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IDPodcasts.net Celebrates its 50th Podcast

IDPodcasts.net banner

The Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine has announced the posting of its 50th online podcast. IDPodcasts.net, inaugurated in May 2007, is the first university-affiliated medical podcast site of its kind on the internet, offering remote access to healthcare professionals seeking clinical expertise on a broad range of infectious disease topics. Anyone worldwide with an internet connection can download the presentations without charge. USF Infectious Disease Division’s diverse faculty, staff, and fellows regularly contribute presentations on such important and timely infectious disease topics as:

  • Community-acquired methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Tuberculosis
  • West Nile Virus
  • Emerging infectious diseases, and many others

A timely topic: How will global warming affect infectious disease trends?

Temperature anomalies in 2007

An animation still from NASA's examination of temperature anomalies in 2007. Read the story. (opens in new window)

This milestone occurres on April 30, 2008 with the publication of a very special lecture, “A Global Swarming: Infectious Diseases and Climate Change,” by Richard L. Oehler, MD, Assistant Professor at the College of Medicine. In the podcast, Dr. Oehler examines how climate change is likely to affect the global burden of infectious disease pathogens, from malaria to foodborne illness. This presentation is a culmination of a 6 month exploration of the literature surrounding climate change and its effect on disease vectors. “I started with a simple premise,” Dr. Oehler explains. “We know that we are likely to be affected by climate change--in fact all life on earth will be influenced by global warming. It seems clear to me that the relationships between man and the microbes would be heavily influenced by this change.” In his presentation, Dr. Oehler takes the listener on a journey from the South American Andes to northern Italy to the western highlands of Kenya to tell the story of how climate change is in the process of influencing the burden of infectious diseases worldwide.

Building upon a broad vision

The website, originally conceived by Dr. Oehler, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Division of Infectious Disease of the University of South Florida, Julian Corvin, the division’s project administrator, and Dr. John T Sinnott, MD, Director of the Division of Infectious Disease and Associate Dean of International Affairs for the College of Medicine, was created because, “we realized that our infectious disease faculty did not have a way of sharing their vast experience and teaching skills outside of the small groups of students and medical residents who attend our lectures. With the podcast site, we truly have not only a university audience, but also a worldwide audience.” IDPodcasts.net's audience is growing each month, with thousands of hits since the beginning of 2008. I felt especially rewarded to hear a recent applicant to our infectious disease fellowship training program from Alabama tell me that ‘I watched your podcasts online and decided to apply to your program because I realized what good teachers you were,’” Dr. Oehler notes. "We are proud to make this important contribution to the USF Health College of Medicine's Strategic Initiative to enhance the use of instructional technology. We also recognize that the changing technology of education and the changing realities of health care require flexibility and willingness to share knowledge within our university and throughout our community."

Planning for the future

Dr. Oehler Headshot

IDPodcasts.net is entirely university supported and funded, with no advertising or commercial content. The site also features a section with lecture handouts and other information resources, podcasts for patients, as well as links to other important infectious disease educational resources. Building the site over the last year was quite a challenge for a first time website designer, but Dr. Oehler states, “the biggest credit for the success of IDPodcasts.net goes to our contributors. We are great educators in the Division of Infectious Diseases. If we did not have the resource of our great infectious disease faculty to draw from, IDPodcasts.net would not exist. My great thanks to all of our contributors who have made the website such a success this year.” Future plans for the site include further expansion of the library of infectious disease titles available online, and pursuing CME capability within the website to permit clinicians to meet their educational requirements through the podcasts. Nevertheless, with remote learning becoming an increasingly popular way of keeping up to date with the latest medical developments, IDPodcasts.net will most certainly continue to be an important online resource for clinicians everywhere. All content can be accessed through www.idpodcasts.net. Dr. Oehler can be reached for further comment at richard.oehler@va.gov.

--Story by Richard Oehler, MD, and Julian Corvin, of the USF Health Division of Infectious Disease & International Medicine

Visit the Infectious Disease Division's site: IDCenter.net
Read the story on USF Health's site (opens in new window)