I never thought I would be someone who listens to podcasts, but after having to spend hours staring at my screen doing questions and skimming PDFs and PowerPoints, sometimes my eyes needed a little bit of a break! In my search for podcasts to help me study for Step 1, 2CK and the OET, I have happened upon a few favorites that accompany me on long car rides, runs, and even when winding down in the evenings!
First up, my favorite podcasts for learning medicine – many of these are helpful in studying for Step (which I will indicate), but many of them will also be helpful in learning medicine in general. As clinicians, we strive to ensure that we are always improving and amassing knowledge, and podcasts are a great way to learn from experts in the field without having to leave the comfort of your favorite pair of pajamas!
A great podcast on internal medicine, The Curbsiders is a great example of what I like to call compact learning. Hosted by board certified internists and their large network of colleagues and friends, this podcast is a perfect mix of medicine and humor plus that supercharged shot of learning that we all know and love so well!
#2 The Medbullets Step 1 Podcast
I had only heard of Medbullets as a source for written notes and outlines on various topics seen on the USMLE, but when I found out about their podcast, I was stoked! Geared towards those who are preparing to take Step 1, this podcast is perfect for those short study breaks (6-10 minute episodes) that allow you to take a step back without feeling too guilty about resting! Each episode goes over a high yield topic for Step 1 in a quick and easy way and is great for just that little bit of extra reinforcement.
#3 Divine Intervention Podcast
If you’re a redditor, you know Divine! The Divine Intervention Podcast has been around for some time and is geared towards those preparing for the USMLE examinations. Personally, I found it much more helpful for Step 2CK rather than Step 1, but the Rapid Review episodes are basically gold for anyone who is taking a Step examination soon! On top of that, Divine is a great host, warm and encouraging and I always leave each episode feeling refreshed and ready to keep fighting!
Now in their third season, this podcast is made for medical students by medical students and in true Mary Poppins form, it truly does make the medicine go down in the most delightful way! Our hosts are charismatic and fun and are definitely knowledgeable when it comes to their discussions, with each episode highlighting a specific pathology or clinical issue that is high-yield for exams and for life – what more could we ask for?
One of my favorite podcasts because it asks my favorite question – why? The curious clinicians don’t just delve into topics that help you with exams, but they’re great for those of us who thrive off of what I fondly call my UPIs (Useless Pieces of Information, aka trivia) – from talking about cellular pigments to the diseases of Abraham Lincoln (Marfan, maybe?), your curiosity will be satiated with their delectable episodes and topic choices.
But all doctors and medical students get tired and sometimes we just need something a little different to rest our minds and stave off the burnout. I love the podcasts below for just that reason – they are a mixture of nerdy, heartwarming, and funny and cover a broad range of topics that are fun and interesting!
Alie Ward is hilarious and very well-versed in hosting scientists, and Ologies is all about learning. Every host is an -ologist, an expert in their field. And each episode is an hour long – perfect for a workout, a long drive, or just some zone out time. From the study of death (thanatolology) to the study of snails (malacology), there is no podcast cooler than this one when you need to take a break from medicine but still want your science fix! Plus, there’s nothing I love more than hearing other nerds nerd out about the things they love most.
Hosted by etchr labs, this podcast is ripe with potential and absolutely great for the creatives amongst us! Featuring a guest artist each episode, the podcast explores various art-related issues such as the need for practice, searching for your creative spark, fighting burnout, or even battling imposter syndrome – which many of us know a little too well. More than that, it’s inspiring to hear about the journey of an artist and to find encouragement to create once more.
#3 Modern Love
Suggested to me by a dear friend, this podcast by the New York Times is absolutely delightful! Misleading at first (because love is usually about romance), this podcast has multiple episodes on “love stories” between individuals, but also where we find love in the world around us – encounters with wildlife, with random strangers, in line at the grocery store, or on a walk. It is the most creative take on love that I have discovered in a while and oftentimes brings a smile to my face and maybe I cried once. Maybe.
#4 Let’s Talk About Myths, Baby!
A long time myth buff, I really enjoyed all types of mythology as a child – Greek, Norse, Roman, – you name it! When I wanted to relive and relearn some of these myths (prompted by a late-night stress-viewing of Disney’s Hercules), I stumbled upon this podcast hosted by Liv – a funny, light-hearted and knowledgeable human being who studied all the myths so we didn’t have to!
I absolutely have trouble sleeping, especially when there are exams coming up, and sleepcasts were totally new to me until I found NMH. With the most soothing voice on the soundwaves, our host, Kathryn Nicolai, takes us through a variety of bedtime stories designed for grownups and if I’m being honest, it is a relief to sink into a story at the end of a long day.
I couldn’t walk away without mentioning these heavy-hitters – famous podcasts in their own right, delightful and thrilling!
A podcast that answers your burning questions about anything and everything under the sun. A great way to feed my insatiable need to know why.
With themed cocktails to match, Drs. Erin and Erin are both epidemiologists who love weird medicine and sharing their knowledge in a non-academic fashion.
So whether you want a little more medical knowledge or just need a bit of a brain break, there is a podcast for you out there! Give your eyes a break, tap that search bar, and listen away.