Podcasts are an awesome way to stay on top of studies while commuting on foot or by car. You can listen along without visuals, while covering core material. And, in some cases, quiz yourself via active recall!
The best podcast for medical students can help you prepare for pre clinical (USMLE Step 1) concepts, specific subjects (clinical rotations) and also general entertainment/information.
I’ve covered 23 amazing ones doing just that, right here in this article.
I’ve also included episode examples of each embedded from Spotify.
Pre Clinical/USMLE Step 1
Each of these podcasts are invaluable resources for revising (and learning) all the major first and second year (and beyond) topics you’ll cover in med school.
Search each for specific content relating to topics you’re looking to review.
Divine Intervention is probably the most recommended podcast among med students in 2021, especially for those preparing for USMLE Step 1-3 and shelf exams.
Running since March 2018, Dr Divine-Favour Anene covers all the high yield subjects you’re expected to cover on a med school curriculum (categorised by topic). 300+ individual podcasts are now available.
- Website: https://divineinterventionpodcasts.com/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/divine-intervention-podcasts/id1483304964
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1UrdtcfiVaZSF5x26DboJJ
Before Divine Intervention, there was Goljan. And even now thousands of med students swear by this podcast series. Especially as they’re formatted in a lecture, test and review format.
The entire series is 37 hours long and is broken down into all the core medical subjects.
Inside the Boards
Inside The Boards produce some of the most authoritive med school podcasts around. Their flagship series (161 episodes) is designed for USMLE, COMLEX and general med school review.
- Website: https://insidetheboards.com/podcasts/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/insidetheboards-for-the-usmle-comlex-medical-school/id1135300063
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5gPjrhzYbPaFlQw4idJjU4
Med School Phys
Med School Phys is an independent project with no affiliation to an organization or institution created by Greg Rodden. It offers a straight up review of physiology (and pathophysiology) and covers all the high yield material you need to know.
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/med-school-phys/id1260429134
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/74EKTL2NCZYjzQcZBklExo
Physiology by Physeo
Owned by Inside The Boards, Physiology by Physeo is the podcast branch of their excellent physiology-focused learning resource. Covers high yield anatomy points too.
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/physiology-by-physeo-an-insidetheboards-podcast/id1460023991
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2M3tVbYJsUb5hvSrsSEQpC
Spoonful of Sugar
Spoonful of Sugar is an awesome (and comprehensive) review of core med school topics run by Ria Mulherkar, a medicine intern in Philadelphia.
Ria designs her pods with active recall in mind, infusing pauses and prompts to get you out of passive listening mode.
- Website: https://spoonfulofsugar.org/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/spoonful-of-sugar/id1476326270
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1hZUJbPSzUospGw6P9CrQK
Clinical/USMLE Step 2 & 3
The following are great resources for clinical based topics and shelf exams. Search for episodes specific to concepts you want to cover.
Brainwaves is an academic audio podcast created by Jim Siegler, MD, aimed at covering clinical cases and topical reviews in neurology and medicine.
- Website: https://brainwavesaudio.libsyn.com/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/brainwaves-a-neurology-podcast/id1099399038
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5WIA7atKf6zlkYJamkEMct
Behind the Knife (Surgery)
Behind the Knife is a podcast aimed for anyone interested in surgerical topics and a “behind the scenes look”.
- Website: https://behindtheknife.org/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/behind-the-knife-the-surgery-podcast/id980990143
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/2yHr0A4N7NJk4NoTcNd1z7#:~:text=Behind%20the%20Knife%20is%20a,the%20giants%20in%20the%20field.
Cardionerds is a medical cardiology podcast created to bring high yield cardiovascular concepts in a fun and engaging format. Over 110+ episodes and still going strong!
- Website: https://www.cardionerds.com/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cardionerds-a-cardiology-podcast/id1491359985
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/4yPx76aS9sOVHjiXaLL4dU
This Week in Cardiology
This podcast delivers Dr. John Mandrola’s summary and perspective on top news of the week that cardiologists can’t miss. Some interesting stuff for med students to dive into!
- Website: https://www.medscape.com/index/list_10295_0
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/this-week-in-cardiology/id991125169
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5l6Umho5EXfIr39MIIkUC6
The Carlat Report (Psych)
Clear, engaging, and practical updates on clinical psychiatry. Hosted by Chris Aiken, MD, and Kellie Newsome, PMHNP.
- Website: https://www.thecarlatreport.com/podcast/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-carlat-psychiatry-podcast/id1463414537
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1OdXwu77KNN6VTPtzJewIh?si=20aRVAplR42NzpBsO3c0Cg&nd=1
The Curbsiders (Internal Med)
Supercharge your learning and enhance your practice with this Internal Medicine Podcast featuring board certified Internists as they interview the experts to bring you clinical pearls, practice changing knowledge and bad puns.
Fantastic for Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Primary Care, and Hospital Medicine.
- Website: https://thecurbsiders.com/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-curbsiders-internal-medicine-podcast/id1198732014
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3SKlzOLxyztvA1BkJfnf67
JAMA Clinical Reviews (All Subjects)
JAMA Clinical Reviews is a treasure trove of various medical specialists discussing important medical cass. Make sure you search through the archive here to hit home on areas you’re keen to review.
