Hosted by acclaimed journalist and health researcher Dr Ray Moynihan, The Recommended Dose tackles the big questions in health and explores the insights, evidence and ideas of extraordinary researchers, thinkers, writers and health professionals from around the globe.
Listen in below or find us wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts...
EPISODE 8: JULIAN ELLIOTT
Lead for Evidence Systems at Cochrane & Head of Clinical Research in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Alfred Hospital and Monash University
Ray’s guest this week is Julian Elliott - the well-travelled Australian doctor, researcher and big picture thinker who aims to use new technology to radically improve health systems and access to evidence for people around the world – whether they’re in high or low income countries.
Julian is something of a futurist. So at a time when all kinds of websites, apps and wearable devices are ingesting our health and personal data, Ray asks him what the consequences of this ever increasing deluge of data might be. Should we be concerned about how our personal data will be used or hopeful about the promise all this new information holds for understanding and improving human health?
Julian also shares his insights from his early work as a doctor in the Northern Territory and as a HIV specialist in Cambodia. He explains how these experiences continue to inspire his work to bring people, processes and technology together to realise better global health.
EPISODE 7: SARAH MOSS
Acclaimed British novelist
Hailed as one of the best British novelists writing today, Sarah Moss is our very special literary guest on TRD this week. She joins Ray to explore the intersection between fiction and health, and to talk about the doctors, patients, parents and families she portrays so vividly in her five highly acclaimed novels.
The role of the writer, Sarah says, is to ‘ask hard questions beautifully’. She certainly does this through her own exploration of individual lives and struggles within clearly defined social structures past and present. From the first female doctors to forge careers against incredible odds in the 19th century to the challenges of working mums and stay-at-home dads in the 21st century - the terrain she covers is immense.
Here she talks to Ray about the research and reflection that goes into illuminating both historical and contemporary medical worlds that share common themes and raise critical questions about the way we live today. Her comments on the British National Health Service (the NHS) are timely and heart-felt.
She also shares her thoughts on the diverse origins of her storylines, which include both her personal experiences of early motherhood and her political response to news reports from warzones around the globe.
Sarah’s novels include The Tidal Zone (Granta 2016), Signs for Lost Children (Granta 2015), Bodies of Light (Granta 2014), Night Waking (Granta 2011) and Cold Earth (Granta 2009). She also published a non-fiction book called Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland (Granta 2012), which explores her experiences as a resident of Reykjavik.
Image: courtesy of the University of Warwick
EPISODE 6: PRATHAP THARYAN
Psychiatrist and Director of Cochrane South Asia
Psychiatrist and would-be international DJ Prathap Tharyan joins Ray from his home in India this week to explore a fascinating fraction of his work, life and philosophy.
Prathap’s wide-ranging agenda reflects a decidedly down-to-earth and original take on understanding and improving the human condition. Be it tending to victims of the Boxing Day tsunami, ensuring humanistic care for the homeless or working with Wikipedia to get better health information to millions around the globe – people and evidence are always at the very centre of his many and varied activities.
Prathap is a leading advocate for evidence-based approaches in Asia, and his work with people in the midst of humanitarian crises has consistently shown that good intentions are no substitute for good evidence.
EPISODE 5: PAUL GLASZIOU
Professor of Evidence Based Medicine, Bond University
Paul Glasziou (aka The Surfing Professor) joins Ray this week to share insights from his stellar career as both a family doctor in Brisbane and a global evidence guru at Oxford and Bond Universities. He explores big picture health issues like overdiagnosis, overtreatment and the implications of genomic testing, alongside important questions for our everyday health - like how you can find and use evidence and put it to good use when visiting or choosing your own doctor or specialist.
At one point Ray braves a chilly Gold Coast beach at the crack of dawn to find Paul and his close colleague/best surfing buddy Professor Chris Del Mar catching waves, spotting whales and agreeing that fun is actually a surprisingly essential part of serious research work.
