How podcasts can lift the physician voice and educate patients


Katie Deming, MD, and Scott Becker discuss the power of podcasting for a health care audience



Even before the pandemic made staying home a necessity, podcasts had been growing in popularity, with listenership increasing by 40% in the last 3 years, according to a Nielsen report. There’s also a growing appetite for health care content; a separate 2019 Nielsen survey found that 26% of respondents said they’re interested in health-related podcasts.

In this next episode of the 2022 Permanente Medicine Podcast season, host Chris Grant, chief operating officer of The Permanente Federation, examines how podcasting helps elevate physician voices and provide information to support patients’ understanding of health and health care.

He welcomes 2 fellow podcasters in this wide-ranging discussion about the role podcasts can play, fighting misinformation, trending topics in medicine, and sharing the physician perspective.

  • Katie Deming, MD, was a radiation oncologist with Northwest Permanente at the recording of this episode. She launched a podcast, Born to Heal, to help cancer patients in their healing journey. Dr. Deming draws from her more than 16 years of experience treating patients to share her best personal life lessons and stories of healing.
  • Scott Becker, founder and publisher of Becker’s Healthcare and Becker’s Hospital Review, is host of the Becker’s Healthcare Podcast, which features interviews and conversations with industry thought leaders.

Dr. Deming says she hopes her podcast addresses issues patients face today. Considering the last 2 years of the pandemic, she talks about the “epidemic of fear” that has become pervasive.

“It’s quite common when someone faces a life-threatening illness like cancer” that they would feel afraid, Dr. Deming says. “So fear and managing fear and how to calm people’s nervous system is a big part of my job as an oncologist. But one of the things I’ve seen is that we’ve gone from having people who are sick being afraid to a whole population of people being afraid.”

Related story: “In Becker’s podcast, Edward Lee, MD, stresses that innovation and technology drive quality care”

We are huge believers of free speech. We believe [at] the end of the day … that free speech is the right answer to ultimately solve most problems.

– Scott Becker


One thing that’s really important for people to see is that physicians are human and that we’re learning as well.

– Katie Deming, MD

Grant and his guests discussed other ramifications from the COVID pandemic and how they have changed health care and the digesting of health care information.

On Twitter, connect with Dr. Deming at @KatieDemingMD, Becker at @becker_sbecker, and Grant at @cmgrant.

Program notes:

Here are some of the audio books and references mentioned by our guests:

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