The Nocturnists award-winning podcast is a must-listen for anyone who works in healthcare. Each episode, creator and host Dr. Emily Silverman has meaningful conversations with fellow healthcare workers, exploring the joy, sorrow, and self-discovery of a life in the medical field. It’s poignant and thought-provoking, and a nourishing listen during a time where healthcare burnout is at an all-time high. 

I love it so much that we sponsored a recent episode featuring Dr. Suzanne Koven, author of “Letters to a Young Female Physician,” a memoir chronicling Dr. Koven’s experience in medical school in the 1980s. In the episode, Dr. Koven shares stories that I know will sound familiar to other women physicians — from the casual sexism she experienced to having to write her own maternal leave policy (as the only woman physician in her practice). I teared up a few times throughout the episode because it hit really close to home, but particularly around minute 33, where Dr. Silverman and Dr. Koven discuss the dizzying array of roles modern physicians have evolved to play: spiritual, scientific, emotional, technical, data-entry, and more. They explore the question: is this too much to ask of one person? Click here to listen to the episode, and definitely subscribe. 

Listening to The Nocturnists episodes has become part of my personal education routine — it illuminates medical workers’ experiences with curiosity and compassion. Here are a couple reasons I love it: 

  • The podcast hosts crucial conversations about the intersection of medicine and sexism and racism. It’s a conversation that’s not afraid to delve into unpleasant realities about the medical field. It’s so important to have a community that’s committed to challenging longstanding problems in our industry. Founded and run by a woman physician, it uplifts the female experience of medicine. The Nocturnists podcast also created a series, Black Voices In Healthcare, that directly and compassionately shared stories from Black healthcare workers. 
  • The Nocturnists embraces healthcare workers as complex humans. The podcast explores our anger, pain, ambivalence, joy, and regret, and can find humor in the complexity of our professional lives. It welcomes healthcare workers’ whole identities: authors, parents, caretakers, writers, artists, children, hobbyists, students, and more. 
  • The conversations shine a light on the emotional complexity of the healthcare provider experience. The past year has put even more pressure on already high-performance culture, and learning about other physicians' interior experiences makes me feel really seen. Their Stories from a Pandemic series gave a voice to the witnesses of the Covid-19 crisis, and provided a place to express and explore difficult healthcare experiences. 
  • It’s a nourishing listen. Every episode leaves me feeling invigorated in some way. Many podcasts today are about news, world events, rather stressful topics, and while The Nocturnists podcast doesn’t shy away from serious and urgent issues, it does so in a way that feels thoughtful and creative — you’ll feel a flood of compassion and understanding, hopefully in a way that lightens your own load. 

Thank you again to Dr. Emily Silverman and The Nocturnists team for creating the space. I hope you’ll join me in supporting this woman physician-founded venture — sign up for their newsletter to stay up to date on their incredible work. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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