Cutting Through Medical Myths: Sawbones Podcast Review

Sawbones Cover

The Sawbones Podcast offers is a lively exploration of medical myths and legends, with plenty of banter and laughter help to drive the point home. Each episode delves into one popular medical narrative and picks out substance from dross in a way that leaves the listener feeling informed and respected. Fascinating narratives include why it took so long for doctors to come around to obvious hygienic practices like hand washing and the story of Phineas Gage, the man who had a metal rod shot through his brain and lived to tell about it.

This 7-year old podcast offers a deep catalog of awesome episodes that doesn’t just poke fun at the horrible beliefs and medical practices of the past but also engages some of the contested cures of modern medicine. The presentation style has recently acquired a political subtext, which is difficult to get away from in a time when truth and knowledge are heavily sought after – and politicized. That said, each episode mostly feels like a friendly chat about an interesting medical topic, with lots of nostalgic pop culture references, and lots of common sense on how to tell opinion and snake oil from medical fact.

The Hosts: Dr. Sydnee McElroy and Justin McElroy are a husband-and-wife tag team with an interplay that moves from the expert view to the layman view, and uses humor to great effect. This is infotainment at its most whimsical — you’ll be glad you made acquaintance with the McElroys who are part of the family of comedic podcasters who have produced such side-splitters as My Brother, My Brother and Me, The Adventure Zone, Still Buffering, and more.

The Guests: There are no guests on this podcast.

Why You Have to Listen: There seems to be a firehose of information about healthcare out there, but very little understanding of the medical and scientific world. This podcast can help listeners make informed decisions about personal safety. It also makes a strong argument for why the scientific method is humanity’s most trustworthy means of achieving results that can be replicated. 

Must-Listen Episodes:  

Episode 318. Ignaz Semmelweis 

Episode 97. The Unkillable Phineas Gage

Episode 198. Eugenics

Rating: All Ages

Listen to Sawbones

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