Podcasts, Med Student

Best Podcasts for the Student EM Nerd

As future emergentologists, we sign up for a life of continuous learning. Even after residency, we will be constantly reading published journal articles to update our knowledge, learning new techniques, procedures, and technologies in the ED, and relearning topics that comprise the core of emergency medicine. One particular learning platform, the podcast, stands out because of its flexibility and endless ocean of topics that it covers. You can listen to a podcast while doing almost anything: driving, exercising, cooking, doing chores, running errands, hiking, rock climbing, skydiving, anything. After all, we are adrenaline junkies with short attention spans! The flexibility of the podcast learning format is matched by the vast array of subjects. There are audio shows covering everything from science to sports, from politics to comedy (frequently both together), and from fiction to pop culture.

This article offers a curated set of audio compilations specifically for the budding emergency physician. Go through this list, download a player app (I love and use “Podcast Addict”), and take a listen to them. Let me know about your favorite podcasts by emailing me at smurali.emra@gmail.com or tweeting @smuramed!

Beginner Podcasts

  • EM Basic by Steve Carroll, DO, FACEP
    No. 1 on this list and should be the No. 1 addition to your podcast app. EM Basic is geared for medical students and residents in training. As made obvious by the name, it focuses on the basics of emergency medicine, but it doesn't stop there. Dr. Carroll has addressed everything from simple topics, such as the undifferentiated chest pain, abdominal pain, febrile infant, and altered mental status, to more complex discussions about psychiatric emergencies, tactical combat casualty care, and opioids. He even has an episode on how to give a superb ED patient presentation to your attending.
    This podcast can also be extremely helpful for non-EM students. In fact, I recommend this podcast to all my Internal and Family Medicine buddies who enjoy audio learning.
  • EM Stud by Nate Lewis, MD, FACEP, and J. Scott Wieters, MD, FACEP, with CDEM
    In partnership with the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine, these two experienced educators give their advice on how to navigate medical school as an EM-bound student. From dominating your core third-year clerkships and acing your ER rotations to performing well in interviews and creating your match list, these two gurus teach us how to maximize our chances of matching in EM. They also frequently feature students who recently underwent the process on the podcast to give us the most up-to-date scoop on how to succeed. In one of my favorite new additions to their podcast, the “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up Series,” they interview physicians from diverse pathways in EM. Best of all, the dynamic duo of Dr. Lewis and Dr. Wieters uses plenty of humor to keep you engaged.
  • The EM Clerkship Podcast – Emergency Medicine for Students by Zack Olson, MD
    This podcast combines the best of both worlds of the first two podcasts on the list. Dr. Olson covers both ED diagnoses as well as navigating the waters of medical school. The medicine-related episodes are considerably shorter than those of EM Basic and can serve as quick reviews about a patient's condition. They are perfect to listen to while your patient is in the CT scanner or waiting to be admitted to the hospital (obviously, only if you have some downtime). Also, I highly recommend that you visit the “Purpose” page on Dr. Olson's website (emclerkship.com/) to learn why he started this podcast. His passion for emergency medicine and student education really shines in his episodes. He recently started a new series called “EM Bolus,” which features longer episodes dedicated to exploring the real world of EM and future careers.
  • Core EM Podcast by Anand Swaminathan, MD, and Jenny Beck-Esmay, MD
    This podcast is only a small part of a much larger project. The Core EM project is dedicated to providing “core content for anyone, anywhere, and just in time.” Dr. Swaminathan and Dr. Beck-Esmay discuss diagnoses that make up the bread and butter of EM. They recently hit 2 years of podcasts and released their 100th episode with plans to continue the awesome work they have done so far. However, the podcasts are just the tip of the iceberg; at coreem.net you can find hundreds of articles, a few procedure videos, and a blog.

Gunner (or "Advanced") Podcasts

  • EMCrit Podcast by Scott Weingart, MD, FACEP
    This one is meant for those interested in critical care and covers higher-level topics in EM and CC. This was the first EM podcast that I ever listened to, and it had me hooked immediately. Dr. Weingart speaks about anything and everything he deals with on a daily basis. His podcast grew quickly into the giant it is today, and he has more than 200 official episodes, (in addition to hundreds of mini episodes), and he hosts an annual EMCrit Conference in the New York area. This podcast does cover some complex subjects.


  • R.E.B.E.L. EM by Salim Rezaie, MD, FACEP
    The “Rational Evidence Based Evaluation of Literature in Emergency Medicine” podcast (R.E.B.E.L. Cast) takes a topic relevant to EM or CC and evaluates the supporting literature to distill out a few simple take-home points. Dr. Rezaie addresses complex subjects but simplifies them into something you can take back to the ED and use in treating your patients. He also has a series of posts called “Resuscitation Sequence Intubation” that is a must-read for all students interested in EM or CC.
  • Annals of Emergency Medicine Podcast by Ryan Radecki, MD, FACEP, and Rory Spiegel, MD
    This podcast is a supplement to the Annals of Emergency Medicine journal you receive each month as one of your EMRA membership benefits. Dr. Radecki and Dr. Spiegel do a great job of summarizing the most important articles of the monthly issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine. They also add their own commentary about the articles, sometimes remarking about the validity of the study, their own experience in the ED, or future directions for research. Dr. Radecki has his own podcast called EM Literature of Note and Dr. Spiegel writes fantastic articles for the EMCrit blog under the pseudonym of “EMNerd” (https://emcrit.org/category/emnerd/).
  • ACEP Frontline by Ryan Stanton, MD, FACEP
    Dr. Stanton covers an enormous range of EM-related topics, not restricted to the science behind medicine. His episodes address health care policy, various career paths, and issues common to all EM physicians across the country. Those interested in leadership and advocacy should definitely check this one out.
  • The Skeptics Guide to Emergency Medicine by Ken Milne, MD
    As students, we are taught to challenge everything and assess the validity of the things we learn. That is what Dr. Milne's podcast is all about. Every week, he takes a potentially practice-changing article and deconstructs it using a set of questions. These interrogations are meant to validate or call into question the legitimacy of the study. My favorite part of his podcast is the Keener Contest at the end of each episode. Listen to the BatDoc's podcasts to win a "cool skeptical prize."

There are many additional incredible medical podcasts (The Resus Room, ED ECMO Podcast, ALiEM Podcast, Surgery 101, etc.). I am always looking for interesting non-medicine podcasts as well. Leave a comment below, email me at smurali.emra@gmail.com, or tweet @smuramed to let me know which ones you listen to!

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