Hello listeners and prospective listeners! I want to introduce myself by taking you on a brief tour of my podcasting history, culminating in the launch of my new podcast, Fixing Healthcare, with co-host Dr. Robert Pearl.
From a young age, I’ve been intensely curious about medicine and passionate about history. Due to a medical condition that has affected me since birth, I’ve always been impacted and fascinated by the many facets of our healthcare system.
A natural extension of my curiosity is reading, so I started sharing my passion for intriguing books and cutting-edge thinkers through a new, broader format: podcasting. As host of the popular New Books in Medicine podcast, part of the New Books Network (NBN) that is also publishing Fixing Healthcare, I’ve contributed to the NBN’s consortium of author-interview podcast channels, each dedicated to raising the level of public discourse. The New Books Network has over 800,000 podcast downloads every month.
In my time as the host of New Books in Medicine, I’ve conversed with many intelligent, engaging people who are committed to tackling real challenges in medicine. My podcast interviews cover a broad range of medical topics, from the history of heart surgery to the latest solutions for American healthcare’s biggest problems.
Here Are 5 Of My Favorite Interviews:
Dr. Steven Klasko about his book Bless This Mess: A Picture Story of Healthcare in America
Dr. Klasko and I formed an instant connection. We’re both huge Sci-Fi fans. Before our interview we had a discussion on why (he thinks) The Original Series is better than The Next Generation. Once the interview started, we dove into his book Bless This Mess: A Picture Story of Healthcare in America. Written to look like a kids book, with easy-to-follow creative illustrations, Dr. Klasko asks how we—all of us— can create the ideal future for healthcare delivery, noting that many advancements actually started from patient demands. How can we each demand the vision we want? Dr. Klasko is extremely innovative and forward thinking, as he aims to break down the whole picture of healthcare today. We closed the interview with a homage to some of our Sci-Fi favorites: his, a reference to Star Trek and, mine, an ode to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I’ll have him back on my show soon to discuss another one of his books.
Dr. Lydia Kang about her book Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
This book is awesome, filled with the mischievous and whimsical ways we humans have tried to cure our ailments throughout history. Dr. Kang reminds us that many of history’s wide-spread “cures” didn’t just fail, they often pushed civilization and medicine backward several steps. In addition to discussing several fascinating lessons of the past, I found Dr. Kang to be hilarious. I was laughing almost the entire interview. She made me wonder who might be laughing at us one day, looking back on our modern quest for “cures.”
Dr. Toby Cosgrove about his book The Cleveland Clinic Way: Lessons in Excellence from One of the World’s Leading Health Care Organizations
It was a huge honor to speak with Dr. Toby Cosgrove. He’s a legend in healthcare with numerous patents to his name. As CEO of The Cleveland Clinic, he led extremely successful and innovative initiatives, always starting with the patient. He shares why he was inspired to focus on the importance of the patient experience and what caused him to hire the first Chief Experience Officer in the United States. In the interview, he shares some of his personal stories that helped change healthcare in America, like how he removed McDonald’s restaurants from all Cleveland Clinic hospitals, which lead to him being called “The Big Mac Attacker”.
Sam Kean about his book The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons: The History of the Brain as Revealed by True Stories of Trauma, Madness, and Recovery
New York Times bestselling author Sam Kean is a fantastic storyteller. He has an ability to merge many complex concepts into a digestible framework of neuroscience. This book is about the human brain, using cases and anecdotes of people with severe brain injuries as opportunities for learning. My sister first recommended the book to me, as a follower and big fan of Sam’s work. I read it and loved it, and even had Sam back on my show to interview him about another one of his books, The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War and Genius.
Dr. Andrew Lees about his book Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment
It was a great honor to interview the famous neuroscientist and Parkinson’s researcher, Dr. Andrew Lees. In the interview, he discusses his personal inspiration, the famous beat writer William Burroughs, and why he went to the rain forest to participate in the ceremonies of the ancient hallucinogen ayahuasca in search of new Parkinson’s treatments. I was captivated by how he was inspired by Sherlock Holmes’ deductive reasoning techniques as a way to help diagnose patients.
I hope you have a chance to listen to these interviews and more on the New Books Network. I look forward to welcoming you to the “Fixing Healthcare” podcast on August 13.
Fixing Healthcare is a co-production of Dr. Robert Pearl and Jeremy Corr. Subscribe to the show via Apple Podcasts or wherever you find podcasts. Join the conversation or suggest a guest by following the show on Twitter and LinkedIn.