Meet the Host: Q & A with Dr. Jeremy Rezmovitz on the new DFCM Podcast

Oct 29, 2019
In celebration of its 50th Anniversary, the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM) has launched a new podcast: Small Changes, Big Impact. Hosted by DFCM faculty member, Dr. Jeremy Rezmovitz, the podcast aims to show how even the smallest changes can have huge impacts for our patients, communities, learners, practices and our own mental and spiritual health.

Through honest conversations, the podcast explores the challenges, processes and impacts of change that drives innovation in family medicine. We spoke with Dr. Rezmovitz about the podcast and what we can expect moving forward.

Tell me about the podcast.

When we were developing the podcast, we wanted to find out what people would be interested in listening to. Using a systematic approach, we discovered that the people of the DFCM are essentially interested in everything; not surprising for a group of generalists. So I tried to find a topic that would unify everyone and validate the stories of the frontline workers, and I was inspired by Humans of New York, a photoblog that tells the stories of different people around the world.

I believe we all have a story to tell, and I wanted to find a way to tell the stories of the people of the DFCM who are on the front line that do great work every single day. Everyone goes through various levels at changes at some point - whether forced upon them or because they saw something that needed to change. I have a background in using quality improvement as a vehicle for understanding change and how we can making things better, which I use throughout the interviews.

Why focus on making change?

I think by creating a podcast that speaks to the challenges that people faced and reviewing the process using a patient or learner story as the impetus for change will unite this department. It will help people realize that there are many people experiencing the exact same thing and that people are not alone in their constant battle with the challenges that they face every day.

Why do you think DFCM needs a podcast?

Everybody has a story, and we need to find a way to connect people in our department. We have a lot of faculty who are quite spread out, so it can be hard to connect and feel a sense of community. I think that podcasting gives us an opportunity to really get to know our faculty, and for our patients to get to know us as well.

There’s a real need for authentic, genuine conversations for both our patients and our colleagues, but you need to make time to listen. And that’s what this podcast is about – it’s about making time to listen, to support people, and to help people realize that we all struggle and can overcome the challenges that we face every day, together.

What kind of stories have you heard already? What can we expect?

We’ve heard stories of people’s struggle with their decision to practice medical assistance in dying, and we’ve heard stories of behaviour change in addictions medicine; the goal is to have authentic conversations that resonate with people. If you think about it, with over 1700 faculty members, we can expect over 1700 unique stories and topics. So you can anticipate high-quality episodes covering a wide variety of topics every Wednesday.

I also want to highlight the work that the podcast committee has put into creating such a high-quality podcast. DFCM staff members, Brian Da Silva, Allison Mullin, and Alicia Fung, have been key in creating a plan for content, marketing, engaging stakeholders, and executing the overall podcast, as well as the recording, editing, and producing of each episode. I also want to acknowledge the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto – without their support, this podcast would not have been made possible.

Tune in to Small Changes, Big Impact every Wednesday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Play or visit smallchangesbigimpact.ca to find all episodes. Share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #SCBIpodcast.