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#016 - 👩‍⚕️👩🏻‍⚕️ Dr. Dara Brodsky MD & Dr. Camilia Martin MD

Dara Brodsky and Cami Martin on The Incubator Podcast

Dr. Brodsky and Dr. Martin are the authors of the renowned books titled Neonatology Review. This series, well known to every neonatal trainee, is currently in its third edition. They have also published other books including Neonatology Review Images and Neonatology Review: Questions & Answers.

Dr. Dara Brodsky is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. She is the Director of Education for the department of Neonatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medial Center. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of NeoReviews.

Dr. Camilia R. Martin is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and the Associate Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Director for Cross-Disciplinary Research Partnerships in the Division of Translational Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Boston, MA.

You can in touch with them by email at:

Dr. Brodsky:

Dr. Martin:

Their books can be purchased at the following website:


The transcript of today's episode can be found below 👇


book, publishing, books, content, lulu, work, review, people, remember, neonatal, wanted, board, give, feel, concepts, dara, edition, images, chapter, talk


Ben, Cami Martin, Dara Brodsky, Daphna

Ben 00:41

Hello, everybody. Welcome back to the show. Daphna. How are you today?

Daphna 00:45

I'm doing great. I'm very excited for the guests.

Ben 00:48

So am I so I might. So do you want to introduce our two guests for today?

Daphna 00:53

Sure, it would be an honor. It's really, really a pleasure for us to have these two physicians on today. We have Dr. Dara Brodsky, who's an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, the director of education for the Department of neonatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and also the editor in chief for Neo reviews. We have Dr. Camillia. Martin, who's also an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and the associate director of the neonatal intensive care unit, and director for cross disciplinary research partnerships in the Division of translational research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. So thank you both for joining us today.


Oh, yeah, our pleasure. We're looking forward to this too. Great to be here.

Ben 01:42

So for the people who who are not familiar with your work, I don't know how that would be possible, though. You're both achieved. research and clinical excellence. But the main reason we really wanted to talk to you is because you've impacted I think the life of every neonatal trainee by publishing a series of Book of books, including unit and unit ology review that I think was first published 18 years ago, you have another set of books, neonatology review images, and your real Natalja. review questions and answers. So it feels like we know you already. But in case anybody had not realized who you were, this is a big deal.


Thank you, I think we went about it saying, you know, what would we have liked if we were a fellow? Right? We didn't see what we wanted. So we created it.

Ben 02:32

That's awesome. I guess I guess this was my my first question is this dedication to medical education. There's a difference between putting together a set of notes for your boards that you can locally share with your friends and colleagues. But to take the next step, really, and to say, You know what, we're going to make this into a series of books, and we're going to publish this for everybody to access. How does that come about? And do you think there's anything in your personal backgrounds that steered you in that direction of sharing a disk sort of on this sort of scale?

Cami Martin 03:06

Right, I, I'll start and then I'll get deras thoughts on the process. Like I said, you know, we really weren't seeing what we wanted at the time, we were studying for the boards. Did I have anything in my phenotype beforehand? I think I always liked medical education. I was a chief resident. So I was used to that sort of forum and getting to distill information for trainees. But I think also fortunate that I was studying with Dara. So we were a lot of like, in the sense that we scoured like we're we would just scour everything write notes down, we got together with a plan of how to approach for the boards, and we stuck to it. And I still have my boxes like big boxes of I do too. Hundreds and hundreds. And we would get together and we would share the content. And if she created a card that I didn't have, I would Xerox it and vice versa. And so we had this complete set. And then at the end, it's all you know, after we were done, we were like, You know what, nothing exists out there like this and what we just did, and I felt the smartest then I am not as smart as I was then. I was definitely the smartest then. So before we talk about why the publication how we went about that, let me let there and talk about sort of how she felt at the beginning.

Dara Brodsky 04:33

No, I agree with you Kami. I had a background in basic science where I joined a lab in my second year of fellowship and enjoyed that. But I was always drawn to teaching, even starting way back in college. And I was really excited when kami and I work together to think that we can take this material that we had created and all this work that we had put in to give it to someone else in a way, and, and to summarize everything so that someone else did not need to have to go through all that work that we did. So that was part of our impetus.


Also, we've probably shared a similar approach of how we learn. I mean, again, I'm not I'm not someone with a photographic memory, I'm not someone who necessarily gets it the first round I, I sit and I break it down into little steps so that not only can I understand it, but then you can teach it right, you have to really understand it at a different level than teach it. And Indira had that same same methodological sort of approach that, and that that helped. I think,

Daphna 05:45

that's so cool. So So really, the book is really born out of your own notes for studying it sounds like absolutely, I had not previously realized that. That's really cool. And I, I mean, I full disclosure, I use the books, I love the books. So I That's exactly how I would have chosen to study. So tell us a little bit, like you said about how, how did you really run with it and say, Okay, we're gonna do this.


