Podcasts are an extremely useful form of public health communication. Because they are broadcast in a de-centralized, democratic way, people get the message from podcasts much sooner and are able to utilize the information provided almost immediately. Unlike conventional mass media (which is restrained and influenced by the demands of advertising), a podcast can be entirely focused on valuable information – not profit.
One of the most valuable benefits of a public health podcast is that it is accessible while it is live and it can also be watched/listened to at a later date if the person has access to it. Podcasts about public health can also be downloaded, which means that even though a person may not be able to find it in a server’s cloud storage, they can listen to the downloaded file any time they choose and even reference back to it if need be. This is a great tool for public health students who work or study in remote areas.
Our list of the 30 best public health podcasts for 2020 is not a scientific ranking – it’s just a guide for public health professionals, students, and listeners to find useful, valuable, and inspiring content.
1. 5 Percent and Falling – NYU CGPH
5 Percent and Falling explores public health crises from different angles. The podcasts covers all of today’s most pressing issues and explores what the public health community can do to alleviate these issues. Take a listen to the episode called “Save 96” for a candid interview about gun violence and why rich and powerful people are keeping the problem fresh. This podcast has been praised for its novel perspectives and deep dives into it’s subject material. For many listener’s that’s what makes it one of the best public health podcast options.
5 Percent and Falling is produced by the NYU School of Public Health, a global hub for public health education. Not only does NYU educate its students on public health issues, it also produces research that has an impact all over the world. Award-winning professors and researchers come together to provide excellent education on public health, not just for their students but for the people whom these issues impact the most.
2. The American Health Podcast – Johns Hopkins/Bloomberg
The American Health Podcast zooms in on the issues that are most pressing to the United States. Recent topics include city violence, suicide prevention, life expectancies, and the opioid crisis. One recent episode explores the legal ramifications of the opioid epidemic and how certain drug companies have contributed to the crisis through misinformation and hiding. The American Health Podcast is one of the best podcasts on public health for those who are interested in US-specific issues.
The Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University produces The American Health Podcast. Their goal is to tackle some of the most important issues in public health today. Bloomberg is the #1 public health school in the US. As such, it’s at the forefront of the fight against health crises. Its research has made a big difference in epidemiology, public safety, and more.
3. American Journal of Public Health Podcast
The American Journal of Public Health Podcast has grown a lot since its earlies episodes. These days, it gets over 1500 listeners per epidosde. This podcast offers material in English, Chinese, and Spanish, and it covers a broad range of topics stuch as influenza, opioid use, and workplace health hazards. Many episodes summarize the most recent editions of the Journal. A lot of topics cover things that specifically concern healthcare workers themselves, such as this episode on the health of healthcare workers. It’s heavily researched and provides a lot of depth, which makes it one of the best public health podcasts.
The American Journal of Public Health comes from the American Public Health Association. It’s a month journal that covers the latest scientific findings on public health issues. This publication keeps health workers, scientists, and other interested parties up to date on the findings that impact public health today. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the top resources for scholarly health and wellness information.
4. Case Confirmed
Case Confirmed is a public health podcast hosted by three talented women who each bring a unique perspective to the table. Together, they have plenty of expertise on health communication, biostatistics, HIV, and issues that impact the LGBTQIA community. They explore specific health issues and interview other experts on these topics. The epidode on mental health and college campuses is particularly interesting. Episodes are generally less than one hour, and new episodes are released once a month, so it’s possibly the best public health podcast for those who love public health but don’t have a lot of extra time on their hands.
Case Confirmed was founded by Meera, one of the three hosts. She and the other two hosts, Vijeta and Dina, have set out to deepen communication among health experts. These smart and very educated hosts hope to maximize their impact on public health policy, awareness, and health issues around the world. With their podcast, they add distinct and valuable perspectives to the broader health conversation.
5. Conference Coverage – ReachMD
Conference Coverage provides information from medical conferences all over the world. The podcast gives summaries of conference content, provides insight, and offers interviews with world-renowned doctors and other health experts. Most topics cover specific diseases and medical disorders such as cancer, digestive disease, and heart disease. A recent series on breast cancer explores some of the latest research and treatment options. Conference Coverage is one of the best podcasts on public health for those who can’t always travel but want to learn from conferences anyway.
