Insight for your ears: Our favorite medical research podcasts.

Experts are more accessible than ever these days, thanks to the internet’s constant stream of knowledge. One of the greatest trends in recent years is the podcast. Podcasts are often found on knowledge-sharing platforms where you can access information on just about everything, and they come in bite-sized portions that are easy to fit into busy lifestyles.

So it should come as no surprise that healthcare – specifically clinical trials – is a popular podcast topic, which is a marvelous thing for anyone entering a career within healthcare, staying on top of clients and competitors, or simply exploring what’s going on in one of the fastest-growing industries in our nation. Here are a few of my favorites for reliable, informative, and yet still very interesting content.

Freakonomics Radio – Bad Medicine series.

The award-winning podcast raking in nearly eight million downloads per month, Freakonomics Radio simplifies complicated topics from our everyday lives. One particular series of episodes, called Bad Medicine, sheds light onto current healthcare-related issues that have some room for improvement. In relation to clinical trials, the series mentions standards that are now being proven antiquated, which is impacting how clinical trial structures are evolving and improving. For example, Bad Medicine covers how historically healthy, white males were the typical patient population. However, when studying women’s health or impact on other ethnicities, the same results cannot be expected to apply. In order to see the whole picture, we need to be aware of the current issues and the proposed prospective resolutions.

Stuff You Should Know – Medicine.

A podcast for extra-curious sarcasm enthusiasts, Stuff You Should Know often focuses on diseases or conditions that affected the world in the past (like the Black Death) or are currently impacting our society (like the recent Zika virus outbreak). At the time the podcast on the Zika virus was recorded, vaccines had not yet been announced for it since development requires a high demand to get the ball rolling. This story covered the increasing urgency for a vaccine and identified the severity of a given situation that should be deeming vaccine development. We started to see sponsors initiating clinical trials for a Zika virus vaccine a couple of months later, bringing the process of clinical drug supply and demand development full circle.

NPR – Health.

During my commute, I hear endless stories on NPR in relation to new diseases, medical technologies, and clinical trials. (Oftentimes reporting on the very drugs that we’re supporting with our sponsors!) A recent story covered a new National Institutes of Health (NIH) recruitment initiative – a “landmark longitudinal research effort that aims to engage 1 million participants of all ethnicities to improve our ability to prevent and treat disease based on individual differences in lifestyle, environment and genetic makeup.” Although this effort includes all ethnicities, the story provided insight into how they’re focusing on the African American population, and working at the community level to overcome historical fears of participating.

TED Talks – Health.

If you’re looking for something more visual, TED Talks provide the video aspect with recorded presentations. Experts from around the world speak in a condensed, digestible manner, with most clocking in at less than 20 minutes. Similarly, TED Talk playlists are available where a number of related talks are combined to view in one sitting or as an ongoing series. Anyone looking to see what lies ahead for medicine should check out the future of medicine playlist and learn how 3D printers may soon be producing human organs or how ultrasound treatments may replace some surgeries. Truly thought leadership at its finest.

Continuing-education platforms provide a dynamic source of all things interesting, and they offer exposure to a variety of voices and points of view to round out already-held perspectives. How fortunate we are to have this wealth of knowledge at our fingertips! Whether you try one out while you’re cooking dinner, on your lunch break, driving home, or on a walk around the block, see what interests you most and you’ll be amazed by what you can learn about next.

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