Yeah, we decided we, you know, we would look at the cards, we're like, we can't let that just sit. You know, I also wanted to create something that was sort of longer lasting, that I could look back to, right, I didn't want to flip through three by five, four by six cards anymore, I wanted to be able to create something that I could sit and read and look at. And so it was selfishly just as much as putting it in a form that I thought would be great for myself, as well as at the same time thinking how we can do that for others. And so we started talking about, let's see if we can pitch this. I mean, not neither of us had done this before. And we saw Let's pitch it, and I think it was you there who said well, let's do a sample chapter we picked respiratory is the sample chapter, you'll certainly soon learn over the hour that I'll provide. And Dara does GM


is a good partnership. There said okay, I'll do the respiratory chapter. And she wrote it up. And it was it was awesome, very much like the first edition of the book. And we sent it out to I don't know, four or five different publishers. And one wrote back and said, we liked this.


And I remember we went to the coop, at the time in across the street from Boston Children's and we opened up a book to figure out neonatology books, potential publishers, and that's how we found the means of, you know, where to send our proposal to. And of course, it, you know, we the idea of oh, here are these cards in front of us, let's translate them into a document a Word document, that seems so simple, but it's not that simple. And it was so time consuming. We had to go back to the original sources. Remember, you come here, I remember sometimes you had this graph on your index, where you couldn't remember where it was from, we weren't quite sure about the x axis. And that was difficult, much

Ben 08:13

more than I can only imagine how when you you move from my your own notes to a book, there must be like, Oh, what about all the things that I take for granted that I might need to actually spell out in the book for people who are not so comfortable with some of the areas that I'm comfortable with?


Yeah, you know, I think he evolved even more with the latest edition, because we tried to move a little bit deeper and give a bit more background on the topic, a bit more explanation, a bit more diagrams and tables to solidify the concepts. And I remember we would joke around, I'm like, you know, they're I'm not sure they need a picture of like the six finger for bollocks. We were just really just trying to not assume anything, but then it's striking a balance between making something concise and to the point and high yield versus too much and get lost in the weeds. And that's exactly that's

Ben 09:12

exactly right. I mean, I remember a discussion I had with I was fortunate enough to be in a in a writing course with Neil deGrasse Tyson. And he kept saying, you strike the right balance when you know when to explain enough, but not to, but not much. And that's when good science writing is achieved. And I think that's why your books are so popular because it really feels like as as a trainee. It doesn't break it down to a pediatric resident level, but it's at its exactly at the right level. So yeah, I agree.

Daphna 09:43

Yeah, I remember when I first started looking through the book, and I said, Why didn't anybody tell me to get this on the first day of fellowship so that I didn't know what I was talking about along the way, not just in, you know, studying for the boards. I think it would have been helpful, even more. So had I had I used it that way? How long did it take from kind of idea talking to the publisher to kind of books on the shelf?


Well, we started, we took our exam in 1999. Right, that was our initial certification Cami. And then we published the book in 2003. So I think and I think I think I remember talking to you can be right after the board exam and said, we've got to do this, we have to, literally, we finished the exam. And then we said, let's do the book. And so we just went with it. I


was afraid I failed. That was the other sort of emphasis,

Ben 10:43

I was gonna say, the level of confidence to come out of the board exam saying, We should write the book.


Right, it was born out of I'm going to have to do this again. So let's organize these notes.


Remember, we went to some experts? There was? Yeah. I think is she's passed away since but she was amazing physiologist and respiratory, like sort of ventilation and perfusion. And I think we had to meet with her three times to understand that


was way over. We were much more worried about putting out content that was physiologically incorrect. And so we did for the most of the chapters, we did have a a reviewer, somebody who said, Sure, you know, I'll take a look at the content, make sure you're not saying anything very wrong. And we didn't necessarily do that in this latest, but we did with the first edition.

Ben 11:45

And so the first edition was was not self published, then? No, no, correct. And so, for the people who are not familiar with the different editions, there's we're currently in the neonatology review books were in we are at the third edition. And and there was this departure in 2010, for the second edition, where you decided to Self Publish and make the books available for for direct sort of ordering on, which is a self publishing website. Can you tell us a little bit what create what motivated this departure towards self publishing?


Sure. So at the time, most of our content in the first edition, and future editions, as CAMI said was physiology based, but there was some content that we thought was outdated, and we thought, we can improve upon even some of the explanations. So we wanted to publish a second edition, and I think that was about five or six years later. And at that time handling belfius, they had been bought by Elsevier, and Elsevier is a very large publishing company. And we went to them and said, We want to publish the second edition. And they were not interested. This was sort of like a very small book. For them, the number of sales were not significant enough for them to think about publishing it. And so here's where they're regretting. Yeah, so they did come back to us later. So this is where CAMI is the idea, man. And so she had this brilliant idea to self publish the book. And I think you were the one who found an article about Lulu. And there was a comparison between Lulu and Amazon. And we thought the advantages of Lulu at the time were better. And they were more invested just in self publishing, and just with books, as opposed to Amazon that had already started to grow. In so Elsevier, they gave us the publishing rights. And we then set out to create the book in a word, document. And easy and so we try to mimic the formatting the first edition pretty much exactly. And so we learned so much about formatting, formatting more than we ever wanted to know. So for example, how to change line spaces, how to condense words, and how to draw images, we to at least all my images, I drew through Microsoft Word, and it was so much more challenging than we had anticipated. And we published that second edition in 2010. And a few years later, actually, Elsevier did come back to us. I'm sure they did. Yeah, and they wanted to publish a third edition. But by that time, we were just really happy if we had done so much legwork even that it didn't really make sense even converting


to PDF. We're a challenge that we had to learn to convert

Ben 14:38

to PDF and the margins are a shifted


right the picture changes on the page. And what is nice about Lulu is that we we can change on the dime like if someone writes us and say, Oh, you've got you know, a two here instead of a three You have a divided instead of multiplied whatever error it is, we can make that change. And the next order of that book would reflect the change. So that's really nice that it allows us real time editing and updating almost

Ben 15:14

because it's Lulu functions as a print on demand sort of system. Exactly. Yes.