Conference Coverage is produced by Reach MD, the biggest learning platform in the nation for healthcare professionals. This organization has no shortage of topics and research for health professionals to explore. Between its podcast, radio show, and printed material, Reach MD helps learners stay up to date on all of today’s most pressing public health issues.
6. EM Weekly
EM Weekly specifically covers emergency management topics. There are precious few podcasts for first responders and other emergency workers, but this one certainly delivers. Host Todd De Voe interviews some of the top experts in their fields about emergency prevention, response times, and education. Recent episodes focus on the Australia’s 2020 wildfire crisis. It’s one of the best public health podcasts available today, especially for those whose focus is on emergencies.
EM Weekly was founded by its host, Todd De Voe. Todd has years of experience in emergency management, having worked as a marine Hospital Corpsman, a firefighter, and an emergency educator. All of this experience gives him a unique perspective on emergency management, and he uses his expertise to bring education and awareness to public health workers.
7. Emerging Infectious Diseases – CDC
Infectious diseases are a major concern among public healthcare workers. Emerging Infectious Diseases covers this topic in great depth. The podcast provides an overview of the most recent articles from the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal. As a result, listeners can stay on top of disease progression around the world and what the experts are doing about those diseases. A recent episode on dog flu in Canada is particularly interesting. This is one of the best public health podcast options for epidemiology enthusiasts.
Emerging Infectious Diseases is a project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC is America’s top resource for public health information. It exists to prevent the spread of diseases and other public health crisis, both in the US itself and around the world. The CDC provides the American public with the information that they need to fight back against disease. The Emerging Infectious Diseases podcast is just one of many ways that they accomplish this goal.
8. Environmental Health Chat – NEIHS
Environmental Health Chat covers, as you’ve probably guessed, environmental health. It explores how certain environmental factors impact people’s health and wellness, and it goes over the current research and intervention efforts. Every episode spotlights how researchers and community groups come together over specific healthcare issues. For example, one episode covers the ways in which researchers bring attention to paternal health and its impact on future children. Environmental Health Chat ranks among the best podcasts on public health, especially for those who have an interest in environmental topics.
Environmental Health Chat comes from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, or NIEHS. NIEHS is one of the top resources in the US for health education, research, and funding. Specifically, NIEHS contributes to public knowledge on environmental health topics, providing researchers with the tools they need to explore today’s biggest healthcare issues.
9. Flip the Script – Yale University
A lot of healthcare research centers around white men. That’s because they’re often seen as the “default,” and it’s part of the reasons why women’s healthcare and minority healthcare can get put on the back burner or be seen as an afterthought. Flip the Script aims to change this disparity. This podcasts specifically covers women’s health, racial inequality, LGBTQIA inequality, and similar topics. It explores how public health issues often impact these groups disproportionately, and it discusses things that public health workers can do to change that. For example, one episode covers the opioid crisis and why this crisis specifically impacts Black communities. For those who want to see how healthcare and justice intersect, Flip the Script is one of the best public health podcasts available today.
Yale University is one of the most well-known Ivy League schools in the US. Flip the Script is just one of many resources that Yale’s public health program provides. Yale’s research and education efforts have impacted public health on a global scale. Their current research includes topics such as climate change, cancer, and environmental contributions to heart attacks. It’s definitely a go-to resource for those who want to learn the most about public health.
10. The Forum – Harvard Chan SOPH
The Forum podcast provides interviews, insight, and more. It covers some of the latest and most pressing topics in public health. While some podcast listeners prefer a deep dive into their specific realm of study, others would rather get a broad range of topics. For those who fall into the second group, The Forum makes a great podcast choice. It covers all kinds of topics such as disease, public policy, climate change, and mental health. One recent episode covers shifting American attitudes toward cannabis, CBD, and related substances. Overall, The Forum is perhaps the best public health podcasts for wide coverage.
The Harvard Chan School of Public Health is a top contributer to global health research today. With The Forum podcast, the SOPH brings some of its research to the general public and keeps public health professionals on top of their information. By providing insights into the current research, the SOPH hopes to have a positive impact on global health and wellness.
