Nov. 10, 2009

On the Launching Pad

by Linda Brodsky

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Like Mother Like Doctor Banner

Bye Bye BirdieDoes anyone remember the scene in the movie Bye, Bye, Birdie, when the MacAfee family learns that Kim is going to be on that really big show, The Ed Sullivan Show? Does anyone remember how, transported to a scene in heaven, likely cloud nine, they sang, in four part harmony, “We’re Gonna Be On Ed Sullivan!”

Not a totally unbelievable scene for a family in the 1960’s. It was exciting to have a TV, much less to be on it. Back then the media consisted of print newspapers, magazines, radio, and the nascent, still black and white, television.

But here, almost 50 years later, in the first decade of the 21st century, I am on my own cloud nine. I am getting ready with my video camera to produce my own song to be distributed on YouTube. And what will I sing? “We’re Gonna Blog for Ira Flatow!”

Some of you reading this blog don’t know Ira Flatow (and probably not Ed Sullivan either). Ira started his radio career in Buffalo and rose to the national scene with his unique radio brand of popular science—Science Friday. Aired every Friday afternoon, Ira talks, educates and interviews to bring science into the everyday life of everyday people. That includes me and you. Whenever I am in the car on Friday afternoon, I forgo my book on tape, and turn the dial to SciFri. I love this program. Ira loves doing it—you can tell. I love Ira.

Problem is, I am told, that the demographic of his show is somewhere north of 50 years. A fact I find hard to believe. But I also learned that Ira Flatow is trying to change this in a big way.

This summer I received an email (almost as exciting as a call) from SciFri executive director, Ann Marie Cunningham. It informed me that their teenage summer intern, Rosalee Washington, had chosen me as a blogger, from all the other bloggers in the blogosphere, to be a blogger for SciFri’s website for the next generation, Talking Science. They wanted a blogger who would talk about being a woman in medicine and science. How does a girl get into medical school? What do you have to do in college to become a doctor? What are the barriers? What is life like for a woman in medicine? Can you combine medicine and a family? As you might imagine, many women could write this blog. But they chose me!

Next came a conference call. Ann Marie introduced me to Rosalee who shared with me her immediate concerns (presumably those of other young women) about how to get from high school to college to medical school. I could do this! How fortunate that I was really close to that phase, as my daughter Dana had just finished her first year as a medical student. She could be a resource.

And then, there in a flash, I thought, why not do a mother/daughter blog? Would Dana agree? Would she have time? (She was the first real blogger in our family (, so I knew she could do it well.)

You cannot imagine my excitement when Dana agreed. So now, the two of us have begun a joint venture for the newly designed Talking Science website, aimed at the 15-35 year old demographic. We branded our blog, "Like Mother, Like Doctor." Catchy, no?

Hope you will read it regularly, share it with your families and friends, and add your own comments and questions as we try to serve as a resource for the next generation of women physicians, new age style, on our blog, on the web. From the black and white TV screen to the color, flat panel computer screen. Science Friday, Talking Science, Ira Flatow, here we come!

About Linda Brodsky

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

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