Recently I was contacted by one of the physician services representatives of our hospital to set up a meeting to be filmed. This is part of a publicity strategy to place a short video in our online profile so that potential patients who search the database can view our “clinical experience and personal medical philosophy”.
Imagine my panic and angst when I read this email: Me, the girl who sprouts white hairs and breaks into hives at the mere thought of public speaking, talking in front of a camera?! Of course I ignored the email! But then the guilt-ridden-rule-follower part of me kicked in and I reluctantly agreed to do it. The night before the meeting, I wrote out my script and rehearsed endlessly. They had emailed me the interview questions ahead of time and even sent a few sample videos so there were no surprises planned. Nevertheless, I was a big ball of sweat when I arrived at the filming room.
The interviewer tried to get me to relax and act natural but when the camera turned on, I became a fidgety mess. My hair suddenly developed a life of its own (thanks to the magic of static electricity), my mouth felt like the Sahara desert, my pants instantly became 3 sizes too tight around my waist, and I got so nervous that I couldn’t even accurately pronounce the name of our hospital without slurring my words like a drunkard.
In the end it was okay, I think. It took about 10-15 minutes for them to finally get what they needed from me before I was released. The final product will be just a short 60-second soundbite of whatever they were able to salvage from my random squeaky outbursts about how I think it’s important to help identify a patient’s own personal treatment goals and something about treating hormone imbalances.
As I exited the room, the first thought that popped into my mind was not, “I shouldn’t have done that video. I am going to look like such an awkward idiot that it’s going to drive the patients away” but rather, “How in the world do those contestants on those reality shows do it? And how many hours of footage must they have to edit in order to get a good video confession soundbite? Sigh, I guess I’ll never make it as a reality TV star!”.
In the end I really wonder, how many people really choose their doctors based on these online profiles?