Future Docs

Radio Rounds hits the big-time

Vital Signs » Spring 2010
Photo of second-year students Lakshman Swamy, Avash Kalra, and Shamie Das interviewing U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky during her keynote address at an AMSA conference in Chicago

In its second and third seasons, Radio Rounds welcomed an all-star assemblage of renowned guests from around the country. In addition, the show’s hosts and producer participated in a joint keynote address at an American Medical Student Association (AMSA) conference in Chicago, interviewing a U.S. congresswoman live on stage before an audience of several hundred people. The show also featured a weekly segment showcasing conversations with directors of residency programs from all over the country, aired pre-recorded documentaries by contributors throughout the nation, and launched an expanded Web site and interactive forum.

The show’s creators, co-hosts Avash Kalra and Lakshman Swamy and producer Shamie Das, attribute their success to a strong desire, on the part of physicians, medical students, patients, and the public at large, to share and experience moving stories of real people and their experiences.

“There are these genuine moments,” Kalra explained, “of empathy and humanism in medicine, and compassion.”

“That’s the unifying thread of our show,” added Das.

The students consider their work a vital reminder to nurture a passion for medicine and maintain a clear sense of purpose, rather than letting an intense workload and grueling training lead to cynicism or burnout. Remembering what is unique and inspiring about the practice of medicine is equally important for experienced physicians and other listeners, they believe, as well as the show’s guests.

“Obviously a lot of these doctors are very busy,” Swamy said, “but they always want to make time for this, because this message is that important to them.”

Seasons two and three of Radio Rounds featured conversations with outstanding guests, including:

Jon Andrus, M.D.

  • Deputy Director for the Pan American Health Organization of the World Health Organization
  • Recipient of the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal for public health

Brian J. Cole, M.D., M.B.A.

  • Head team physician of the Chicago Bulls (NBA)
  • Co-team physician of the Chicago White Sox (MLB)
  • 2009 NBA Team Physician of the Year

Catherine DeAngelis, M.D.

  • Editor-in-Chief of JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Inzune Hwang, M.D.
Technical Specialty Unit Lead for the 2009 H1N1 Response, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Tracy Kidder, M.F.A.

  • Author of multiple bestselling books, including Mountains Beyond Mountains and Strength in What Remains
  • Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and Robert F. Kennedy Award

Samuel Shem (a.k.a. Stephen Bergman, M.D., Ph.D.)

  • Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard University
  • Author of The House of God and The Spirit of the Place

Residency program directors from UCLA Medical Center and Brown, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins universities, among others VS

Photo: Second-year students Lakshman Swamy, Avash Kalra, and Shamie Das (white coats, l-r) interview U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky during her keynote address at an AMSA conference in Chicago

For more information, including links to all past shows, visit http://radiorounds.org. Past episodes are also available to download for free on iTunes—just search for “Radio Rounds.”

Last edited on 09/22/2015.