11. From the Front Row – University of Iowa COPH
From the Front Row is a unique podcast because it gives a voice to students in the healthcare world. As a result, it provides a fresh perspective on all of the latest research and healthcare topics. Of course, the podcast also provides interviews with some of the top well-seasoned experts in the field, so it comes with a great combination of perspectives on different issues. One recent episode goes over the impact of vaping and how the public health community has gotten involved in the conversation. For students and experts alike, From the Front Row is one of the best podcasts on public health.
From the Front Row is provided by The University of Iowa College of Public Health. The COPH aims to train leaders and experts who will make a big impact in the healthcare world. Research from the University of Iowa has impacted things like cancer treatment, global epidemiology, and much more. This podcast lets the University expand its reach and make an even bigger impact on the healthcare world.
12. Global Caveat
In Global Caveat, hosts Diana and Susanna discuss global healthcare issues. This podcast makes a great listening choice for people who want to learn about healthcare around the world, not just healthcare in the US. Episodes cover a wide range of topics from stem cell research to global mental healthcare. Through this podcasts, listeners learn what they can do to change global healthcare for the better. In an interview with professor Daniel Goldberg, Diana and Susanna cover the complicated topic of healthcare ethics. For a worldwide health perspective and lots of expert interviews, Global Caveat is one of the best publice health podcast options.
Hosts Diana and Susanna are both experts in global healthcare. Their expertise ranges from epidemiology to minority healthcare. These experts use their podcast to bring better awareness to the public about healthcare, especially healthcare as it applies to refugees, minority communities, and other underrepresented groups.
13. Healthy You – George Washington University SPH
Healthy You is a unique podcast because it combines the topics of public health and personal health. Most similar podcasts only cover one of the two topics. This podcast, however, provides an overview of public health research and then invites the listener to apply that knowledge to their own personal care. Episodes include interviews with some of the top experts in their fields, so it ranks among the best public health podcast choices for in-depth content.
Healthy You is produced by the George Washington University School of Public Health. The SPH aims to create safe, healthy communities by educating future leaders in the field. This school also provides some excellent research into the most relevant healthcare topics. With this podcast, the SPH brings this research and education into the public’s headphones.
14. The Hilarious World of Depression – American Public Media
“Is depression funny?” might seem like a ridiculous question, but that question is exactly how host John Moe starts his interviews with his guests. The Hilarious World of Depression podcast isn’t just for public health professionals. As a matter of fact, it’s very accessible to virtually any listener. John interviews comedians, actors, and other funny people about their struggles with depression and other mental health issues. By bringing laughs into the mix, this podcast takes some of the bite out of depression and shows listeners that they’re not alone in their struggles. Listen to this especially funny episode in which drag queen Miz Cracker talks about her own history with depression.
The Hilarious World of Depression comes from American Public Media, a top distributor of podcasts on all topics. The Hilarious World of Depression itself is an effort to bring some light to depression. Although society has gotten better about discussing mental health issues, there’s still a stigma that keeps people from getting help. John Moe and American Public media provide resources to help people understand mental health and seek the care that they need.
15. I Am GPH – NYU College of Global Public Health
I Am GPH is a public health podcast that may specifically interest students. The podcast covers much of the latest research in healthcare topics. It also covers the things that impact healthcare students, such as internships, faculty research, and more. This episode on mindfulness and meditation is particularly interesting. I Am GPH has interviews with researchers, faculty, students, and alumni from NYU’s College of Global Public Health. It’s one of the best public health podcast choices for those who want broad perspectives on deep topics.
I Am GPH is one of two podcasts from the NYU College of Public Health. (The other is called 5% and Falling, and it’s also worth a listen.) NYU’s College of Publice Health is one of the top public health schools in the world. It provides a deep education on global public health issues, and its research has an impact all over the world.
16. Infectious Questions – NCCID
The Infectious Questions podcast zooms in on specific infectious disease topics. What makes this podcast unique is the fact that it comes in a question and answer format. Listeners ask questions about specific infectious diseases, and the podcast hosts partner with experts to answer those questions. As a result of this format, the podcast covers some of the most pressing and important topics in the healthcare world today. Recently, Infectious Questions finished a series on tuberculosis. Give it a listen, and you’ll find out why many count this podcast as one of the best podcast on public health.
