Best Podcasts For Medicine Applicants (11 Must Listen Shows)

Updated on: December 3, 2023
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Written By Dr Ollie

Every article is fact-checked by a medical professional. However, inaccuracies may still persist.

Podcasts are a brilliant way to learn more about the realities of working in healthcare, stay abreast of medicine in the news and get to grips with the logic behind the latest healthcare policies…

All the while being able to commute, work out, or lie in bed!

I love the freedom you get from listening to something rather than having to read and so really tried to make the most of this when I was applying to medicine.

To save you some time searching around, I’ve compiled a list of the 11 best podcasts for medicine applicants like yourself.

I’ve divided them into a few different categories (such as understanding the NHS or keeping up-to-date with hot topics) so that you can pinpoint exactly which would bring you the most value.

Podcasts To Learn About The NHS

The NHS is a big beast with an incredibly complex and intricate structure.

Considering you’ll be expected to have a basic understanding of how it works at interview, there’s no better way to learn about it than in bitesize chunks via a podcast.

NHS England Podcast

Running sinceApril 2019
Episode frequencyRoughly weekly
Rough length20-50 minutes
Hosted byVariable

Why you should listen: wide variety of NHS related issues and topics analysed by subject matter experts in the field.

The NHS England podcast allows you to hear what specialised professionals think about a range of healthcare topics.

Each episode covers a different facet of healthcare policy or delivery and is normally presented by someone directly involved in that area.

For example, an episode on population health management is presented by Christina Jones, a senior program manager in the NHS England population health management team.

NHS England cover an incredibly wide range of topics, from patient experience in emergency care to how NHS staff can tackle discrimination, so you’ll be bound to find an episode that interests you.

The BMJ Podcast

Running sinceDecember 2014
Episode frequencyRoughly weekly
Rough length30-60 minutes
Hosted byVariable

Why you should listen: long-running and well produced podcast covering important healthcare topics from one of the world’s oldest general medical journals.

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) actually produces a number of different podcasts, each with their own theme.

The BMJ Podcast pulls together a couple of these different series as well as including its own unique episodes.

For example, there’s ‘Talk Evidence’ which aims to give the inside story on the evidence base supporting best practice, as well as ‘Doctor Informed’ that helps keep healthcare professionals in the loop when it comes to salient or newsworthy topics in medicine.

This podcast is a great way to see how doctors can support and learn from other doctors in addition to shedding some light as to how and why clinical guidelines are developed.

Podcasts For Improving Your Application

At the end of the day, how strong your application is will determine whether you will or will not get into medical school.

These podcasts will help you become a more competitive candidate and so increase your odds of getting in.

The Application Doctor

Running sinceOctober 2022
Episode frequencyWeekly
Rough length30 minutes
Hosted byGeorge and Hadyn

Why you should listen: a podcast focused solely on the application process presented by two doctors who have actually walked the walk.

George and Hadyn from The Application Doctor aim to assist with all things application: from students applying to medical school all the way to doctors applying for their specialty training.

There’s no doubt that they both definitely know their stuff- both are Cambridge graduates and have each entered into highly competitive training programs.

Each week they tackle a new facet of the application process, whether that be what not to say in a medical school interview or how to prepare for a career in surgery.

Although a relatively new podcast, they’re already making their mark as application specialists.

The Target Oxbridge Podcast

Running sinceApril 2020
Episode frequencyN/A
Rough length45 minutes
Hosted byNaomi Kellman

Why you should listen: a podcast specifically about achieving an offer to Oxford or Cambridge and the steps you need to take to get there.

Despite no longer releasing new episodes, I thought that The Target Oxbridge Podcast was important to include on this list due to the incredible value it can bring you if you’re planning to apply to either Oxford or Cambridge.

Presented by Naomi Kellman, the founder of Target Oxbridge, the podcast aims to demystify the process of getting accepted to either prestigious institution.

Naomi has had a number of great guests on the podcast, from Oxford alumni to the first black woman to be elected President of the Cambridge University Students’ Union.

Although the podcast is not specifically focused on medicine, there is an excellent episode that interviews a second year medical student at Cambridge about their top tips for getting in.

Podcasts To Gain Insight Into The Life Of A Doctor

There’s no better way of getting a peak behind the curtain of healthcare delivery than by listening to doctors discuss their experiences working in medicine.

You’ll get to hear what actually goes on behind the sensationalist headlines you might see in the news as well as learning how scientific topics can directly relate to patient care.

RCP Medicine Podcast

Running sinceApril 2019
Episode frequencyRoughly monthly
Rough length30 minutes
Hosted byVariable

Why you should listen: authoritative podcast discussing different topics relevant to doctors actively practicing medicine.

The Royal College of Physicians is the professional membership body for British physicians and is dedicated to improving the practice of medicine.

Their podcast “discusses and explores different topics including real-life clinical cases, new evidence-based guidelines and specific physician issues in the modern healthcare environment.”

It’s a window into what challenges and developments are facing doctors at this moment in time, as well as how they’re planning on dealing with them.

The RCP is the authority on medical doctors practicing in the UK so are an excellent source for learning about the life of a doctor.

If you’re applying to medical school this year, you may also be interested in these 11 best medical documentaries for learning about healthcare as a whole.

