If you would have told me ten, maybe even five years ago, that I would become a listener of "talk radio," I would've laughed in your face. I absolutely love music, and could never envision myself listening to anything else. I still remember complaining to my parents how bored I was if they ever put on AM radio. But I think the combination of satellite radio and the podcasting sphere has revolutionized what is thought of as talk radio, as well as who listens to it. Or maybe I'm just getting old.
As I progressed through training, the duration of my commute kept extending. It was only a few minutes in residency, approached a half hour during fellowship, and became a half hour plus when I started my "real" job. Coinciding with the commute getting longer, it seemed like popular music just kept getting crappier.
Wow. I really am getting old.
My rapid aging aside, I was desperate for something to change up my commute. Since I had cancelled my satellite radio subscription (a luxury I deemed unnecessary as part of my journey to become debt free) I turned to podcasts. It took a bit of time to find some that I enjoyed, but now they have become the near exclusive soundtrack of my commute. Podcasts have even wiggled their way onto my headphones when I'm at the gym, or doing work around the house. I'm always looking for new podcast recommendations, and the list of podcasts I want to listen to grows far faster than I'm able to consume or complete them...not unlike a lot of the other lists in my life.
Below, find some of my favorite podcasts, organized by category, and vaguely ordered by how frequently I listen. I'm sure this page will be modified and updated frequently, and I'll be sure to notify you of when it is!
Anesthesiology and Medicine
This was my gateway podcast. Dr. Jed Wolpaw, the director of the anesthesiology residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, started this podcast basically at the requests of the residents who were looking for more audio learning resources. It's been fun and inspiring to watch one of my mentors and colleagues build this from a passion project of recording on Garage Band, with the audio inexplicably only playing through one speaker, into a high quality production with 167 episodes and counting, with listenership of over 30,000. It's educational but approachable. It's extraordinarily useful for anyone still in training, but I enjoy it both to review some of the basics as well as stay to abreast of cutting edge research and evidence based practice. And if you dig a little bit, you might even find that yours truly has been a guest contributor!
I discovered this podcast on my early journey to find other anesthesia-related podcasts. Dr. Shelly Ferrel is a regional anesthesiologist who created this podcast that is often educational, but really just makes me feel like I'm at post-call brunch or end of the week happy hour with my old co-residents, just re-capping the ridiculousness we experienced during a given week. I often find myself laughing out loud about some of the stories they tell, and wishing that I could join in on the chat to share my anesthesia stories!
Justin Harvey hosts the Anesthesia Success podcast. He is a certified financial planner and works specifically with anesthesia and pain physicians. His wife is an anesthesiology resident so he has a nice view into both worlds. He hosts a variety of speakers that give great insight not only into personal finance, but other components of the business of anesthesia including practice management, networking, contracts, and more. When delving into a topic he always says "What I'd like to unpack here." It's one of my new favorite phrases and I'm always searching for ways to work it into daily conversation.
The Depth of Anesthesia Podcast is dedicated to "critically exploring clinical practices." It is hosted by Dr. David Hao, an anesthesia resident at the Massachusetts General Hospital. It is typically structured as presenting a controversial topic or practice in anesthesiology, then Dr. Hao and a guest physician delve into the evidence in support or against a given practice. The podcast is as much about critical evaluation of medical literature as it is about anesthesiology. Sometimes I wish they'd make more of a summary recommendation based on their evaluation, but I applaud them for encouraging listeners to make their own decisions. Their content productivity has slowed a bit as of recent. I can only imagine how difficult it is to produce as a resident, but I hope Dr. Hao keeps up this great show!
I stumbled upon Dr. Nii Darko's podcast and was drawn by the many similarities we've had in our lives: time spent training at the University of Miami, a large student debt burden (that he has overcome), fatherhood, and more. Dr. Darko himself is a trauma surgeon, and his podcast highlights physicians who are doing incredible things outside of clinical medicine. It is one of my newer discoveries, but I've really enjoyed it so far.
Peter Attia is a Johns Hopkins trained general surgeon, and his podcast is "a weekly, ultra-deep-dive podcast focusing on maximizing health, longevity, critical thinking…and a few other things." It's been recommended to me by several physician colleagues, who commend it both for the interest topics he features, and also Dr. Attia's incredible depth of knowledge.
