Freakonomics, M.D.

Science #10

Each week, physician and economist Dr. Bapu Jena will dig into a fascinating study at the intersection of economics and healthcare. He takes on questions like: Why do kids with summer birthdays get the flu more often? Can surviving a hurricane help you live longer? What do heart surgery and grocery-store pricing have in common?

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Recent Reviews
  • dldnh
    An excellent podcast, always very interesting.
  • Kermination
    Always interesting
    Well presented and thought-provoking… Always leaves me with more questions… only so much one can do in a short podcast. Sometimes wish would do a series of episodes on a large topic to dive deeper… See one suggestion below gun violence is a public health crisis in the United States. could you do an episode on the epidemiology and successful interventions around the world on gun deaths? Do the arguments against gun control hold any water based on the data? This could actually be a series I have a several episodes
  • Yyysguy57
    Fascinating and Enlightening
    Almost every episode provides interesting and thought provoking material, that prompts me to want to learn more about the topic on my own. The one-star reviews seem to be coming from MAGA people who claim bias on everyone and everything that doesn’t bow down to their god.
  • hjdjehdhfhsg
  • MelAndCholera
    Love this show!
    I’m a nurse, and I love economics. This show exists in the center of the Venn diagram, where medicine and economics meet. Every episode is super interesting. I’m glad I started listening.
  • owsad1525
    Freak MD
    Love this pod!
  • healthnut84
    The best of the Freakonomics series!!
    A friend told me about the show. I love it! All the topics are just so different, the people Bapu brings on are great, and the length of the show is just right.
  • pharmyjill
    Redefining Healthcare
    As a pharmacist and late blooming economics nerd, this is the perfect podcast. The current state of our healthcare system is unsustainable and we need some revolutionary ideas to make needed changes. Keep up the great work!
  • eGromit
    Too much bias :(
    I am a long time (from day one!) reader, listener and admirer of Freakonomics. And this is definitely a failure - too much biases and personal research data. Not controversial enough and finally, zero response to comments :(
  • Alimoyni
    Love this!
    As a nurse and money nerd this hits all my favorite topics. He weaves a great story and I am often sharing what I learned with my coworkers.
  • b.r.47
    New favorite!
    This has quickly become my favorite podcast. I’ve always loved Freakonomics, but now this one is even better. My family, friends, and coworkers are sick of me retelling them all the interesting things I heard in the latest podcast episode.
  • Pam Pam Chap
    Makes Learning Fun!
    What an interesting combination medicine and economics makes! The host covers interesting topics in an understandable way and within the perfect amount of time.
  • SchnauzerGirl327
    Things I never thought about
    Dr. Jena discusses a variety of topics and brings new insights in plain language.
  • ArtG1965
    Great Physician Host
    What a pleasure to listen to a medical professional with such fabulous communication skills. The focus on medicine from an economist’s point of view may sound dry and clinical; it is neither. Clever, thoughtful questions, fast pacing and a master communicator make for a great listen!
  • ForestMaven
    Wonderful podcast
    The topics on this podcast are always something that either I knew I was interested in, or that I didn’t know I was interested in but turns out I am.
  • 1949boomer
    Wonderful podcast
    Always interesting and informative.
  • wyo law
    Easy to follow; useful; thought provoking
    Great podcast
  • Zee Zarate
    Freakonomics MD
  • tikastorm
  • KathLena22
    Great listen!
    Really enjoy listening to the episodes each week. Dr. Jena and guests explain complex topics in an understandable way. They also cover very unique topics and clever research. Keep the natural experiments coming!
  • AshE!!!!
    Took me way too long to listen!
    I’ve listening to Freakonomics for years. So glad I added this to the listening list. I love that the episodes are fairly short and impactful and go into various fascinating topics
  • missy-em-dash-2210
    One of the best
    I’ve listened to every single episode here and on NPR. I’m always amazed how they pull it off. And things I really did know! Witty, educational, insightful and interesting. Thanks! I hope there’s another decade coming..
  • AMetricFan
    Interesting and enriching
    The questions tackled are interesting and generally have more behind them that would seem at first. Dr Jena addresses them with scientific thoroughness while also managing to explain everything in very easy terms. He is smart and down-to-earth and the podcast is easy to follow, enriching and entertaining.
  • BoogieFries
    Bapu has all the right radio moves!
    Intelligent, pragmatic, humble, engaging. Highly recommended!
  • ryanblackk
    We get it, you’re a democrat.
    First off, let me say, my wife is a doctor and I grew up democrat to a family with democrat politicians, I love medicine, economics, and learning in general so this would be the perfect show, right? Wrong. This is just another politically driven show but with the freakonomics twist. I have listened since the first episode, but I just cannot anymore. Economics and medicine don’t encapsulate a huge majority of people, so I just don’t know why anyone would cut an audience in half by consistently inserting politics when there’s honestly no reason for it. Furthermore, for the remaining audience, that’s here for the economics, well there they go. Now you’re audience is the CNN-like echo chamber, and you won’t ever extend your reach.
  • k8lhc8
    Great addition
    The medical episodes of Freakonomics were often my favorites, and there is a whole podcast dedicated to that topic. Dr. Jena keeps it interesting and explains concepts clearly. I’m really enjoying this new show.
  • TokyoBoilermaker
    Like Freakonomics MD almost as much as Freakonomics
    And that says a lot!
  • kristineym
    Research made engaging!
    The host asks really interesting questions and has a unique perspective as a doctor and economist. I look forward to a new episode every week. They’re so fun!
  • Pbo1231
    Great mix of “I can’t believe I didn’t know that” and “there’s no way that could be true, right”
    Great podcast all around. Really interesting topics and Bapu is great.
  • Birds look nice to me
    Worthy addition to Freakonomics Radio
    New voice worthy to be listened to alongside the always excellent Dubner and Levitt
  • Dr. Edepli
    So engaging!
    I love this show! As a scientist - for me, this hits all the right notes.