Yes. And so that was perfect. And then also to you know, I just I don't know why any, any medical person would not self publish anymore, because the publishers take everything. I think we were like they every sale of a book there, and I like shared 5% of whatever that sale was. Now, it's essentially opposite of Lulu, we can talk about what we're doing with those funds. But, I mean, why would you why would you not want to do that, where Lulu respected sort of the the content developers? Yeah,

Ben 15:55

yeah, I think I think there's going to be a need for shift for a major disruptive sort of change in the publishing, especially in medical publishing, considering that when a book is being published, like you said, it goes out of date pretty quickly. Yeah. And, and the reward for the authors is minimal. I think, I wrote a chapter for a book. And they gave me like, I think, 50 books or 100 books, and I was just so happy that I wrote a chapter, and that the book itself, called cost like $1,000, and I said, Can you give me a copy? And they said, no.


That's right. Exactly. I would like to see a lot of changes happening in medical publishing, including journals and your you know, primary research, original research. So

Daphna 16:37

I'm just sitting here thinking about how much work you guys had to put in, in those first few years, just out of fellowship. And those few years are kind of daunting, even if you have no side projects, right? Even if you're just trying to be a new attending. So how did you do it? Or how did the project help you? Did it make it harder? Did it make it you know, easier? Had How did that go?


I mean, we did a lot of nights and weekends. I remember my first maternity leave was terrible. Time, if you remember that I lived in this teeny apartment. And I we were working. I think the deadline was pretty soon after maternity leave ended. And I was working well, instead of you know, you're supposed to sleep when you're when your baby sleeps, I was writing and it was terrible time for


a lot of work. But I think we were also excited about it and right out of fellowship, right? You want yours fun, you want to know everything. So we were pretty heavy clinically, but I was using that to help you know, you know, fill out the, the holes of the book or content and, and like I said, I was like, the smartest I've ever been was like when we were writing that. So it was a nice reinforcement of concepts and practicing and being an attending for the first time. And so I just remember a lot of work, but having fun and being excited about it.

Ben 18:07

It feels like the great I mean, we it takes a lot of time, but yet we learned so much. It's a lot.

Daphna 18:13

A lot more than we were learning. Yeah, we're learning. So now I


wish I got the same benefits. I mean, it's funny, well, I'll be on call, what are the NTPs will say, Oh, they'll tell me some faculty like, Oh, that's interesting there gets in your book. And I'm like, it must have been. Because I don't.

Ben 18:30

I'm gonna jump on that. Because I wanted to ask this question when you write that book, not just any book, but this book, specifically, how do you deal with the expectation from everybody else that you're going to know everything? And I


think that's right. It is. And that's and I'm just hey, I'm honest, what you see is what you get, and I'll just, I'll just say, Hey, I remember to when I wrote it, I don't know if I remember it. That must be DeRose chapter because I have no. So I know half the book kind of well. But it's also


kind of fun to say, Okay, I know a resource might know exactly this page where it is. And I could picture the image in my mind. I just don't remember what the image is image has in it. But you know, that's helpful, too. But you're right, people feel like we are so smart. And we know all the material that's in that's not true at all.

Ben 19:21

It's starting to happen with us where people say, but you mentioned that article and you're like


No, it's just too much to know, right? There's just so much to know like you said, so many things are changing all the time. But I think that's where just having fun with the process of of learning and being that you know, perpetual learner. I think you have to enjoy that to some degree in doing things like this, the vodcast books but also in medicine. Frankly.

Ben 19:51

I wanted to ask you about the content of the book specifically because I took my boards. It was wet last year and I am I'm extremely grateful for these books to review. And the content is so onpoint when it comes to the questions and what's and the way they're, they're dealt with on the exam. And so I was wondering, how do you manage to not drift off and be too technical? not technical enough? How do you really strike that balance that the book is extremely high yield? That's good.


It's still high yield? Because, you know, questions are being changed and formatted and, you know, content being read discussed and so, so, right, we've kind of stuck through to the base to that. But yeah, there you wanted to say how I know we talked about that the last round,


we definitely did. I mean, we started off by using the neonatal perinatal medicine Content Specifications from the American Board of Pediatrics. So that was kind of our beasts. And they've revised that many times since, and many topics have since been even eliminated. And, and we just, that helped us think to format the outline. And then it was just sort of instinctual, I think, like we just, you know, had to sort of think about what we saw the most in our clinical experience, and what we thought, might need more clarity. But we did


go item by item and that outline and made sure we had some content under each of those bullets, something, even if it was a simple table, or just a wrapper, we just wanted to make sure we were touching upon it. And

Ben 21:37

that's amazing, because then then you're not collaborating with the ADP meaning


no, and in fact, we're not allowed, not even allowed to serve on the board. You know, both of us do a lot of different professional activities. And I kind of was told at one point, because we do this book, we can't be part of the process of vetting questions, coming up with new questions serving on the board, which is, which is fine.