Business and Finance
Jimmy Turner, a blogger, author, and practicing anesthesiologist, along with his co-host Ryan Inman, a fee-only financial advisor, "teach you all of the personal finance topics you wish you had learned in medical school." Dr. Turner actually developed a course that he teaches to medical students at Wake Forest School of Medicine called the Financial Literacy and Resiliency Education (FLARE) program. I wish I had a teacher like Dr. Turner when I was a medical student, rather than being subjected to some of the snake oil salesman that spoke to us. I also enjoy the banter between Ryan and Dr. Turner.
Just take a second and hold onto your hate mail. Hear me out: While I don't agree with A LOT of what he says, and I think his advice is not well tailored toward physicians, he was one of the first finance podcasts I was introduced to, and he made me realize just how badly I needed to wake up, educate myself about personal finance, and make a game plan. Again, while some of the things he teaches (nay, preaches) I don't agree with, I think the fundamentals of what he teaches are pretty sound: having insurance, budgeting, minimizing/eliminating debt, and passive investing. I also appreciate that he's not peddling a get rich scheme. It boils down to work hard, save more, spend less.
Ryan Inman, the counterpart to Jimmy Turner on the Money Meets Medicine Podcast, hosts his own podcast, also focused on personal finance for physicians. It took me a while to come around and find it, but I've enjoyed it thus far.
This is the podcast I turn on when I want to get my Bro Fix. It's focused on entrepreneurship and how to be a better and more effective person. It's often profane and vulgar, but these guys have had success in a variety of business, and a lot of what they say makes sense.
Parenting and Family
The Holderness Family's claim to fame was when their video Xmas Jammies went viral. From there, Kim and Penn Holderness quit their day jobs and have built an immensely successful brand. I enjoy the podcast because I find it to be a highly relatable and entertaining look at parents and a family, who, like all of us, are just trying to do the best we can.
As the name implies, the podcast is targeted toward spouses of physicians. I think Laura McElderly does a nice job illustrating that being married to a physician is often not as glamorous as it sounds. She features topics like loneliness, debt, communication, romance, moving, and parenting. Indeed I'm the "guilty" party in my marriage, but hearing about other physician spouses' experiences helps give me insight and perspective into what my wife goes through. I think that's incredibly valuable.
Entertainment & Pop Culture
Part of the Bill Simmons' The Ringer Network, this podcast features Simmons and some of his staffers discussing movies that they deem highly rewatchable. That doesn't necessarily mean the movies are good...rather the type of movies that back in the days of cable (I REALLY am getting OLD) when you were flipping through the channels and stumble across a certain movie, you were hooked- no matter how many times you've seen it. The result is a list of movies ranging from The Godfather to Step Brothers and everything in between. If I had to imagine a dream job outside of anesthesia, this might be it: watching movies at night, and the next day coming in to argue about them with my friends as we try to out-reference and out-quote each other.
A favorite show of mine growing up was Smallville. Teenage angst with super powers? Yes please! I was also madly in love with Kristin Kreuk, whom I think my wife looks look like a tanner, more Italian, (and obviously prettier) version of. Coincidence? Michael Rosenbaum starred in the show as Lex Luthor which probably remains his biggest role to date. Rosenbaum effectively uses his comic book street-cred to interview a hodgepodge of characters including actors, comedians, musicians, and more. I find the interviews funny, honest, and real.
Who would've guessed the guy from Punk'd would be this generation's Barbara Walters? I don't know that I'd categorize Shepard as a world class interviewer, but I have enjoyed the intelligent conversations he has with a variety of guests, that help give a little bit of a glimpse into the ever mysterious world of being a celebrity. The fact that he's married to Kristen Bell, one of the most likable individuals on the planet, probably helps him out here. A subset of episodes, Experts on Experts, where folks recognized for actually knowing what they're talking about (Malcolm Gladwell and Sanjay Gupta among others) are also really interesting.
The exceptionally funny Conan O'Brian interviews other exceptionally funny people. The result is exceptionally funny, and often equally insightful.
Paul Scheer and Jason Mantzoukas, probably most well-know from their roles on the FX series The League, are joined by a variety of guests to breakdown some of the most ridiculous creations to be projected onto the Silver Screen. Mantzoukas seems like he's almost as unhinged in real life as his character Rafi is on The League. And I'm all here for it.
Are you a listener of any of these podcasts? What are some of your favorite podcasts? Comment below and subscribe!
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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