More health care podcasts to add to your listening regime

Joanne Kenen

About Joanne Kenen

Joanne Kenen, (@JoanneKenen) the health editor at Politico, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health reform and curates related material at She welcomes questions and suggestions on health reform resources and tip sheets at Follow her on Facebook.

Photo: Matthew Keefe via Flickr

Last year we drew your attention to a growing boom in health care podcasts. Time for an update.

Please note that this is partly crowdsourced – I don’t have time to listen to all of them! Email me your favorites, and I may add them to the next update. Items with a “*” are either additions from the first list, or have been updated. Also included are podcasts that may primarily focus on overall domestic policy but dip into health policy or public health topics often enough to be a worthwhile listen. So in no particular order:

  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement: The IHI produces an online show that you can listen to on its website or your favorite podcast software. It focuses on quality and patient safety, but it also takes on issues such as opioid addiction and shared decision-making. Its point person, Madge Kaplan, IHI’s very knowledgeable communication director and a former health journalist. Some of the guests are people you may want to tap as sources.
  • Health Affairs: The health policy journal recently made some changes to its website, so here’s the new link for podcasts. Offerings include policy podcasts, episodes based on their Narrative Matters series, and audio of their events.
  • Politico Pulse Check: With my conflict, bias and cheerleading propensities thoroughly noted – host Dan Diamond is on my staff at Politico – Politico’s Pulse Check is a weekly podcast on health policy. Pretty wide-ranging subject matter, but all health policy and politics.
  • What the Health* (and duly note my conflict on this one too) a weekly conversation about health care hosted by Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News. On any given week, contributors can include me (Politico), Sarah Kliff (Vox); Paige Cunningham (Washington Post), Stephanie Armour (Wall Street Journal), Alice Ollstein (TPM) and Margot Sanger-Katz (NYT/Upshot.)  We have a lot of fun, as regular listeners probably can tell.
  • National Public Radio (and local NPR affiliates): NPR and its affiliates produce a bunch of health, science and medicine, and policy politics podcasts – some new and some around for a while. Here’s the link to the menu for all of them* (including some produced by local affiliates and hosted by some AHCJ members.) You will have to hunter-gather a bit to find which ones are most relevant to you. When I crowdsourced for suggestions two that were noted were  Only Human (link) as well as  The Pulse *** (from WHYY, which I’m familiar with).
  • Vox: “The Weeds”* takes on some social policy and related politics including a fair amount on health care, mostly hosted by Sarah Kliff. They recently launched The Impact * (also featuring Sarah), which looks at how policy affects real people. The opening season has focused on health.
  • STAT: It’s Signal podcast* with Luke Timmerman and Meg Tirrell. Has a bio-research-pharma focus but relevant and accessible to our space.
  • This Week in Health Law: This show takes on a broad range of policy of interest to those of you covering both state and national policy with particular focus on courts and legal. Recent episodes range from Medicaid work requirements to antitrust issues in medicine.
  • Aspen Institute: The institute offers a wonderful podcast series drawing on its health-heavy Ideas festivals and related events. The topics are by no means all health and science, but you can scroll through and easily find the relevant ones. (and some fun irrelevant ones too!)
  • TechTonics:* This podcast is more in the health-tech space, but touches on many topics that we as health care journalists write about. It’s produced by David Shaywitz, a Forbes contributor and  “physician-scientist+management consultant,” and  Lisa Suenne, a venture capitalist in the health care space who now is managing director at GE Ventures. She goes by the irresistible nom-de-pod “VentureValkyrie.” Some of you may have heard Suennen on a panel at AHCJ in Silicon Valley a few years ago.
  • HealthCetera:* AHCJ Aging topic leader Liz Seegert helps produce this evidence-based news, analysis and commentary program.

Also, Liz shares this list* designed for public health students that many of us will also find useful. Produced by universities, government agencies (federal and local) foundations, etc.

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