XM Radio Adds a Channel for Medical Professionals


A 24-hour station devoted to physicians and other medical professionals debuted Monday on XM Satellite Radio.

ReachMD, available on channel 233 for XM subscribers, promises four segments an hour of medical information and healthcare industry news. “Everything is in short, 15-minute increments,” says Michael Zeinfeld, chief executive of the Northbrook, Ill.-based station. “Our slogan is: ‘Learn something new in 15 minutes.’”

Founded by Chicago-area OB/GYN David Preskill, ReachMD will feature roundtable discussions hosted by various medical specialists, interviews with authors of scientific papers, and news provided by American Medical News, a weekly newspaper published by the American Medical Association (AMA). “It’s sophisticated scientific information developed for the medical professional,” Zeinfeld says.

According to the AMA, the staff of AMNews will select relevant stories from the current week’s issue to send to ReachMD and suggests individuals to contact for audio interviews. The radio station then reformats the stories for broadcast and airs four daily news segments. Among this week’s sound bites are comments from an AMA trustee and a discussion with the lead author of a recently published New England Journal of Medicine article, the AMA says.

On-air personalities tape their segments at ReachMD’s studio in Highland Park, Ill.

While ReachMD has no estimate on its first-week listener base, Zeinfeld says that preliminary research suggests that more than 10 percent of XM’s 7.6 million subscribers work in healthcare. The station has been promoting itself with an exhibit at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting, which wraps up today in New Orleans, and Zeinfeld reports, “We have seen some great response from physicians.”

Whether that enthusiasm translates into additional subscribers for XM is unknown, however, and Zeinfeld declines to comment on how XM’s proposed merger with competitor Sirius Satellite Radio might affect the fledgling station.

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