750,000. That is how many podcasts are currently in circulation, according to Podcast Insights. In fact, they also claim that there are currently over 30 million episodes. With nearly a million options to choose from, how do you pick one?
Luckily, we listen to a lot of podcasts around here, and this week we’re bringing you one that is informative, educational, witty, and, most importantly, it’ll make you look smart at parties. Medicalization, which aired its first episode last week, covers unique, mysterious, and entertaining stories from the history of medicine.
Want to learn how they discovered the cure for scurvy? Or how about why milkmaids never got small pox? What about the origin of the Bubble Boy, a real-life case before Jake Gyllenhaal portrayed a comedic version in 2001.
Medicalization tells these stories in an approachable, yet thorough, way. By combining skits with storytelling, hosts (and siblings) Wafik and Jessica Sedhom paint a full picture of every medical vignette. While a medical podcast might seem intimidating at first, you don’t need to be a doctor to appreciate and understand these narratives.
Wafik Sedhom graduated from the University of Denver with a Biochemistry major and minors in Business and Biology. Most recently, he graduated from University of Colorado Medical School and is heading to Northwestern University to complete his Internal Medicine residency. His sister and co-host, Jessica Sedhom, also graduated from the University of Denver with a Biochemistry major and minors in English and Biology. Her current research involves Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) and clinical burnout.
“For us, it is important to reveal these extraordinary tales to an audience interested in history and medicine, the latter of which can be particularly complex and challenging at first glance,” said Wafik Sedhom about the motivation to start the podcast. Jessica Sedhom added, “The idea was to create a podcast that is palatable and, at times, a little campy and fun, precisely for that reason. Medicine and science can often be daunting, but when it is contextualized and in turn driven by a strange narrative, it suddenly comes alive.
As a preview, the first episode of the first season, which debuted last week, will take a look at the namesake of Boerhaave Syndrome, Dr. Herman Boerhaave, a doctor to Dutch royalty in the early 1700s. When Baron Jan Van Wassenaer experiences excruciating pain after a night of feasting, and soon thereafter passes, Dr. Boerhaave delved into his mysterious death, discovering one of medicine’s most unusual and often dangerous conditions.
Each episode is accompanied by further reading and at times a medical vignette, for those who want to see a real-world application. That is one the main things that makes this podcast so versatile. If you’re a casual listener, you’re in for a good story. On the other hand, if medicine is your passion and you want to really dive into these episodes, the hosts provide extra material for their listeners on www.medicalizationpodcast.com.