As a relatively young physician, Mohammad Ursani, MD, FACP, RhMSUS, a rheumatologist in private practice with Millennium Physicians near Houston, Texas, was both surprised and pleased to be nominated as the new chair of the ACR Committee on Communications and Marketing. This committee manages the ACR’s websites and develops content for the ACR, helps set the ACR’s communications and marketing priorities, oversees The Rheumatologist (TR) and more.
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Explore This IssueApril 2022, May 2022
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Dr. Ursani’s involvement with the committee first began when he was an ACR fellow in the Fellows-in-Training program. He finished his training and volunteered to work on a project that enthralled him: starting and maintaining a podcast. Launched in summer 2019, ACR on Air became the ACR’s first official podcast. New episodes, released monthly, tackle a wide variety of topics, including the newest guidelines, drug shortages, telehealth and COVID-19 vaccines for rheumatology patients.
TR spoke with Dr. Ursani to learn more about the podcast and what else he has in store for the committee.
TR: Who is ACR on Air’s intended audience?
Dr. Ursani: Originally, it was intended for rheumatology health professionals, but over time, patients and patient groups also became our audience members. We’ve broadened our topics from initially discussing disease management guidelines to highlighting important topics from the ACR national meetings, the importance of advocacy, discussions of diet and complementary alternative therapies and, of course, COVID-19.
Some savvy patients also follow the podcast. As a physician, the most satisfaction I can get is if a patient takes their condition by the horns and plays an active role to help manage it based on information they obtained from our podcast.
TR: As chair, what are you hoping to do with the podcast?
Dr. Ursani: The audience has grown substantially, and the aim is to make the podcast more frequent. We aim to continue to create stimulating content that people will listen to and hopefully appreciate and share.
The committee members have been so supportive and open-minded to each other’ss thoughts. When I first started working on the podcast, I was hesitant to express an idea that may not be popular, but I soon realized there are no bad ideas with the committee and every idea or thought is given its due importance. I hope to continue to promote this environment and encourage all our members to put forth their thoughts and ideas without hesitation.