Infectious Questions comes from the NCCID, one of the leading organizations in public health knowledge translation. This organization specifically covers infectious diseases, using various approaches to translate information on treatment and prevention options. For example, it provides education through both printed and audio means. The podcast is just one of many ways that the NCCID makes research and evidence available to its audiences.
17. Inform Me, Informatics – PHII
Inform Me, Informatics is a great podcast choice for those who want to explore health informatics and related topics. The podcast explores how health informatics interacts with health issues such as the opioid crisis. It also covers topics such as data ethics and relevant research. For example, one recent episode goes into some pressing ethical questions and how the healthcare community can address those concerns. For those who want to go into informatics as a career, this may be the best public health podcast choice.
Inform Me, Informatics comes from the Public Health Informatics Institute. This organization provides online training courses, business and technical assistance, and workforce development. Through it’s efforts, the PHII seeks to improve informatics in the healthcare world as a whole. With its podcast, it expands the reach of these efforts and invites listeners to find out how they can make a difference, too
18. Lab Culture – APHL
Lab Culture goes over topics that are relevant to laboratory work. It explores the latest technologies available for healthcare labs, and it interviews the experts who know how these technologies work. For those who want to become lab technicians, this podcast provides some of the most valuable information out there. One episode in particular talks about newborn screening systems and the recent improvements to these methods. For a lab focus and some in-depth conversation, Lab Culture is one of the best podcasts on public health.
The Lab Culture podcast comes directly from the Association of Public Health Laboratories. The APHL is a membership organization that provides training, education, research, funding, and other resources for health labs. As a result of their work, labs gain access to some of the best technologies, and patients receive better care and faster results.
19. Leading with Health
Leading With Health a women-centered podcast is focused on women’s leadership in the healthcare world. It dives into the positive social changes that women can make in the healthcare world, and it explores the ways in which women can receive better care for their own health. For female healthcare workers or those who want to know more about the issues female healthcare workers face, Leading With Health is a great resource. It provides specific advice, such as this episode that covers why patients get defensive. Overall, Leading With Health is one of the best public health podcasts.
Leading With Health was founded by its host, Jennifer Michelle. Jennifer is an expert on public health and epidemiology. Through her podcast, she brings light to many women’s issues in the healthcare world, and she provides the tools that women may need to navigate those issues.
20. Listen to the Lancet
Listen to the Lancet is a public health podcast that covers a wide range of topics. Listeners can hear perspectives on all sorts of healthcare topics, and the podcast dives deeply into each subject that it covers. It provides interviews with expert healthcare workers, and it explores the history of public health along with the latest tools and research. Take a listen to this episode on opioid use and addiction treatment. Many listeners consider Listen to the Lancet one of the best podcasts on public health.
The Lancet is a medical journal that explores all sorts of health topic research. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the top resources for those who have an interest in public health. This international weekly journal covers topics that have an impact all over the world. The podcast accompanies some of its most important articles.
21. Pharmacy Podcast Network
The Pharmacy Podcast Network is one of the few audio resources created specifically for pharmacists. It covers pharmacist-specifc issues such as the latest drug research. The Pharmacy Podcast network isn’t one specific podcast. Rather, it’s a network of several podcasts that provide insight from over 30 contributing pharmacists. One recent episode covers the impact of closing pharmacy schools and what this change means for pharmacy students and pharmacists alike. For those who have a specific interest in pharmacy issues, this podcast is one of the best public health podcasts available.
The Pharmacy Podcast Network is an organization that brings together experts, researchers, organizations, and more to expand the conversation around effective treatment and pharmacy culture. The Network seeks to bring education and awareness that pharmacists and future pharmacists can use to provide the best care.
22. Population Healthy – University of Michigan SOPH
Population Healthy is a weekly podcast that covers some of the most important healthcare topics. These topics are all things that impact the public on a day to day basis, so the information is as relevant as possible. The podcast focuses specifcially on population health and how certain healthcare issues impact populations as a whole. For example, an episode on vaccines talks about herd immunity and disease control. For relevant topics and interesting perspectives, Population Healthy stands among the best public health podcast choices.
