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UW Health Web Videos Reassure Patients and Families

Kim Fischer did not want to make the 1,200-mile trip from her house in San Antonio to Madison to discern that Niloo Edwards, a cardiac surgeon at UW Hospital, was the perfect doctor to carry out open-heart surgery on her 85-year-old mother.

Without meeting him, Fischer already felt Edwards was the right person for the job after seeing a video interview of Edwards at With her parents, living in Dubuque, Iowa, and the rest of the family in other parts of the country, being able to get a sense of Edwards' personality and bedside manner without leaving home was priceless for Fischer.

"It was very helpful and very comforting for us," she said. "When I heard him talk about how gratifying it is for him to be able to see various high-risk patients walk out of the hospital after surgery or go home and have a successful recovery that helped me a lot.

Edwards' video is one of 18 interviews with UW Health physicians on its redesigned Web site, said spokesperson Aaron Conklin. So far, he said, the patient response has been very positive and UW Health plans to add video clips for all of its physicians. UW Health apparently is the only chief medical provider in the area with this service. It also is putting together an archive of surgical videos, so patients can watch a procedure prior to going through it themselves.

"One of the things (UW Health officials) wanted to do was provide more information for patients who were either searching for information on procedures or trying to track down a doctor," Conklin said. "People seem to really appreciate this and are learning from it. This is one more way to humanize the procedure. If someone is searching for a complicated cardiac surgery, might find UW Hospital anyway. This is just a way for them to say 'OK, this is the guy who will be doing my surgery; it's not this faceless individual. He seems like a nice person. '"

Edwards believes that the video clips put in a personal side to the wealth of medical information found on the Internet.

"One thing this video clip permits us to do is to get a sense of who is behind those facts and what the individual physician is like," he said. "Therapeutic relationships, and to some extent how well patients do, is a function of (the patient's) relationship with their physician.

Fischer's mother, Dorothy Wick, is recovering from the surgery that Edwards performed and Fischer said the experience validated what she saw on the video. Fischer said, "I was very impressed with the kind of care we received."



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