  • HNadeem01
    Incredibly relevant
    As a medical student about to start residency training, I couldn’t have stumbled upon this podcast at a more relevant time. At this juncture, better understanding the economic drivers of health and corresponding policy interventions is going to mold the type of how I practice medicine and conduct research in the future!
  • hones4
    great thinker, kind person
    F-MD gives the same kind of content Freakonomics folks enjoy, so that's right on. And as a bonus, Dr. Jenna is a genuinely kind man:)
  • Full Scope
    Bill Brandenburg, MD, Full Scope Podcast
    Great Podcast! I have really enjoyed it. Very thought provoking. But I wonder why a republican senator would lead the charge on medicare expansion…… Oh ya, because there family owns HCA hospitals…… Don’t forget to follow the money and it’s impact on people’s politics. Also don’t forget COI
  • LeftCoastEcon
    Great focus on important and useful topics
    I am a retired economist, and have a heightened interest in medical economics arising because two of my children are health care professionals. Bapu’s presentations and moderation of the guest interviews are great! The US spends significantly more on health care than all other “developed nations”, yet our metrics for outcomes are mediocre to dismal. Recognizing this and understanding why are central to the topics discussed. I highly recommend the program.
  • Runforcake
    Fascinating questions that keep me engaged
    Bapu is brilliant, yet real enough to understand common questions and explain theories and results in understandable terms.
  • Alexsandrams
    Get the back-story!
    For people who choose to listen to interesting research and different points of view! Not for people who choose to be sheep who follow fear-mongering news sources.
  • Ike 22222
    Lukewarm at best.
    See above.
  • PEC-K
    Freakonomics MD
    The intersection of Medicine and Economics. Clever questions, answered with a unique data-backed interpretation. Highly recommend!
  • Renee dyer
    You don’t have to be a med nerd to appreciate the findings in this podcast, every episode has an implication in your life. Enjoy! :)
  • thumbs up 50
    Informative, easy to listen to
    Fits perfectly into the Freakonomics suite. Very informative and interesting.
  • another avis reader
    Very important show
    Upfront let me say I am a research sociologist so the topics discussed here are close to my professional interests. At the same time, unlike the original freakeconomics, this podcast is much more sensitive to social factors like gender and race. I would recommend the episode on geography and health as a place to start. I am listening to the episode on the language of research promotion by gender and the tendency for self promotion, oh so familiar. Well done and subtle. My only beef is that there are non economists doing important work in these areas and that may not be so obvious to non-academics.
  • debbinford57
    Great show
    Perfect timing love the show will definitely follow the podcast
  • Marcus517
    Some excellent episodes but becoming NPR
    Love the combination of medicine and economics and Bapu (hope I got that right) is easy to listen to. Episodes like the Marathon, Retirement and what docs say and do were excellent. But some of the recent ones are introducing political bias into his work. The one on gender bias is an example. At the risk of overly generalizing, it netted out to the disparity was due to women not selling themselves well and there's an institutional bias against them. The work of Dr. Goldin was mentioned but essentially ignored. If I'm remember this right, she found that 97% of the wage gap was due to women fairly or unfailry needing more work flexibility than men. So, they might need more time off for children or a job that required fewer hours. She was mentioned, but the work dismissed with "we controlled for all that" (not a direct quote, but I think accurate). That women need more flexibility was the entire argument for the pay gap. How can you not address this and go right to women are persecuted. Also, you brought on a guest who was clearly an advocate for all forms of diversity; that's her job. So, don't pretend she's objective. There are other examples, though much more subtle and usually only short comments. I don't need another NPR podcast that twists the data or selectively picks the data that supports their side. Actually, no one does as science itself is now losing credibility as it's being viewed as a tool of one side. Please go back to being an objective economist and doctor, and stay away from advocacy. There are a gazillion shows that already are doing this. If there are arguments that don't support what you believe, tell them, kill them with what you know, but don't become just another tool of either side.
  • PatonC
    So informative
    Thank you for breaking down these issues to make them understandable. I love this show. Bapu’s delivery and explanation is so easy to listen to.
  • Mike668855
    Another NPR show that constantly talks about Covid
    I listen to a lot of NPR shows and I really appreciate everyone and all the hard work. After listening to 15 episodes I am choosing to take a break. The show has a ton of potential but lacks nuance. With some episode topic diversity and creativity I think it can be really great but for now it is not interesting to me… it feels like every episode mentions covid and I’m completely tapped out on that topic
  • FrannyMV
    The Perfect Show For Those Seeking To Be Informed
    Freakonomics MD is the show for anyone looking to expand their knowledge base and find solace in a time of misinformation. Dr Bapu Jena is as delightful to listen to as the brilliant guests he has on the show.
  • Buddy Handsome
    Not in-depth
    Great host, interesting topics, only knocks the dust off of the cover.
  • brain2trust
    Why are we hearing from the NIH? Fauci leads it. He’s a pathological liar. And they admit to funding risky virus research in Wuhan. Hmmmm. Freakonomics has tried to branch out and it’s a been a failure. Levitt is decent.
  • BonusDad
    Worthy Appellation of “Freakonomics”
    If ever there were a profession socially elevated beyond its objective performance it is medicine—at least as practiced (the perfect verb for this service) in the United States. Dubner and Levitt have for years nibbled around the edges of this cultural flaw. Now they have called in an insider to reflect upon the profession with data and insight Bapu presents dispassionately but energetically like an economist who has studied his own field of medicine through a critical, rather than self-serving, lens. Guys: Bring on next an educator to take on the failed public school system with the same fact-based verve.
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