Real-life drama paces new Hofstra/Northwell podcast

Previously, on "Making an MD:" The real-life dramas of first-year students at Hofstra/Northwell's Zucker School of Medicine play out in a new podcast.

It’s “Real World” meets “Grey’s Anatomy” in a new Zucker School of Medicine podcast, which dives deep into the lives of first-year medical students.

Providing a “rare and intimate look into the daunting first year of medical school,” the 10-episode podcast “Making an MD: Year One” follows four students during their earliest days at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell.

The free-subscription series is produced and narrated by National Public Radio veteran Julie Subrin, with the first four episodes – each running approximately 15 minutes – available for download now on iTunes, and six more rolling out soon.

Serializing the real-life experiences of rookie medical students as they learn everything from pulse-taking to patient interaction, “Making an MD” offers “candid insight into the challenges and thrills of medical education,” according to the Zucker School.

Lawrence Smith: No more “sit down, be quiet.”

It also delves into ways education is changing to reflect new family and patient sensibilities – actually, a major focus of the podcast, according to Zucker School founding Dean Lawrence Smith, who noted big changes in how medicine is taught since his generation was “told to sit down, be quiet and memorize our textbook.”

“Today, thankfully, we’re much more focused on training doctors who can provide patients not only with excellent care but also with a genuine feeling that they’re being heard,” said Smith, who also serves as the Northwell Health system’s physician-in-chief. “And there’s no better way to show this shift than to let people in on what goes on in our classrooms.”

The initial 10-episode run will follow members of this year’s incoming class as they struggle with the demanding make-or-break-you curriculum and their own trepidations. First-year Zucker School student Sam Butensky said he was excited to participate in the podcast because it honestly showed “the rigor and challenges of becoming a doctor, as well as some of the really incredible things we get to do here.”

“Medical school always seemed like this unmarked door at the end of a long hall – difficult to find and get in and unclear about what lies on the other side,” Butensky said. “I hope [the podcast] humanizes the process for listeners as they go on this journey with us.”

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