What I was gonna say is that, you know, we just want to also emphasize that this is not the only book that they should use when they study for the boards, because there are so many other things that can need to be supplemented when you're studying. So the AP has the near repeats plus, which is another case based question, online, option. And then there are two great board review courses, both of which Cami and I talk at the NIO prep sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and also this specialty review course, sponsored by min max. So it's not we I don't I want to emphasize that it's not you know, when you're setting foot boards, it's not just Starbucks, there are some supplementary materials that you should yeah, and to a


little bit of what was raised earlier is that some of the concepts are the second and third distillation of us kind of thinking through it. And you may need exposure to that first and second part that we sort of don't have outlined there for you. And so, and going through it, anything you don't understand or get, you should definitely just, you know, step back, look at another source, look at another primary source to make sure you know how to get to that statement.

Ben 23:15

Absolutely, definitely. Go ahead.

Daphna 23:17

Yeah, how do you guys intend for people to use the books or books like yours? You know, read it from start to finish? Or how would you recommend working the way through?


Yeah. Do you want to know, and we'll get to that it just what I have most enjoyed is when we're speaking at conferences, or giving a lecture or something. And people would come up and show us their book and what they've done and it is amazing, like we saw, I mean, there were versions where people have just in the margins wrote every no possible other people with like a 20 color palette scheme of highlighting and sticky notes and underlying and taping new additional content because probably doing exactly what I just said, they get the curve they don't quite you know, well maybe I need more and so they've pasted another something in there for them and and so everybody I think uses it differently. And, and one person I saw basically ripped it all up but basically wanted to be able to take a smaller version to Starbucks, it just kind of flip through it and not carry this big book. And that's what really prompted the volume series. Um, how would I approach it now I think, I think it is going to be different for everybody. I would take it in, in in any random sections, right? Any chapter can be a standalone, it doesn't have to be from front to back. I would almost prioritize it based on the percent of content on the boards. So make sure you've got MFM rest secretory, cardiology down, and, and then kind of read through it anything you don't understand, go back to the primary source, fill it in and make it your own. And then follow up with as many questions as you can. But, you know, we've tried to be better about some of the images, but there's gonna there's gonna be kgs, there's going to be images, make sure you have a pattern recognition that backs up some of that knowledge.

Ben 25:25

Can you tell us a little bit about that? Because the new edition has a ton of images. And I personally purchase the color version, so it almost function as an atlas for certain chapters. And then you do have a separate book of just images, right? How does that work in terms of starting this project, where you probably have to ask for permission for all these images? Is that even?


See, this is where Derek does all the heavy lifting. So Derek can talk about that?


Yeah, I think it depends upon the chapter. So for dermatology, there aren't that many resources out there where you can actually copy images. So I found a few websites just randomly by looking that some were kind and allowed us to publish without any fee, and some we had to actually pay a significant amount. And then any diagrams, you see that those have usually been drawn by us. And they're in very pleasing, very basic Microsoft Word. We've gotten pretty good at that. And any algorithms, any flowcharts we've also drawn radiology Dara,


Dara reviews, the reading on every film that's taken every day in the NICU. So she'll review the ratings and anything that's interesting, oh, look, you know, a dose to this and then she'll will we have a way that we can de identify and have permission to do it that way.


Yeah. And so we've saved 1000s of radiographs, MRI CTS. And so we've, you know, collected those for EKGs. Also our EKGs in our unit, our phone, you know, copied and uploaded into our computer system, so it's pretty easy for us to copy, any abnormality, any abnormal EKG and use that.

Daphna 27:15

So the books still take up a lot of your time. In cycles, how do you balance that with all of the other things that you guys have going on, but differently?


Dara, Dara plans months ahead has edits months ahead sets a deadline and actually, you know, keeps it somehow. And I will wait to the last minute and Darryl coming in the office saying we are publishing no matter what. Three weeks, and I haven't seen it thing from you. I'm like, I'm like, Yeah, I know. I gotta cover, you know, is it and she's like, No, I'm serious, I am gonna be really angry with you. And I'm like, I know, there, I would be too. I get it, you know, and sure enough, I we just work differently. I will go all out every day, 12 hours a day, 15 hours a day, till I feel good about something. And I know that's in me. And that's how I do it. deras is much more of a steady, steady workforce and doesn't like that last minute frenetic. But you did have to admit you're like, Wow, you did do a good job. It was at the last minute got

Daphna 28:23

it done. All of us, then.

Ben 28:30

That's right. That's right. Was there any issues of working on this type of book, all the while being having an academic appointment when it comes to intellectual property? And the university ever stepped in and said, Hey, like, we want a little bit of what you guys are doing? Or was that not an issue? Because I feel like this is something that for anybody who has any type of an academic appointment, it might be a fear to even start on something because you might sell something, it's gonna belong to the university anyway. Was that an issue for you guys?


