One of our most exciting recent projects was working on a video to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The video was created for the annual Paul Dudley White Society event, this year held on October 15 at the Westin Hotel in Boston. The society is made up of all current and former MGH Cardiology fellows. Dr. White, who is often referred to as “the father of Cardiology,” founded the unit at MGH in 1916.
We had a bit of a head start on this as we recently filmed seven videos at MGH for the Heart and Vascular centers. We had current “b-roll” of patients, physicians, operations, facilities and, more importantly, we had an exposure to the extraordinary culture and mission of the hospital. To tell the story, we worked with a team at MGH to interview internal and external leaders in Cardiology. We had the chance to speak to a physician, still active, who studied under Dr. White, three former heads of Cardiology and the current chief of the division. External leaders included the head of the American College of Cardiology, the leader of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the president of Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, the acting dean and future dean of Harvard Medical School, and the mayor of Boston.
The team at MGH prepped us well. Randy Zusman, MD, led the event alongside Amy Doherty, an external events manager. Julie Cunningham of MGH Public Affairs interviewed physicians with us. They opened up the archives for us. One of the first great suggestions: get a copy of the out-of-print biography of Dr. White.
To put the 100th year in context, we found images of the Boston marathon winner in 1916 and the 1916 World Series champions, the Red Sox. The marathon winner (we later found out) came from Dr. White’s hometown - Roxbury, Mass.
Cardiology at MGH does three things extraordinarily well: study and advance the practice of cardiology; train future leaders in cardiology; and, most importantly, take care of patients. We had to cover those points, give a sense of past, present, and future, and, with all of that, evoke an emotional and inspirational response for the people attending the event.
The physicians Dr. Zusman lined up were gifted clinicians -and communicators. We knew what we had to say, but we needed their words, their stories, and delivered well. They made this program work. There was an arc to the nine minute program - past, present and future. For the past: historical imagery. For the future: a creative sequence of close-up portraits of the current fellows, the future Dr. Whites.
At the event itself, the program was played on two large screens, and delighted the audience. It’s going up on the MGH website and the Paul Dudley White Society web site.
And maybe someone will look at this at the next centennial dinner in 2116.