This Podcast Will Kill You

Running sinceOctober 2017
Episode frequencyEvery 1-2 weeks
Rough length60-100 minutes
Hosted byErin Welsh and Erin Allmann Updyke

Why you should listen: Captivating podcast about infectious disease. Presented by two incredibly knowledgeable and expressive hosts.

This fascinating podcast explores a huge variety of diseases that can result in your untimely demise.

Leptospirosis to monkeypox, chlamydia to anthrax, each episode explores the disease’s history, biology and finally how scared you need to be.

Erin and Erin are each disease ecologists and epidemiologists, bringing you expert opinions and interpretations of the science in an incredibly entertaining way.

Although not directly related to your medicine application, this podcast has to be on your list as a result of how interesting the two hosts make learning about infectious diseases- plenty of which you’ll undoubtedly encounter as a doctor.

Podcasts To Stay Abreast Of NHS Hot Topics

NHS hot topics are a staple of medical school interviews- so you’ll need to be well informed of current events in healthcare.

A podcast provides the perfect medium through which you can keep your finger on the pulse while getting some more in-depth analysis on topics from verified experts in the field.

The King’s Fund Podcast

Running sinceMarch 2018
Episode frequencyMonthly
Rough length30 minutes
Hosted byVariable

Why you should listen: well researched and produced podcast covering heavy hitting topics concerning the NHS and health policy.

The King’s Fund is an independent think tank that works to improve the NHS.

Their website is a fantastic resource if you’re applying to medical school, with articles from the structure of the NHS to health inequalities related to climate change, and their podcast is no different.

Each month they talk to experts from The King’s Fund and beyond about the NHS, social care, and all things health policy and leadership.

I can particularly recommend their episode about end of life care and the importance of treating a terminal patient as a person until they pass away.

The Healthtech Podcast

Running sinceOctober 2018
Episode frequencyRoughly weekly
Rough length30-60 minutes
Hosted byDr James Somauroo

Why you should listen: fascinating interviews with disruptive leaders in the health tech sphere, all working to advance modern medicine through technology.

The Healthtech podcast is a brilliant listen if you have an interest in technology, innovation or entrepreneurship as well as medicine.

Each week Dr James Somauroo interviews a different healthtech startup CEO or leader at the cutting edge of advancing medicine through technology.

Previous guests have included the director of innovation at Holland and Barrett as well as the chief medical officer and director of machine learning at Amazon Web Services.

Dr James Somauroo himself makes for an excellent host due to his impressive personal credentials in the health tech world, as well as being an anesthetics and ICU doctor.

New Scientist Weekly

Running sinceJanuary 2020
Episode frequencyWeekly
Rough length30 minutes
Hosted byRowan Hooper and Penny Sarchet

Why you should listen: weekly podcast covering the latest major scientific papers and discoveries, perfect for keeping up-to-date with hot topics.

The New Scientist Weekly aims to bring you the latest scientific developments and breakthroughs from the week’s news.

Each episode centers around a discussion of three of the most fascinating stories to hit the headlines that week.

Although not only focused on health, they cover plenty of topics that are highly relevant to you as a medicine applicant.

From the anti-aging properties of urine to the mental health impacts of climate change, this podcast will feed your curiosity for the latest healthcare news.

Podcasts To Get A Head Start At Medical School

As a medicine applicant, your next step is going to be a medical student at university.

There’s absolutely no harm in getting ahead of the curve by looking ahead to themes and topics that will all be highly relevant to you throughout your training.

Sharp Scratch

Running sinceApril 2019
Episode frequencyEvery 2 weeks
Rough length45 minutes
Hosted byVariable

Why you should listen: medical student and junior doctor run podcast that gives you a sneak preview of what your life will be like in a few years.

The Sharp Scratch is run by the BMJ, as a podcast for medical students and new doctors.

Every fortnight, we get together medical students, junior doctors and expert guests to discuss all the things you need to know to be a good doctor, but that medical school doesn’t teach you.

As a medicine applicant, it’s a brilliant podcast to listen to as you get to hear what people only a couple years ahead of you are enjoying, struggling with and learning about the profession.

It’s hosted by a brilliantly diverse team, who are all able to contribute their unique experiences from medical school and the foundation program to the discussion.

How To Become A Doctor

Running sinceApril 2020
Episode frequencyEvery 2 weeks
Rough length20-30 minutes
Hosted byLucy and Ciara

Why you should listen: two medical students host a brilliant podcast that covers a range of topics that will all be incredibly valuable to you as an applicant.

How To Become A Doctor is a podcast hosted by two medical students, Lucy and Ciara, and is all about what life as a medical student is really like.

They talk about applying to medicine, produce ‘virtual open day’ episodes, talk to specialists in different fields and discuss a range of topics all highly relevant to a medical school interview.

In other words, you really should listen to their podcast!

One of their more recent series interviews medical students regarding their intercalation year- a great way to look ahead if you think intercalating may appeal to you.

Final Thoughts

Your application year is a busy one- with work experience, exams and interviews so for me being able to multitask whilst still working towards medical school was invaluable.

Many of these podcasts that you can use to boost your application will also be just as valuable to you throughout university.

Get listening and you may surprise yourself by how much knowledge sticks despite being able to do other things while you learn!

About the author
After studying medicine at the University of Leicester, Dr Ollie now works as a junior doctor in London. His interests include medical education and expedition medicine, as well as having a strong belief in the importance of widening access to medicine.