Now, we were very fortunate.


Wondering why wasn't it? Yeah, I don't know. It was and there were they're aware of it. It's like on our CV and


but in our department also there isn't an issue. We are working on cases, defense cases or plaintiff cases, that that's not something that we have to get approval about either. Yeah. Or pay our department as a certain percentage. I know that other departments have that issue.

Ben 29:30

In our show prep you you sent us a topic where you said that the police had to be involved at some point in time because you were being taken advantage of can you tell us a little bit what that's about?


Yes, so this was really interesting. So in 2017, we had a strange situation where books were being bought illegally. And this was through Lulu and Lily actually had to involve the police. So there was a scam. Let's see if I can explain this. So there was a scam where a group of people in Mississippi, they were hired to buy many copies of our books. So sometimes over 20 at a time, so Lulu shipped 20 copies to the, to their address. And in turn, what they did is they shipped them someplace, internationally to some international address and where we assumed that they then got resold. What it turns out is that they were using stolen credit cards to make those purchases. Yeah, so Lulu did not. They lost a lot of money on this. Because they were they didn't realize that they were stolen credit cards, and they were shipping the books to this address in Mississippi and hundreds of books. This was and so the police stopped the group from buying more books. And they weren't able to ever track down the ringleaders. But what was interesting is Lulu because of this, they increase their security around credit card purchases. And they also have this fraud system that so that they can monitor addresses more closely so that one address doesn't receive a ton of books. And my husband who spent years as a federal prosecutor tells me that it's common to have this kind of fraud streets scheme where the bad guys buy items that can be easily resold like TVs and phones, and they use stolen credit cards. But it's really funny to for us to think of our book being such a commodity that criminals


there was also another dare I remember when we we came across another review book. And it was still in the coop was still open. And I was like, oh, you know, cool. And I was looking through it. I'm like, this looks like really? A lot of content word for word. Yeah.


And I reached out to the author and sort of explained that that was plagiarism. And they they're welcome to use it, but they at least need to cite or book or put the words in quotes. And I never followed through to see if they did that. Yeah,

Ben 32:25

that's crazy. Did you ever think there was a dramatic increase in neonatology activity and businesses booming over there?


It was because Darryl will track this thing. It was some kind of blip in new activity that alerted you. Yeah.

Daphna 32:46

Interesting. Yeah. What other kind of obstacles? I'm sure there were other bumps along the way.


Um, you know, not really, I think we I, again, it's, it's helpful to have a partner you work well with. And my obstacle is time, I just do way too many things. And in the Styles being a little different, but nothing else really.


I think since this last edition, we would have included even more visuals and more photographs. If we could have like, there's only so many things that we can draw. And that was a challenge to find material that we would have wanted to use, but we just didn't have any access or ability to find that content.

Ben 33:35

Any interesting stories or things you could share with us about the potential global impact the book has had, because we tend to think about this as really a review book for the American Academy of Pediatrics or of neonatology board. But I'm sure that this has been used across the world. And I'm curious to see how people are using it outside the US.


Well, we did receive this amazing picture from someone in Saudi Arabia, who was holding a copy of our first edition in front of the most famous building in Saudi Arabia, and called the macaque clock tower. And that was really special to see our book and that picture has a gentleman holding the art book and in the background is the clock tower, surrounded by a lot of other people from Saudi Arabia who were on this religious, I think expedition at the time, it was just fascinating to see our book in that type of environment.


No, absolutely. And there has been a few letters and pictures of you know, folks with their books, and it's almost I was telling Darren, it's almost like the Travelocity no more of like, I want everyone to start just taking a trip somewhere in the world with the book and we can collect it and make a wall out of it. But yeah, it definitely has global presence and that picture really solidifies it for us. We both have that picture in our office, and I love it. And I love it. Because it just, you know, sometimes you just take for you don't realize the impact you can have sometimes. And that's a reminder to that. And in the same thing a little bit with Zoom, or, you know, people are now in this new with Zoom are able to tune in and learn and listen to things they didn't have access to before. So


yeah, and I think including our email addresses, yeah. In the very beginning, that empowered people, I think our readers to feel connected with us a little bit. And so we have heard over the years from so many people, US, Canada, Kuwait,


they were often the feedback, we always see a little blip in our email activity right before an exam. Like you said, calcium was good hear. Hear, can you explain? Wow, so

Ben 36:00

an unintended benefit of self publishing to I think there's this human aspect when you open the book that there's no, it's a direct interaction with the authors. There's nobody, there's no big corporation overseeing and really is in between, I feel like you put the address of where to send mail to, I think in the in the preface, so, yeah, right off the bat, it's like, these are going to be my buddies, they're gonna help me. The you know, we


definitely want, you know, people to be successful. Yeah.

Ben 36:31

One of the benefits of self publishing is that you get to make a lot more money for yourself, and and you have had dedication to trying to do something good with that income. And can you tell us a little bit as to how you're giving back some of these revenue towards education and doing some some net positive around the world?


