Medical School Life

Ears to you: Which podcasts are medical students listening to?

About a quarter of Americans listen to at least one podcast per month, and as a medical student—or any American between the ages of 18 and 54—you are likely listening to them more frequently than the average American, according to Edison Research.

Podcasts offer benefits that can foster academic and personal growth. The AMA has produced a number of podcast series that offer fresh perspectives on the latest in medicine and patient care.

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We spoke to a few medical students for their podcast recommendations. Here’s what they had to say:

Amanda Whitehouse, second-year medical student at the University of Massachusetts Medical School

Podcast picks: “The Daily,” “Revisionist History,” “Radiolab” and “This American Life.” “‘Radiolab’ is science-based but can be anything from ecology, to anatomy, to space and more. ‘Revisionist History’ is rethinking the things we assume to be true. It is hosted by Malcom Gladwell, the well-known author. He uses the episodes to challenge assumptions we hold or mistruths we have been fed. ‘The Daily’ is a great way to stay up to date on the news—short episodes released each morning on a current event.”

“I also like investigative journalism podcasts. ‘In the Dark’ is a great example of one. ‘Serial,’ ‘S-Town,’ ‘Dr. Death’ and ‘Caliphate’ come to mind. These typically unfold one story over the course of eight to 10 episodes.”

Drayton Harvey, second-year medical student at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine

Podcast picks: “Up First” and “Pod Save America.” “I like to stay up to date on politics and find ‘Pod Save America’ to be a fun way to do that while ‘Up First’ provides a very quick primer for the morning.”

Rahul Shah, a second-year medical student at University of Texas Medical Branch

Podcast pick: “99% Invisible.” “It looks at overlooked aspects of design in our everyday life and the large impact that good design can have at making people’s lives better. For example, one of my favorite episodes explores the revolving door and another episode looks at the role of a well-designed flag in civic engagement and city pride.”

Which medicine-related podcasts are students listening to?

Students across the globe are turning to podcasts as a learning tool, and med students are no different. In terms of podcasts that have educational value, here’s what some of our medical student readers had to say:

Matthew J. Christensen, second-year medical student at Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University

Medical podcast picks: “Undifferentiated Medical Student,” “The White Coat Investor,” “EM Basic,” “EM Stud” and “AMA Doc Talk.” “They are all outstanding medical podcasts. I don’t always have the free time to stay updated with every new episode, but each podcast is hosted by an insightful expert who speaks at an educated-but-understandable level, and I appreciate the way they thoroughly dissect each topic and discuss from so many different angles.”

Amanda Whitehouse

Medical podcast picks: “The Curbsiders” and “The Clinical Problem Solvers.” “These podcasts—in addition to being very interesting—allow me to engage with content in a less formal way. I often listen while walking dogs or exercising or on car rides. In both cases the hosts are very interesting and the anecdotes and patient stories help reinforce concepts.”

Finding the right medical podcast

The AMA’s roster of podcasts includes: “Doc Talk,” which features conversations focusing on real-world experiences from physicians, patients and community members; “Making The Rounds,” offering advice, interviews and discussions on the most important topics affecting residents’ lives and careers; and “Moving Medicine,” which highlights innovation and the emerging issues that impact physicians and public health today. All are available for stream or download on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you listen to your podcasts.