Population Healthy comes for the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. The SOPH aims to create a large, positive impact on global healthcare. It accomplishes this goal by providing some of the latest research and by providing a top quality education for its students. The Population Healthy podcast is one of many ways that the SOPH brings its information to the world.
23. Public Health Perspectives – JPHMP Direct
Public Health Perspectives is a podcast that interviews people in the public healthcare field. The interviewees provide insights into the field, cover different career options, and explain their own experiences within the world of public healthcare. For example, in a recent episode, Dr. Abigail Gamble discusses her experiences working with teen mothers. These interviews can be particularly interesting to those who are still deciding on their own public health career options, which is why the podcast is one of the best podcasts on public health today.
24. Public Health United Podcasts
Public Health United has a weekly podcast that centers around scientific discussions. This podcast features interviews with expert healthcare scientists, highlighting their work and research. The podcast focuses on improving communication between the scientific community and the general public, so it’s a good choice for those who want to know what’s going on in the healthcare field today. One recent episode discusses how science interacts with Latinx healthcare. For a large exploration of scientific topics, Public Health United has one of the best public health podcasts.
Public Health United is all about improving conversations and inspiring curiosity. It provides all kinds of resources for lifelong learners to explore the scientific health topics that interest them the most. Public Health United even hosts a scientist game show. This organization brings the scientific community together for conversation and critical thinking.
25. SAGE Public Health
The SAGE Public Health podcast goes over some of the most interesting topics in public health today. It features interviews about recent papers and research. It also covers discussions on some of the latest technology in the healthcare world. With topics ranging from mental healthcare to ethics, there’s an episode for everyone who has an interest in public health topics. Start with this episode on the importance of kindness and empathy in healthcare. You might agree with the many others who think that SAGE Public Health is the best public health podcast available.
SAGE Publishing doesn’t just focus on public health. As a matter of fact, this journal covers several disciplines including history, culture, and mathematics. SAGE brings some of the world’s leading research together so that learners have all kinds of resources at their fingertips. The Publice Health podcast is one way that SAGE expands its education outreach to the public.
26. Side Effects
Side Effects actually has two podcasts: Sick and The Workaround. The Workaround covers various healthcare stories and topics, while Sick focuses specifically on things that go wrong in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In episode one, for example, the podcast focuses on things that can go wrong in maternal healthcare settings. This podcast can get disturbing at times, but it’s also one of the best podcasts on public health for those who want to improve health facilities.
Side Effects is an organization that’s dedicated to telling health stories. It gives a voice to healthcare workers and patients alike. These stories help raise awareness for the health issues that impact society the most. In addition to the podcast, Side Effects also provides news stories and research about healthcare.
27. Southern Remedy – Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Southern Remedy is a podcast dedicated to keeping Mississippi residents healthy and safe. As a southern state, Mississippi is often underrepresented when it comes to healthcare. This podcast aims to change that by providing accurate information and advice on health and fitness. The episode from January 9th, 2020 covers the topic of exercise. For southerners and especially Mississippi residents, Southern Rememdy is one of the best public health podcasts.
Southern Remedy comes from National Public Radio (NPR), and organization that has gained a reputation for its smart and relevant topics. NPR has podcasts and other resources for all kinds of topics. It covers politics, arts, social change, and much more. With its public health resources, NPR provides free and easy access to the topics that impact listeners the most.
28. Stories in Public Health
Stories in Public Health provides a fresh look at public health topics. This podcast is specifically geared toward new public health professionals and aspiring public health professionals. In this podcast, the host interviews various public health professionals from all across Sydney. The featured stories provide inspiration and advice. For example, one episode shows listener’s what it’s like to transition from the academic world to a private industry.
Stories in Public Health was founded by Amalie Dyda as a way to let public health professionals share their stories with the rest of the world. This way, people in the public health field can foster a sense of connection with one another and gain insights from people who have already walked those paths. For many aspiring professionals, this advice is indispensible and helps them move their careers in the directions that they want to pursue.