Sure. So we do think it's really important to give back and in after we published the question and answer book outline was actually written by fellows and junior attendings locally. So we, and we edited that book. So we thought that it was important to give back locally, and we created this Excellence in Teaching Award to acknowledge one of our first year fellows who in our program, who prioritizes teaching, and we give them $1,000 That sponsors registration and travel to a national scientific meeting of their choice. So far, we've given out 10 awards, and I think it's just especially, it's really a nice way to acknowledge how important teaching is and how we value that. So that's one thing that we do. And then the second thing, this one, we started a low bid leader, I think it was in 2006. Team because we've sponsored six awards so far. We have it has a terrible title, we're gonna have to change this company. But the Beth Israel, Deaconess neonatology Foundation Education Research Awards sponsored, press good, Martin. Yeah, exactly. And so the eighth through the AAP, we have people apply for this award alongside the Marshall class awards. And we provide $5,000 to fund a fellow's research project with a focus on education. So we're really, really excited about both of those opportunities. And we're always thinking of other ways. So IF listeners have another suggestion about how we can give back and shoot us an email, yeah, we'll

Ben 38:38

put your contact info in the in the show description. And we'll obviously put the links to in the show notes to the to the books on and stuff. So that's that's kind of that's great youth. You see, when you're giving out these awards, and you're trying to support teaching, do you feel that you have become better motivators for education and teaching because of the books? Or was that always there?


I think for us, it was always there. I would like to see, I would like to see more people interested in it, frankly. You know, we do we do get a handful of applications every year, and I think it's increased a little bit, but I want a lot I want, you know, a lot of people interested and I think if more people are maybe we would then give a couple of words and not just one award. But I just think it's so important that I I wish more people are involved in it in some way.

Daphna 39:34

Well, if people haven't had the opportunity to see you all, give lectures, live your your tremendous teachers in addition to the work that you've done with the book and obviously you mentioned some of the conferences and the review courses that you guys are recurrently a part of. Maybe you can tell our viewers a little bit about your kind of new course Sydney neonatal insider Are? Oh,


yeah, that's, that's, um, that is we're taking part in it. We're not. We're not like the developers of it. But it comes from two neonatologist who were very involved in the pediatrics neonatal specialty review. And they, you know, I think, again, in these difficult times, it's hard to have when we push out alternative forms of education, the live conferences have been somewhat limited. And so they were the brainchild behind the let's, let's bring largely what we've done before, but wanted to add sort of a state of the art spin to it. Not just to, you know, to gear for a board review, but really start thinking, what's the latest literature? How does this inform practice? And yeah, and that got started, and I think it's been received well, and I opened the first lecture with Jim Moore. And I think the second one will be at the end of August. But it's going to be a curriculum over a couple of years. So I think that's just going to continue to grow to

Ben 41:05

that's exciting. I want to move away from the books. And I want to talk about your professional relationship. I feel like when collaboration is always difficult, and especially when you are emotionally involved in a project, can you what is in your opinion, the secrets to a successful partnership, when it comes to a creative endeavor? The Martin Brodsky edition?


I think a good sense of humor, yes. And patience, I think patients with each other style, because we have the opposite style, as you heard me say before, and so and we'd like each other. And we also have the I think there's similar physics as physicians, like we have the same view, understand the physiology first, and then we can think about the path of is and yeah, I think our, our overview about how we provide clinical care is very similar. I think


communication too. And in trying to understand, the other person might get defensive, I think it could have been maybe a younger, more immature self of me, it would have been easy, you know, when Dara said, you, you got to do this, if you don't, I'm just gonna be really, I could have been like, Hey, you don't know my style, you know, I'll get upset. It's like, Yeah, I think, you know, I understand that it's a lot of work. And she shouldn't be angry with me if I don't pull through. And so it's really just keeping your eye on the prize and being patient and keeping those communication channels open. And I think I told Derek, listen, if if we get to x point and you don't see something, then I know I'm in trouble, then I know that I've waited too long or if I've done too much, and then then I'll let you know, then we can sit down and strategize again. And I think that's been really helpful just to be able to communicate well with each other even though like I said, the styles are different there's a lot that is similar but the the work styles a little different.

Ben 43:11

It's interesting, right? How these these these endeavors, who are supposed to really boost your ego and make you feel like you're the king of the world. actually bringing give you a lesson in humility, I think yes. That's, that's what I'm trying. That's what I'm hearing from from both of your answers. I think that's very interesting. Sorry, definitely, we're gonna say something

Daphna 43:33

No, I'm wondering especially because your styles are different. And you know, we have lots of listeners who are doing collaborative work if you guys use any kind of tools to help with your communication or your collaboration and keep each other on track. No,


I started out with an owl


I think we created five different calendars with an outline


and a calendar and then there's the the ideal calendar for Canada. I usually meet mine and then the next deadline is sort of like where I'm not so happy but I'll accept and then like, really,

Ben 44:17

the eviction notice that


there is there's a lot of days where it was going to be broadsky And I wouldn't and I had to have like said okay, I deserve that. But I think you know what I think what allows that I guess I would just say is sort of that open door policy you know, we were opposite ends of the hall but the same hallway and I know I can call Dara anytime and I know I can knock on her office door anytime and hopefully she feels the same with me and and having that open relationship and enjoying the differences. Again, I think we're more alike than different but, but enjoying those differences and being able, as Sara said, to have a sense of humor about it and joke about the differences. But in the end, you know, I think we both take seriously having an excellent product out there and meeting a timeline that's reasonable so that people can actually use the product. You know, the goals remain the same. So that's helpful.

