BAD MEDICINE BLOG | Getting the story out of my head and onto the page

BALTIMORE - So 59 days after digging around on the Maryland Board of Physicians home page and realizing there might be a story...it was finally time to start writing. 

Trying to pull weeks of research and hours of interviews together into one or maybe a couple of stories is pretty daunting. 

In the end, everything I've learned over the course of 8 weeks has to be boiled down to about 10 minutes.  In the broadcast world, even getting that much time is insane!

Most broadcast packages are between1-2 minutes...special investigations typically get 3 minutes...and this story was going to end up with even more time, which is very rare for reporters.

We decided, in the end, to break this investigation down into 3 pieces. 

The first story would focus on the family we found.  It's a chance to really expand upon their experiences and go into detail about their loss and their frustration at the lags in the system. 

Part two is all about the system...the way the Maryland Board of Physicians disciplines the doctors it is charged with overseeing...and the significant delays we uncovered through weeks of research. 

Part three is an opportunity to really examine the Board's response to this issue and find out what happens next.  Lawmakers, the state's Health Secretary and others have called on the Board to make major changes - and in this last piece, we want to detail what got the Board of Physicians to this point and where they have to go from here.

All totaled, I interviewed 8 people for the story...amassing more than 3 hours of footage...soundbites that have to be painstakingly logged (my least favorite part of the job). 

It is these interviews and the background research into the discipline files we examined that shape the stories...and help us build a package that hopefully engages you and compels action to correct the problems. 

Fingers crossed!

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