29. The NACCHO Podcast Series
The NACCHO Podcast Series provides interviews and insights on current healthcare topics. Specifically, it explores how public health intersects with policy and what these issues mean for public health professionals. The interviewees are some of the top experts in the field, so listeners can gain a lot of knowledge from these interviews. In an interview with Betty Duggan, the hosts discuss some of the latest changes to healthcare law. Overall, this is one of the best public health podcast choices for those who enjoy interview podcasts.
NACCHO is an organization that has multiple goals. It advocates for local public health, encourages member engagement, supports health departments, and much more. It also provides news and education so that people can stay as up to date as possible on healthcare topics. The podcast is one way in which it provides that education.
30. Voices in Leadership – Harvard Chan SOPH
Voices in Leadership is a public health podcast that helps students develop their decision making skills. It accomplishes this goal by providing interviews with current public health professionals. These professionals delve into their own decision making processes so that students can glean helpful advice. One particularly interesting episode features Ambassador Wendy R Sherman, a well-known professor and leader in the field. For those who want to sharpen their leadership skills, Voices in Leadership is one of the best podcasts on public health.
Voices in Leadership comes from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. The SOPH provides education and news, not just for its own students but for society as a whole. This podcasts brings important information directly from Harvard to the general public. Through these resources, people can gain health insights from some of the top sources.
Where Do Public Health Podcasts Come From?
Podcasts have become useful tools for individuals and professionals alike, to broadcast information to their followers. Because of how a podcast is put out over the media, anyone with a Wi-fi connection can either watch it or listen to it based on their device’s capabilities. Public health professionals are using podcasts more frequently simply because they can reach a much larger group of people. When trying to send a message to people in remote areas, podcasts are a much more reliable way to do so in terms of accuracy and real-time interaction between the person sending I and those they are trying to reach.
Podcasts can come from a variety of sources, including:
Colleges, Universities, Institutions of Higher Learning – Schools will often feature podcasts as a way of helping students understand assignments or as a tool to inform students about various events and topics of discussion.
Independent Scholars/Broadcasters – Independent scholars and broadcasters may deliver a podcast as a way of speaking out about their agenda. They may also discuss topics concerning human interest and health issues or concerns and how to best address each one.
Government Agencies – Government agencies like the FDA and CDC release podcasts to discuss topics related to health care and medical topics, including the release of statistics about specific health risks and concerns. Podcasts are also used to keep the public up-to-date on events that take place on the state and federal level.
Public Media Outlets (NPR, etc.) – Public media outlets use podcasts to get their message out to the masses in general. In many cases, those who use podcasts are out of normally not covered by mainstream media and other news networks.
Podcasts can come from almost anywhere and from anyone. In most instances, however, podcasts related to public health topics normally come from one of the above sources. Most podcasts are informative in nature and provide the public with up-to-date information about specific situations or to send out an alert if a specific population is at risk for a possible health hazard or environmental event that could have an impact on the public’s overall health and safety.
How Do Podcasts Help Achieve Public Health Communication Goals?
Public health communications and the podcasts that are most often used to deliver the message are extremely effective tools. Podcasts play an integral role in the broadcasting of information to the masses. A good example of this is in situations involving a public health crisis. Not every individual has access to a television or radio. While most have access to printed media, that avenue of public health communication can take too long to reach large groups of people. Most people do, however, have access to Wi-fi through the use of their smartphones or other electronic devices.
Through the use of podcasts, public health professionals can reach a large number of people in real-time. This is extremely important and time is of the essence. Podcasts that are delivered over Wi-fi can literally reach anywhere there is an established connection and offers the capability of reaching places where other forms of media cannot. Many public agencies use podcasts to warn people of environmental issues as well, especially those that may affect the general public’s health and safety.
While podcasts are ideal for delivering public health statements during emergency situations, they are also beneficial when it comes to delivering public health statements concerning general health issues. Public health communication is essential when it comes to the release of health statements for the general public. In remote areas where it is difficult to access printed media or radio/television stations, podcasts can be delivered via satellite as well. Broadcasting in this manner allows remote settlements an opportunity to stay in touch with the outside world.