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History of Medicine in Motion



Oral History of Assisting Medical Decisions

By h.gyde, on 11 May 2009


Posted by Humphrey Gyde

6 Responses to “Oral History of Assisting Medical Decisions”

  • 1
    Carole.Reeves wrote on 15 May 2009:

    Humphrey, this is a fair introduction to your project but I feel that it would benefit from some technical tightening. I know that you had planned a more exotic location for your piece to camera but the room you selected reverberates sound (?timber floor) and mars the voice quality. Better to record in a small carpeted room. In addition, a tighter shot is preferable to a distracting background, which leads the viewer’s eye to wander. Unless you are using a microphone separate from the camera, it’s best, for optimum clarity of sound, to position the camera as close to you as possible without causing distortion.
    I would have liked to know a bit more about the history of medical decision-making, and the context in which it became formalised. You don’t use the word ‘diagnosis’. Are ‘diagnoses’ and ‘decisions’ interchangeable? I think a general audience would appreciate clarification. Information about accessing the transcripts online would also be useful.
    Please feel free to borrow our camera at anytime. We now have a firewire lead!

  • 2
    S.Kuriyama wrote on 15 May 2009:

    An interesting project. Perhaps, though, this might be just as effective as a podcast rather than a movie; telling listeners what to imagine, in this case, may create a more vivid image than the direct showing of the photos. With the addition of a few bars of spare music, and more explanatory framing of the interview, this could be quite a compelling piece.

  • 3
    Kim.Price wrote on 21 May 2009:

    As a viewer, I thought the subject, and the narrator’s knowledge of it, carries the film. The ‘frontline’ aspect of medicine is often overlooked: getting the voices of those who worked at the coal face or of those who, through illness, disability or injury, were the coalface itself. Medical decision making is a critical subject and this is an important and interesting project that would work extremely well on the web. I wondered if you have filmed any of those interviewed for the project?

  • 4
    H.Gyde wrote on 21 May 2009:

    1. Yes it was a wooden floor and I am sure that the clip would have sounded better and been less distracting with a closer camera. This was a trial for publicising the oral history archive, which does not yet exist and therefore the relevant information about access will be added. I can see that my introduction could be expanded (I had cut it by nearly 50%). Medical decisions are mainly about making diagnoses and deciding on treatments though the interviews cover a broader range.

    2. As the intention is to draw in interested parties to use the archive I will be happy to try a podcast perhaps with a better speaker, music and explanatory framing. As I am uncertain about leaving out images and as a long term follower of evidence based medicine I will need a controlled trial to determine the method with the best outcome.

    3. We hope that the archive will end up on the Web. The interviews are all digitised recordings each lasting up to 2 hours. There is always a debate among oral historians about the pros and cons of video; one obvious danger was pointed out above by Carole, namely distraction. However I am seriously considering a short video introducing each interviewee; would this answer your question?

  • 5
    Kim.Price wrote on 22 May 2009:

    It’s an impressive archive and I was wondering at its use. Television documentaries rely heavily on available visual material. I wondered if this might be used for a future documentary maybe some visual material would be useful. But I can understand what you say of pros & cons.

  • 6
    R.MacFarlane wrote on 25 May 2009:

    If the clip was to act as an introduction to the Oral History Archive as a whole, I would like to have learnt more about the range of participants contained within. However, my attention was held by the interview concering the Logoscope.

    As discussed above, if the digitised recordings are to be made available over the web, and visuals are judged to be important to this, then thought will have to be given as to the best way to proceed.

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