The Nationwide Children's Hospital doctor finds an eager audience via his podcast, "PediaCast."

It began in 2006 when Mike Patrick was working as a pediatrician in nearby Springfield. On his daily commute, he listened to several of those newfangled podcasts just starting to catch on. “I was working in a really busy primary care practice,” Patrick says. “We had to see a lot of kids in a really short period of time, and there wasn’t enough time to do the amount of education I wanted to do.”

And so the technically savvy former college disc jockey decided to start a podcast and educate parents on ear infections, baby poop, vaccines and toddler diarrhea. You know, the stuff parents desperately need to know. “It started as something for my patients and became something big,” Patrick says.

Meet the people turning Columbus into a hotbed of podcasting.

How big? “So big it was crippling the server,” he says of the early days. “We’ve had over 3 million downloads.”

So big that in 2011 he moved over to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where he sees patients two days a week and works on social media the other three days. In addition to PediaCast, he recently started a second podcast, PediaCast CME, for health care providers and does a regular gig on 10TV.

“There aren’t very many people who can say they make a living podcasting, but it’s a large part of what I do,” Patrick says.

There are a couple of keys to the success of PediaCast. The first is Patrick, who comes across as a friendly physician you’d trust with your kids. He talks about his family, their vacations and other tidbits from his life. A new episode is a chance to catch up with an old friend. “Podcasting is very intimate compared to other forms of media,” he says. “[So it’s important] to be relatable and a real person and connect with people.”

So is explaining complicated medical issues in simple terms. Each episode includes a guest expert in a specific pediatric field. Recent episodes have delved into newborn care, diabetes, anxiety in children and teens, and syndromic craniosynostosis, a condition that impacts the growth of a baby’s skull.

“I help guide the conversation,” Patrick says. “And if I feel the explanation is above people’s heads, I’ll sum it up in simple, plain English.”

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