- Website: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/pages/jama-clinical-reviews
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/jama-clinical-reviews/id1027430378
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/229VuDiWHzVc9S5OwBfLiY
Legends of Surgery
This podcast, created by Tyler Rouse, takes an entertaining and informative approach to telling the stories of the people and events that make up the history of modern surgery.
- Website: https://legendsofsurgery.libsyn.com/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/legends-of-surgery/id1078480299
Medgeeks (All Subjects)
Medgeeks’ goal is to change the way students and clinicians learn medicine. They are dedicated to providing the best medical content to help clinicians get through school, the boards, and to excel in clinical practice.
- Website: https://medgeeks.co/podcast
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/medgeeks-clinical-review-podcast/id733644928
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7FeVz9swvbYggndddQ5fO9
Neurosurgery Podcast is the world’s first look behind the scenes of medicine’s most intriguing and exciting specialty. Hosted by Michael Y. Wang, MD, FAANS, of the University of Miami, along with co-host John Paul Kolcun, MD.
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/neurosurgery-podcast/id1474617803
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1o3X1IVYoYEK93Qd8g1n8e
Zero to Finals (All Subjects)
The Zero to Finals podcast is created by Dr Thomas Watchman, a GP in the UK.
Designed to be a time-efficient revision tool to help you study for your medical exams, each podcast leads on from the next and each season tackles a different area of medicine.
- Website: https://zerotofinals.com/podcast/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-zero-to-finals-medical-revision-podcast/id1441247484
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5xrwYisiNl1cVO1vVLY9pm
General Medical Podcasts (Suitable for Med Students)
These aren’t specific revision-focused podcasts but can prove interesting and entertaining to med students nonetheless.
This Podcast Will Kill You (Microbiology)
This podcast might not actually kill you, but it covers so many things that can. Each episode tackles a different disease, from its history, to its biology, and finally, how scared you need to be. Ecologists and epidemiologists Erin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke make infectious diseases acceptable fodder for dinner party conversation and provide the perfect cocktail recipe to match.
- Website: https://thispodcastwillkillyou.com/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/this-podcast-will-kill-you/id1299915173
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7cujpkzRygYyLylnv5SVFu
The Peter Attia Drive Podcast
Expert insight on health, performance, longevity, critical thinking, and pursuing excellence. Dr. Peter Attia (Stanford/Hopkins/NIH-trained MD) talks with leaders in their fields.
- Website: https://peterattiamd.com/podcast/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-peter-attia-drive/id1400828889
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/63AWQmsSnFNFHUqnRAOFtD
The White Coat Investor
Host, Dr. James Dahle, is a practicing emergency physician and founder of the White Coat Investor Blog. Like the blog, the White Coat Investor Podcast, is dedicated to educating medical students, residents, physicians, dentists, and similar high-income professionals about personal finance and building wealth, so they can ultimately be their own financial advisor—or, at least know enough to not get ripped off by a financial advisor.
- Website: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/wci-podcast/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/white-coat-investor-podcast/id1197082547
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/6jzZosmsgSZtQAOh1GbJBd
Healthcare’s only unfiltered voice. Hosted by UCSF/Stanford-trained physician Dr. Zubin Damania (AKA ZDoggMD).
- Website: https://zdoggmd.com/podcasts/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-zdoggmd-show/id1218431966
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3of9aR84SfFfzngPugzY8W
From Wondery, the network behind the hit podcast Dirty John, DR. DEATH is a story about a charming surgeon, 33 patients and a spineless system. Reported and hosted by Laura Beil. Fun!
- Website: https://wondery.com/shows/dr-death/
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-zdoggmd-show/id1218431966
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1SdNTEhycBu8JebWnTRsjd
Hi Everybody! A Bad Medicine Podcast
Doctors talk about what Hollywood gets right and wrong about medicine and how the body works. Each week we discuss how a film or episode of television depicts illnesses, injuries, and the lives of medical professionals.
- iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hi-everybody-a-bad-medicine-podcast/id1476323582
- Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/7MX553ZHI5iJdJ5I3qU2v6
How To Listen To Podcasts In Medical School
Granted you’ve got something to play a podcast with (you’ll find most of these on Apple, Android and other browser-based devices), you won’t have much trouble!
But here are some extra tips to get the most out of them:
- Listen and annotate alongside episode notes: Zero to Finals, Divine Intervention etc. are just some of those on this list that have freely accessible notes.
- Search for topic specific episodes: Ctrl + F and search for the concepts you want to cover in audio form.
- Make passive listening active: stop the recordings and summarize the concepts etc or write down a series of questions you can later answer.
Related: How To Study Medicine Effectively (Quick Hints & Tips)
I’m pretty confident there’s a lot here to sink your teeth into here on your med school commute.
From reviews, to entertainment, to clinically specific cases, there’s something here for every scenario.
As a bonus check (and especially for Brits like me) check out BBC’s excellent (and long running) Inside Health and the newer Made of Stronger Stuff.
Also remember that you can listen to the audio of any video series you’re already using to study from too!
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Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.