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5 Things: Best Podcasts for a Long Drive

Gerard Acloque, MD | November 16, 2021 | Contributor Information

In Medscape's "Five Things" series, enthusiasm is contagious. Here, physicians share the handful of fascinations that they can't get enough of. From classic novels to overseas adventures to the cutthroat world of family board games, get ready to find your next obsession. Have a "Five Things" of your own? Email us to share.

Like most doctors, I do not have a lot of free time, especially now that I have started my own internal medicine practice. When I do get some time, I love spending it with my family, either dining out at a new restaurant or entertaining at home. The rest of my time is spent growing my practice or doing consultant work in the Miami metro area. Naturally, this means spending a lot of time in my car and, consequently, spending a lot of time stuck in traffic.

That's when I discovered podcasts. I mean, I always knew what they were, but for some reason, I never dove in. Once, while I was sitting in a bumper-to-bumper slowdown on the turnpike yet again, I tapped the podcast icon, and wow! A whole new world opened for me. Time stuck in traffic went from a necessary evil to a chance to explore topics and stories I never would have discovered otherwise.

Here are some of my favorite podcasts that I keep saved in my library for those moments when there are taillights to the horizon, or, as I like to call it, some unexpected free time for the taking.

5 Things: Best Podcasts for a Long Drive

Gerard Acloque, MD | November 16, 2021 | Contributor Information

The White Coat Investor

Like many physicians, I knew very little about how to handle money and investments before earning money professionally. This show is written and hosted by emergency physician Jim Dahle, MD, whose motto is "Helping doctors stop doing dumb things with their money." Dahle is smart and self-taught about finance — he started a blog of the same name in 2011 in the hopes of sharing his knowledge with other medical professionals. The best part? He's a great and engaging teacher, because let's face it, financial topics aren't usually that exciting. After becoming a dedicated listener, I'm aware of how little I knew about managing money and strategizing for my financial future. When I'm faced with a question about investment planning, this podcast is the first place I turn to.

5 Things: Best Podcasts for a Long Drive

Gerard Acloque, MD | November 16, 2021 | Contributor Information

Hospital and Internal Medicine

In my opinion, continued education is essential to offering the best service or advice possible. Believe it or not, doctors do not know everything about medicine, and doctor who believe they do probably know absolutely nothing at all! With that in mind, I listen to quite a few medical-related podcasts, but Hospital and Internal Medicine is always at the top of the queue. The host, Gil Porat, MD, has a way of presenting medical information that is relatable to all listeners whether you are in the medical field or not. Lots of the topics are reviews, but that doesn't mean there aren't things to learn and Porat knows how to make it interesting. Porat is a teacher at heart (as are all doctors, really), and he does an exceptional job breaking down concepts, facts, and interventions in a relatively short time. His corny jokes also remind me that I'm funnier than he is, even if it's only by a small margin, which is nice.

5 Things: Best Podcasts for a Long Drive

Gerard Acloque, MD | November 16, 2021 | Contributor Information

Crime Junkie

Something I have come to realize in the medical community is that we are insanely curious, and boy, do we love solving a problem. Naturally, this meshes perfectly with true crime podcasts. I don't know about you, but I've watched the complete collection of Forensic Files on Netflix at least three times. To be a physician or nurse, a little bit of detective work is required.

Much like investigators, we are presented with mysteries and must dig for the answers to see where things went wrong. Crime JunkieHosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat are a dynamic duo who present unique cases and feed the listener pieces of information little by little, creating wonderful suspense as the listener slowly puts the puzzle together. I love this cliffhanger-style of storytelling, and I can't tell you how many times I've sat in my car in the driveway listening to the last few minutes of an episode because the story is that good.

One of my favorite aspects of Crime Junkie is that they choose to investigate and highlight cases that affect marginalized communities, bringing light to victims that otherwise haven't received much attention.

5 Things: Best Podcasts for a Long Drive

Gerard Acloque, MD | November 16, 2021 | Contributor Information

On One With Angela Rye

To put it simply, this show is great. Angela Rye is one of the wittiest and most intelligent people on the radio and television. She (somehow) steps it up on her podcast while interviewing the most interesting people we all know of but don't know anything about, such as Will Smith or Gabrielle Union. Rye fills in the blanks for us and asks guests about politics, race, and pop culture. I rarely finish a show thinking, "I would have asked this…" because she seems to ask the most thought-provoking questions at just the right time.

She has no problem letting the guests speak, which makes for more natural conversation. Unfortunately, there hasn't been a new show posted since July 2021, but with episodes going back as far as 2018, there is quite a lot of information to learn from her loose and informal podcast. I only hope she gets back to recording new shows soon!

5 Things: Best Podcasts for a Long Drive

Gerard Acloque, MD | November 16, 2021 | Contributor Information

Blinkist

I know, I know, this isn't technically a podcast, but there is no way I could leave out this gem. For me, it's been a life hack that has put me onto so much eye-opening information I never would have learned otherwise. The narrator takes a book and breaks it down into it most important points, or "blinks," in about 15 minutes. My office is a 17-minute drive from my house, so I can just about "read" a book before I pull into my parking space.

The topics are all nonfiction and are geared to your interests, based on a questionnaire that you take at the beginning (but can be modified, if needed). You can even search for specific books if you like. I haven't read a nonmedical book in quite a while. Did I mention how much little free time I have? Since subscribing (yes, this is a paid service — which, to me, is its only downside), I have gained so much useful insight into business, interpersonal skills, and self-improvement. It's a genius-level idea, putting Cliffs Notes on steroids! (Am I aging myself?

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