10 podcasts for the Medical Translator and Writer

Research is crucial for the medical writer and translator. It is a proven fact that the right preparation for a project will yield the best quality. Besides, a translator proficient in a particular subject is more likely to poach new assignments from his or her competitors.

So whenever you commit to a new assignment, you need not only devise a schedule to meet the deadline but also research the topic in question. You want to get familiar with the glossary and dive into the material that will tickle your brain cells over the next few days or weeks.
Above all, you are probably going to bookmark some salient websites, print out important research papers or study some legacy content relating to this particular job.

To put briefly, your preparation will involve a fair amount of READING.

But wait…
there are other ways to prep yourself that don’t involve reading – PODCASTS.

Why not give your eyes a rest and make use of your ears instead? Learning through non-visual channels works just as well, even for the eye-minded person.

Regarding auditive learning, some people suggest: It Sticks Better

Just imagine, you can delve into a new topic during the evening run or while ironing your shirts. Learn about a subject or an industry by merely listening.

Listening with headphones
Podcasts are an auditive way to embrace new information and what’s best – they are free.

Over the last month, I have been going through medical broadcasts to compile a list of useful podcasts for us medical translators and writers.
To be perfectly honest, there is a lot of crap out there; with terrible audio quality, shrill voices, poor enunciation and utterly useless drivel created for SEO purposes.

Make Podcasts part of your life

How to search for a relevant podcast?
As a rule, you can easily use any search engine by typing in the word “podcast” followed by the topic you wish to explore. Alternatively, you can go straight to podcast directories from the likes of iTunes, Spotify or TuneIn Radio and do a search there.

How do you recognise a good quality podcast?
Before you subscribe to a podcast, listen to a few randomly chosen sections. Make sure you are happy with the audio quality and the broadcasting style. Use programs in a conversational manner. Try to avoid shows that are spoken in a monotonous speech read from a script or a book as you will not focus for long and waste your time with it.
And most importantly, make sure that the information is discussed in a structured way, and that an evidence-based approach is applied.

How do you organise your podcasts?
If you listen directly from the website, simply bookmark the relevant webpages. Or better, if you use a podcast app, which is the easiest way to keep all the different sources in one place, subscribe to the podcast. This way you can organise all the topics into folders. What’s more, by subscribing to the podcast, you show the producers that you appreciate their work and you get a notification whenever a new episode is being published.


Here are some of the best Medical Podcasts in 2020

MJA Podcast

Here, we have a fantastic collection of short podcasts on various topics in Medicine from the Medical Journal of Australia. The concept consists of interviews with specialists who provide information that is evidence-based and very well researched.
Obviously, some of the information is focusing on Australia, but the overall content is relevant to Medicine globally.


This is Tom’s podcast, a UK podcast which is aimed at medical students but is also an excellent way for medical translators and writers to gain some solid background knowledge about diseases and to familiarise with the glossary.
The podcasts are non-conversational. Each episode is dedicated to a particular disease using the typical textbook approach. The length of the podcasts varies from 3 to 20 minutes. Tom has a calm and relaxing deep voice and speaks with a British accent.



Similarly, medgeeks focuses on students and each episode is talking about a particular pathology following a structured methodology. There is an impressive archive of topics available — excellent audio quality, spoken in a professionally enunciated American accent.

The Curbsiders

There is an excellent choice of topics available from the curbsiders. These are sponsored podcasts from a US Radiolab which are discussing different issues in a professional yet easy to follow manner. Usually, the pathologies are well explained with only moderate use of medical jargon. Simply a great method to prep yourself for a subject and to internalise a particular glossary.


FOAMcast provides professional journalism. The discussion of various topics from the field of Medicine is held with a pinch of entertainment. The presenters have an infectious enthusiasm which will keep you wanting more. Also, there is a massive database of topics to choose from – a useful podcast to integrate into one’s lifelong learning routine.


Apcardiology is an example of a speciality-addressing podcast, hence some solid background knowledge of terminologies in cardiology is necessary. The episodes focus on discoveries and new treatments in Cardiology. It is a fabulous auditive source to keep up to date with recent developments in this medical speciality.


If you like the history of Medicine, then you should subscribe to this show.
By the way, the host, Dr Adam Rodman, has the fabulous gift of explaining clinical Medicine with a historical context and giving us great insight. A podcast for both medical experts and the layman.

TED talks Health

Obviously, TED talks work best in its visual format, but most of them work just as well as a podcast too, give it a try. Above all, TED talks are famous for spreading innovative ideas and are a great source of inspiration – it might just give you that extra motivation to complete a job.


This is another example of a speciality podcast. Above all, these episodes discuss topics from the world of clinical pharmacy.
The guys from the Rosalind Franklin University are doing a great job. They not only impress with their choice of topics but also with their professionalism in radio journalism.

Greenlight Guru

Finally, yes – a podcast dedicated to medical devices – you have read correctly. The background is obviously of commercial purpose, but the topics are discussed in an objective and well-researched manner with Safety, Quality and Regulatory Issues at the heart of these podcasts.
Given the abundance of assignments concerning medical device translations, these podcasts are a great way to see the viewpoint from the developer and manufacturer. It helps to understand the larger picture surrounding medical devices.

In a nutshell

In this article, I have curated a small selection of 10 excellent podcasts in the hope that Medical Translators can find a new, auditive learning channel. Personally, I find these podcasts a fantastic way to embrace new topics. Furthermore, It is an efficient method of getting in-depth information in the realm of Medicine while giving the reading eyes a rest.

Go and explore for yourself. There exists a podcast for most medical subjects!

Subscribing to your favourite podcasts and integrating them in your lifelong learning routine will give the eye-minded predominance a well-deserved break. And, it will make learning more varied.

After all: Variety is the Spice of Life.

If you produce a medical podcast that might be useful for medical writers and would like to be included in this list, give me a shout.

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