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What Am I Listening To Now?

Deborah (Deb) Simpson, PhD (AIAMC Roles: Member of Program Committee & former Member BoD)

I wasn’t surprised to learn when I read the scoping review of podcast use in medical education[1]  that podcasts are a top resource for resident education both in the formal and hidden curriculums.   As I walk the dog(s), am driving, or just need a break from the cacophony, I often listen to podcasts.  My addiction got serious a couple of years ago when my nephew recommended an episode of Malcom Gladwell’s Revisionist History.[2]  My nephew was telling me about his mother-in-law’s vociferous challenge to the veracity of the episode that basically says Elvis Presley ripped off Pat Boone; and there’s Taco Bell mixed in too so what’s not to like![3] 

Since April 2021, I have been listening to “Be Antiracist with Ibram X. Kendi”.[4]  Yes, the same Kendi who authored How to Be An Antiracist.[5]  Typically Kendi chats with an expert on a particular topic and his approach is one of humble respect with curiosity and action oriented.  Things I can do!  Episodes vary in their focus from ableism and racism to the zero-sum myth, the attack on voting rights (not new) and racism in sports. Sometimes I get disheartened, sometimes excited about our current situation. But Kendi’s approach is to move forward together.  It’s been a great way to learn and spark discussion amongst members of our National Initiative VIII Efforts on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

The active podcasts currently at the top of my play list? 

·        John Meechan’s Hope through History -  I’m a recovering American History undergraduate and history does repeat itself (eg, you could substitute the word covid for polo vaccine and have pretty much the same story line).

·        Michael Lewis’ Against the Rules – as a sport nut this examines the issue of fairness –  season 1 was interviewing referees and season 2 coaches.

·        #SistersinLaw – particularly intriguing as some of my best friends are lawyers/ This is a quartet of legal minds who engagingly dig deeply into current cases and the legal arguments – critiquing and praising the approaches… as they explain why the decision was reached.   It’s a little long but you can start/stop and speed through the commercials (which are funny – hard to visualize Barb McQuade endorsing nail polish).   

·        And then of course – standbys On Being with Krista Tippett and Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Have a podcast you’re addicted to?  Let me know!!

Dr. Simpson is Director of Education – Academic Affairs, Advocate Aurora Health; Clinical Professor (Adjunct) of Family & Community Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine; and Deputy Editor of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education.  @debsimpson3

[1] Kelly JM, Perseghin A, Dow A, Trivedi SP, Rodman A, Berk J. Learning Through Listening: A Scoping Review of Podcast Use in Medical Education. Acad Med. 2021.

[2] Gladwell M. Revisionist History. Pushkin.

[3] Gladwell M. In a Metal Mood. Revisionist History. 2019 Season 4.

[4] Kendi IX. Be Antiracist. iHeartRadio & Pushkin Industries.

[5] Kendi IX. How to be an antiracist. One world; 2019 Aug 13.