Smith County Podcast Sparks Alliance Connections
By Alisa Pierce

Smith County Medical Society Alliance (SCMSA) members found an innovative and creative way to introduce new and current members to all the chapter has to offer and teach them how to advocate on behalf of the family of medicine.  

“We can’t connect with members only through black-and-white memos,” SCMSA President Catherine Harrison said. 

The “SCMSA Real Talk” podcast – a passion project by Tyler family medicine physician Lisa Allen, DO, and Ms. Harrison – made its entertainment debut this September to connect the family of medicine with advocacy insights, the alliance’s mission, and upcoming events. 

The project began after the duo brainstormed how to better integrate new alliance members into their chapter of the Texas Medical Association Alliance (TMAA), a community of physicians, residents, medical students, and their spouses. 

“We thought a podcast would be a fun way to connect with our members and be a resource for those interested in getting involved,” Dr. Allen said.  

Mindful of the “hustle-and-bustle of everyday life,” Dr. Allen and Ms. Harrison worked to create a low-stakes communication method for busy alliance members. After an evening full of laughter, the idea naturally took the form of a podcast, Dr. Allen says. 

To encourage new members to join the family of organized medicine, the podcast’s first two episodes begin with an informal look back at the advocacy careers of long-standing alliance members and their reasons for joining the organization.  

“Members want to hear my heart, to know why I am a member, why I care,” Ms. Harrison said. “To share that, we began a conversation that members can be a part of. That’s what this podcast is about.” 

Recorded in the living room of her home, the podcast takes a grassroots approach to communication “in a world where people are disconnected from each other,” she said, adding new members may be more comfortable listening to monthly episodes rather than attending monthly meetings. 

Dr. Allen, already busy with treating patients, says she was originally “daunted” by the idea of starting a podcast. But after recording its first episode, she found combining her physician and alliance duties was more straightforward than she initially thought.  

“All you need is a microphone, a computer, and an idea,” she said. “And look, none of that equipment has to be costly. I use my iPhone microphone to record episodes. … It really doesn’t take much.” 

Future podcast episodes will target topics like physician burnout, wellness, and what the alliance can do to support physician members, Dr. Allen says. By discussing these topics, she hopes the project will grow alliance membership and encourage other alliance chapters to start their own podcast. 

“I’m super excited about this project,” she said. “I would like our listening audience to know our local alliance is here, with both information and fun events to connect members. We’re here to help medicine – and start a conversation.” 

SCMSA Real Talk episodes are released monthly, with a November episode forthcoming. For more information on TMAA, including how to join or start a local chapter, visit the organization’s website

Last Updated On

October 30, 2023

Originally Published On

October 30, 2023

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Alisa Pierce

Reporter, Division of Communications and Marketing

(512) 370-1469
Alisa Pierce

Alisa Pierce is a reporter for Texas Medicine. After graduating from Texas State University, she worked in local news, covering state politics, public health, and education. Alongside her news writing, Alisa covered up-and-coming artists in Central Texas and abroad as a music journalist. As a Texas native, she enjoys capturing the landscape on her film camera while hiking her way across the Lonestar State.

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