Ben 45:19

It's interesting. You say that, because I follow you on Twitter, Dr. Martin, and I saw, I remember that one post that you had about, I think you're using the note taking app called Rome research. Yes. For the people who may not be familiar, it's it's a note taking app where you can actually link keywords and basically recreate a little bit of of your new your own neural network, and the different connections you're making between concepts and notes. And so


I was, you know, my dream, my dream is to turn that into a realm research document. Really, it's like, I don't think I've talked to Derek. Right ahead.


I think we should stop this podcast.


I'm always coming up like, the timestamps, and then I leave there to pick up all the pieces,


I'm having palpitations, I have a lot of work in the next month or so Kenny, don't say, don't tell us the idea.


It's, it's, it's a powerful concept of note taking, like Ben was saying, and that it, you know, you can highlight, and tag almost, but highlight very important concepts. But what it does is it starts to link documents together that you just can't link naturally, because you can only remember so much or link so much in your head. But if I, you know, if I linked on arachidonic acid, I would, I could potentially have every cross reference from physiology to disease to the current research or whatever, you have to build it, whatever it is. So to have a book where you can link these critical concepts, and then you can just click on that concept. And now that thread of that topic across every chapter is now on that page for you to review, and you start to synthesize the bigger picture and understand the bigger picture. So yeah, I'm in love with that app, I think it potentially could be used for textbooks. And I've been thinking about that. But

Ben 47:17

I think I don't know if it's going to be I don't know how the format would would lend itself to an actual book, but the idea of, of having it maybe on a screen where it could be dynamic, and where you can understand how one concept touches on so many others.


Exactly, exactly. And I think ultimately, we want to be like that as physicians, right? That you have some, you know, symptom, and you can immediately link across systems, the potential and the impact of that. And, you know, some of us do it better than others. But, you know, ultimately, that's what you would like to attain. So right,

Ben 47:53

we're looking forward to the

Daphna 48:01

first future,


well, maybe before Roe research textbook would be you know, we would like to have some sort of, you know, everyone keeps asking for the digital, the digital version, or a online version of a course. And, and we've had some ideas, we've played some with some platforms, time is the only factor. But hopefully, hopefully over the years, we'll be able to evolve into other formats of learning. Yeah,

Ben 48:31

a masterclass would be fitting. Yeah,


exactly. Exactly.


I'm a big fan of the Khan Academy, where they have very short clips of very one concept easily, you know, but explained from starting with the physiology, and I think that really lends itself so well to our content. So that's a dream that I'm going to push back Cami and Sam like that went to France. Sounds good. And what's what's


compromise? I just say, okay, of course.

Ben 49:04

I think that's what's cool, right? The fact that you you guys are you have achieved something that's that's of high significance, and yet the wheels are continuing to turn and do projects. It's that's really cool.


Though, yeah, no, absolutely.

Daphna 49:18

Yeah, I was struck by the fact that it seems like the ideas are just flowing. And in fact, Dr. Martin, we got to peek into your office earlier today. And so we know that you have a whiteboard full of more ideas and projects. So you know, I think we're all we're all trying to navigate no matter you know, what, what your job is like balancing this like multiple projects and kind of work life balance. So how do you guys do it?


Yeah, from you know, from a professional standpoint, I think and then we'll go into a personal one, I guess our work life but professionally, you do have to if you're an actor, genomic medicine, you have to keep your eye on the target of what sort of metrics are necessary for you to kind of keep advancing along that pipeline. And so the tracks that Dara and I are, are different. And that's why our style might be a little different, just because the price, how we placed the priority, not that it's not a priority. But some things that I gotta get done first, maybe a grant or a paper. So I have to get that out. Because that's my academic life. And so it's, it's, I think, you just need to be aware of that, and you definitely do other projects. But I wouldn't do other projects until you feel like you if you're going to do academic medicine that you've sort of mastered, you know, what that looks like, what what do you have to get done and you're along that pathway? For


I was just also add that I think it's important to do something you're really passionate about, because then you're going to find time, out of your day, either late in the evening, or on the weekends, or in the middle of the day, if you're really invested in something it you know, your your life, work balance, it's easier to find time for that.


Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. And, you know, for me, it'll all work life balance. It's, it's what you enjoy at that moment. I mean, there's going to be times where I have to commit to more of what's happening at home and kids and activities. And there's gonna be other times that allows me to commit more to the work and projects like this. And so I don't have the answer for that. Except that I'm I'm not happier and better person, when I feel like I'm I'm making progress in both. And I can sense I'll feel whether I have to switch directions, but also something that I've learned because I've definitely more work minded. So I'm not an expert on work life. But I think there's these indirects that happen when your family sees you working, or your kids see you working, and I've heard them say and share with others things that I didn't think they were observing, or they were seeing that they clearly were. And then I had the joy of being at I think the 2000 must have been right after book. So 2012, maybe Neo prep, and I brought the kids and all the fellows are people taking the course were like by the pool with the book. And I remember later in the day, they're like, whoa, like they didn't quite get it like everyone. And I just had to laugh. So anyway, you know, I think we when we talk about work life, we have to remember how that expression ourselves and work. Our kids see that. And I think there's a lot of good to that too.

