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7 Great Podcasts for Physicians


Just as the technology for delivering healthcare improves, the technology for delivering information continues to advance. These 7 podcasts offer a convenient way to keep up with the latest medical news and research.

doctor with headphones

Just as the technology for delivering healthcare improves, the technology for delivering information continues to advance. Podcasts have grown from people recording their thoughts in garages to federal organizations talking about research and policy on a regular basis. The best part of podcasts are their portability, perfect for the busy doctor running from the office to the hospital and back again.

From public health policy to scientific discoveries to business practices, trying to keep up with all of the information physicians need can be exhausting. These 7 podcasts, presented in no particular order, cover all sorts of topics revolving around the world of healthcare in anywhere from one minute up to a half-hour. All are available to download and subscribe to from iTunes, for free.

Number of Episodes: 6

Started in December, MedlinePlus promises weekly podcasts about healthcare news, research, and policy directly from the National Library of Medicine, part of the National Institutes of Health. In the first few episodes, MedlinePlus has covered topics like Ebola vaccines and hospice care in 6- to 7-minute chunks.

The NIH itself had a regularly updated podcast until August 2013, which is still available through iTunes. There are more than 200 episodes, each lasting about 20 minutes, discussing the research the institution was working on.

With so many new discoveries in the field, hearing from the researchers themselves provides a look at what might be the next challenge you’ll see in your office.

Episodes: 4

This BBC World Service podcast also just launched in December, with only 4 current episodes to download. Calling itself a “weekly roundup of global health stories and topical issues in medicine,” topics covered so far have included mood apps, sleeping sickness in Kazakhstan, and vaccines in Tanzania. It’s an international look at topics that affect physicians everywhere.

Episodes: 444

The weekly installments from the Harvard Business Review aren’t necessarily healthcare focused, but in addition to being medical professionals, physicians are also small business owners and entrepreneurs. Topics like leadership, negotiation, and communication are covered by experts from Harvard and elsewhere in roughly 20 minutes.

In addition to strengthening non-core skills, hearing about research and successes in other fields can help motivate and inspire any professional to be their best. Whether listening on the treadmill or on the commute, HBR offers a steady stream of diverse and interesting information.

4. Talks Science & Medicine (VIDEO)

Episodes: 63

A little less portable than its audio siblings, this videocast of the popular TEDTalks speeches focuses on medicine and science. In addition to health care topics, other science-based talks are available weekly. The TED organization is dedicated to “ideas worth sharing,” and you might just find something new and interesting to fire you up among these researchers, physicians and scientists.

Episodes: 58

Like the TEDTalks Science & Medicine videos, these videocasts share new ideas in under 20 minutes. But with little to no overlap with the Science & Medicine talks, these pods are focused solely on the human condition.

Some of the most famous TEDTalks in the past few year have been about healthcare: Melinda Gates speaking about birth control, Andrew Solomon sharing his struggles with depression, and the uplifting first dance of Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet-Davis with bionic legs from Hugh Herr.

Episodes: 237

The CDC actually has a whole host of different podcasts available, ranging from “A Minute of Health” to “Emerging Infectious Diseases” to “Ask CDC.” But the Featured Podcast channel pulls the best from all the different series the agency makes available. Ranging from one to 7 minutes, these podcasts are in both English and Spanish and will keep you up to date on the most important health news.

Some topics are a little dry, but because they’re short, they are very easy to listen to. There are even podcasts directed for patients as a multimedia education tool.

Episodes: 15 on iTunes, with more archived

Scientific American promises the latest health and medical news in a minute, and they deliver. Reporter Dina Fine Maron presents latest information about hot topics like raw milk, abortions, and exercise. These podcasts are the perfect dose of healthcare news for the busy physician.

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