Patel, who notes that “It’s great to be part of that learning process, not just for our audience, for ourselves too, where we dive deeper into certain topics.”

One of those deep dives, Episode 111, exploring the side effects of a newer class of oncology drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors, reveals the power of the podcast, as Dr. Kane was managing a patient with these side effects at his critical care practice site.

“I listened to that episode while I was in the ICU,” Dr. Kane tells what must certainly be a rapt audience. “I went through the show notes, I went to the guidelines, and that really helped me inform the treatment team, the ICU team, about the side effects of this regimen and what you’re supposed to do.”

That’s “a great example of the impact listening to our episodes could have on your practice,” Dr. Patel tells the HelixTalk audience. “We hear from listeners all the time, ‘Oh, hey, I listened to this and I used it,’ or, ‘This was really helpful when I had this clinical scenario come up.’ We hear those anecdotal examples all the time.”

HelixTalk Numbers

  • 92 hours worth of content
  • 1.5 million total downloads
  • 14,000 downloads per month
  • 4,000 downloads per episode

*All totals approximate through Episode 150