Ben 52:42

I could not agree with you more number one, because I did see my my own parents work really hard and being dedicated professionals. And we never felt like this was taken away from us. We always felt like this was an example to follow. But I think more importantly, what you guys are describing is that sometimes we have this guilt that if we cannot fit in work within our routine sort of standard week, then we feel like we shouldn't even do it. But it's not supposed to be a constant. It's supposed to be variable, you should be able to say, well, I'm going to accelerate that work for this period of time, and then focus on that later on. And that's perfectly okay. And I think the guilt that sometimes we have should not be there. And you're the example that we can actually get stuff done in that way.


Yeah, no, absolutely. I don't think it has to be a dichotomy at all. It's very fluid.

Ben 53:25

We're coming to the end of the episode. So I want to ask my last question. And I know definite has has one more at least one more question. I wanted to I wanted to ask you, if you had not gone into neonatology, where would you have been today?


You want to take that Tara?


I think Yeah. This one's pretty easy for me. I would have been some type of teacher for certain. Yeah, I probably have children.

Ben 53:56

Younger terms.


Yeah, I really I love. I love that I'm very passionate about teaching. And you know, helping people learn. A very challenging topic is especially very rewarding when I see someone understand that. So I see that with my kids. I try to teach them. Well. First, I learned the material myself, because I've forgotten so much of it. But then if they need my help, then I'll teach them after I've explored the internet a little bit. And I really enjoy that. That's.


So this won't come as a surprise since we had a sort of a fan moment about Rome research. I would love to be a programmer. I love digital stuff. I love creating tools that make your job easier, but not just easier, but connects things that you wouldn't otherwise connect and allow you to do things you otherwise wouldn't be able to do. And so to be a facile programmer and create tools, I would love that What about the two of you? Oh, really?

Ben 55:05

I agree. I mean, I taught, I taught for a while I enjoy teaching tremendously. And I am getting back into teaching now. Because I just I just like that so much, but I'm very big on engineering design computer science. So yes, both of your both of your answers.

Daphna 55:29

Yeah, for me, yeah, I'd probably have gotten into psychology, which makes sense. If anybody listens to the podcasts. That's what I have my family's full of psychologists. Admittedly, it was my undergraduate major double major, obviously, with something medical. But yes, I just love walking with families through some of the difficult kind of ups and downs of the neonatal admission. And so certainly, that's one of my, my areas of interests. My last question, while we still have a little bit of time together, is and you touched on it a little bit, but how do you how do you deal with the celebrity status? And, you know, you mentioned that your kids had seen your book, but do they know that you're, you're really kind of neonatal celebrities?


I don't know if they knew that, um, how do I handle I think it's, I think it's great, I actually very appreciative that everyone, you know, enjoys what we've done, and that it was of use, and I was able to give back to the neonatal community in some way and, and hopefully a long lasting way, love when they come up and talk about the book and, and show us all how you know, how they've worked with the book. It's all it is all very nice to see I do joke sometimes, because, as you may know, I also do, you know, research and, and I always joke that I can stand up and give a talk about how I cured neck, but the first question is going to be about my book. No one's gonna. And that's, that's fine. I that.

Ben 57:11

I don't want to hear the hits, you know?


That's right. So, so it's been nice. Yes.


Yeah. It's been wonderful. I sometimes I'm a little embarrassed by, you know, sort of the celebrity status sometimes if we're going to a conference, but I enjoy talking to people and, and hearing suggestions about how to improve things. That's how we've evolved, I think, hearing from readers about ways of improving things, and we've definitely incorporated ideas that we've heard from other people. So keep them coming. Yes. Right. Yeah.

Ben 57:47

Yeah. That's great. Well, we'll

Daphna 57:51

connect you to some listeners for sure.

Ben 57:53

Yeah. Is that Is that okay for us to share your email address in the show notes?


We would love to hear from them. And yeah, we want to grow weed and things are changing all the time. So

Ben 58:03

yeah, that's that's a that's another topic I wanted to to address. But I guess I guess that will be for next time, but you guys can get the neonatology review books at Lulu publishing. And we'll put all the links in the show notes. Dr. Brodsky, Dr. Martin, thank you so much for taking the time and for being so cordial answering our questions. It was it was lovely.


Thank you for the

Ben 58:29

happy to have you. Thank you for listening to this week's episode of the incubator. If you liked this episode, please leave us a review on Apple podcast or the Apple podcast website. You can find other episodes of the show on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google podcast or the podcast app of your choice. We would love to hear from you. So feel free to send us questions, comments or suggestions to our email address NICU You can also message the show on Instagram or Twitter at NICU podcast. Personally, I am on Twitter at Dr. Nikhil spelled Dr. NICU. And Daphna is at Dr. Dafna MD. Thanks again for listening and see you next time. This podcast is intended to be purely for entertainment and informational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. If you have any medical concerns, please see your primary care practitioner. Thank you


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