What is your HE-Artist talent or skill? Please describe.
Hopefully I inspire skeptical thinking – but not cynical thinking. I think I have the ability to take complex subjects and make them easier to understand and less dull than they really are by incorporating music, video and humour into my presentations. Hopefully I engage the audience and at the end have them go “huh, I hadn’t thought of it that way before”
Do you have a website?
A weekly podcast that I do has become one of the top medical podcasts in the world which is very cool – it is called the Best Science (BS) Medicine podcast and can be found at therapeuticseducation.org or in the iTunes store.
I’ve also had some fun recently incorporating evidence messages directly into popular music. I took a few popular songs, used the basic gist and lyrics of the songs, re-worked the lyrics to incorporate relevant evidence-based messages and added a video overtop.
One is a parody of the mega-hit Somebody that I Used to Know by Gotye called Some Studies That I like to Quote. This song was designed to get clinicians thinking about the problem of strictly following cardiovascular guidelines/target shooting and NOT using evidence to help their patients make decisions.
A recent popular one is Viva La Evidence – a parody of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida – is all about evidence based healthcare — a little bit about the history of evidence and then the key principles.
I just released one called Make It Easy – a parody of the Eagles song Take It Easy – and this one is about the concept of minimally disruptive medicine and shared decision making
Over the last couple of years I’ve even used movie clips to get the messages out. I thought why not let Hitler describe the problems with using surrogates so I created a parody entitled the Surrogate Battle using a clip from a great World War 2 movie called Downfall.
I started out a number of years incorporating popular music into my presentations and this technique has always been well received. An example is a lecture Mike Allan and I did in New Zealand back in 2011.
How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been annoying students/practitioners/faculty members at the University of British Columbia for 27 years.
Why did you start doing this?
Mainly because I enjoy it but ultimately because medication use is so abysmal we need to get the messages of shared decision making, minimally disruptive medicine, skeptical thinking, drugectomies out into the mainstream of clinical practice.
What makes you love doing this?
I love the fact that so many practitioners seem to want to hear these sorts of messages and truly want to incorporate evidence into their practice to improve the care of their patients.
What is your current job?
I’m a tenured-professor in The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UBC
How long have you been working in the field of health economics andoutcomes research?
I’ve been pushing the concept of looking at the important outcomes (heart attacks/strokes) and not surrogate markers (BP, cholesterol, glucose etc) for 2 decades.
And now a few questions just for fun!
- What was your favorite food when you were a child?
- What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod or musical device?
Right now I’m loving anything by Walk Off The Earth – but I’m a 70’s guy so the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers, etc.
- What sound do you love?
Children playing and cool music.
- If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
It would be a party of people who just like to laugh, listen to music and eat good food.
- If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as a mentor?
Weird Al Yankovic
- If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
The start of the Universe and a time-lapse of what really has happened over the last gazillion years.
- If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
Any real deity if there is one – not for any religious reasons but just so we can finally stop being so ridiculous about this whole issue.
- What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
Likely candies – but do have fond memories of buying my first Marantz stereo and a Volkswagen Van with a sunroof.