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Brown Medical School Residency Program

When Brown University’s Alpert Medical School was preparing for its annual residency application process, program leaders faced an unexpected obstacle. In a normal year, prospective medical residents would visit Providence, tour the medical school and local hospital facilities, and meet with the faculty and current residents. But, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, that would not be possible. Brown’s residency programs had to figure out how to bring that experience to the applicants.

Brown’s medical resident directors engaged JH Communications to capture the voices of its residents and faculty, along with tours of its facilities, in videos to be posted online. From June to December 2020, JH Communications interviewed well over 100 people from Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, producing a total of 60 videos.

When Dr. Dominick Tammaro met with John Houle, the President and CEO of JH Communications, he had a clear idea of what he wanted in the videos. “The thing that impressed me is that he got it,” Dr. Tammaro said.

JH Communications was able to draw upon its experience working with other medical clients, most notably a series of marketing videos about the neurosurgery unit at Cape Cod Healthcare and a marketing campaign for Brown Physicians, Inc.

“He understands the people that he was interviewing, and he helped them deliver a really clear, articulate, personal message about their experiences,” Dr. Tammaro said. “The fact that he was able to take what existed in our heads and craft these video interviews that we could then share with our applicants on our website was great.”

Over the course of his interviews, Houle came to appreciate what makes Brown’s residency programs distinctive, helping him to carefully hone the right message. “The thing that really struck me about Brown itself was just the culture, the atmosphere, and how comfortable it was.
It wasn’t cutthroat. It was a very cooperative culture where you’re encouraged to speak out. Everyone’s treated equally,” Houle said. “They often compared it to a family.”

Although JH Communications has its own in-office studio, it brought its video production work to Brown’s residency programs, setting up a video studio at the hospital, enabling residents and faculty members to fit in interviews amid their work schedules. JH Communications had to deliver the videos on a tight timeframe—even as they were under production, many medical school seniors were already beginning to take a serious look at where they wanted to spend their residencies. Not only did we have to be fast, but we also had to complete the videos in the right order.

“I think it was a great working relationship. John and his whole team were very responsive,” Dr. Tammaro said. “I never felt like I wasn’t being heard or that my priorities were not being addressed. In fact, they were very easy to work with and really stayed true to the original vision as we described it and worked it out well.”

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