EPISODE 4: JIMMY VOLMINK
Professor of Epidemiology, Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University, South Africa & Founding Director of Cochrane South Africa
This week Professor Jimmy Volmink joins Ray to trace an extraordinary personal and professional journey that defied the odds. From his childhood with little educational opportunity in apartheid South Africa to a stellar international research career, he shares the critical moments, chance meetings and inspiring influences that have shaped his life and work.
Jimmy's journey reflects the incredible social, political and human rights struggles of twentieth century South Africa. His current role at Stellenbosch - one of South Africa’s most pre-eminent universities - is itself a striking testament to the kind of change he has witnessed, worked towards and continues to advocate for. When he applied to study at Stellenbosch back in the 1980s, Jimmy was turned down because he was black. Almost four decades later, he holds the prestigious position of Dean of Medicine and Health Sciences at that very same university. Here, Jimmy shares with Ray how this and many other formative experiences have led to his lifelong, unwavering commitment to support and mentor new generations of students in South Africa, and to keep on 'banging the drum about inequality' to affect real change.
EPISODE 3: LISA BERO
Global authority on industry influence in science & former Cochrane Co-Chair
This week Ray catches up with Professor Lisa Bero - one of the world’s leading experts on industry influence on science. Her groundbreaking research continues to show how the tactics of big tobacco, big pharma and increasingly the food industry influence the decisions of health professionals and distort research findings.
Lisa’s current work looks at how private companies are now influencing public health in areas like obesity. Late last year, it was discovered that her research was being secretly ‘monitored’ by Coca-Cola. Here she talks to Ray about this revelation and various attempts by both the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries to undermine her research over the years. While it has never hampered her work, she is concerned about the chilling effect these kinds of antics might have on younger researchers today.
Lisa also shares her thoughts on leaving California to become a fully-fledged, ocean-swimming Sydneysider, who finds daily inspiration in the story of Charles Perkins – the first Aboriginal graduate of The University of Sydney. She also reflects on her role heading up the global Cochrane research network and highlights the importance of health evidence that’s free from conflicts of interest or commercial influence of any kind. For more information about Lisa and links to her work, see our shownotes.
EPISODE 2: ALLEN FRANCES
Leading US psychiatrist and author of Twilight of American Sanity
Described as one of world's most prominent psychiatrists, Dr Allen Frances recently made the controversial claim that 'Donald Trump isn't mad, we are'. In this episode, he shares the thinking behind this now infamous statement that attracted both praise and condemnation from mental health professionals and media around the globe.
He also talks to Ray about the influential psychiatric manual of mental disorders, the DSM-5. Once a major author of the manual, now he's become one of its loudest critics - claiming that ever-expanding disease and disorder definitions are turning more and more of our ordinary lives into mental illness.
EPISODE 1: FIONA GODLEE
Editor-in-Chief, The BMJ
Who better to kick off a series on all things health and evidence than the exceptional and erudite Editor-in-Chief of The BMJ, Dr Fiona Godlee.
In this episode, Fiona chats to Ray about the BMJ's ongoing and often controversial campaigns to change medicine - and broader society - for the better. She also looks to a future that addresses the distorting influence of industry funding on health evidence and outcomes, and let's us in on what drives and inspires her to achieve so much in her influential role at the helm of one of the world's oldest, most popular and prestigious journals.
THE EXPLAINER EP
Why listen to The Recommended Dose?
This super-quick mini-episode offers a snapshot of what we're all about...
A little more about us...
Ray is a man with many hats - all of them very impressive... Currently a Senior Research Fellow at Bond University’s Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice, and an NHMRC Early Career Fellow, he is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster and author.
Ray spent plenty of time as a producer at the ABC’s flagship investigative TV program Four Corners, as a reporter at the ABC TV’s 7:30 Report and as a presenter on Radio National. He’s written 4 books on the business of medicine, including Selling Sickness, which has been translated into 12 languages. He's also a former Harkness fellow at Harvard University, has been a columnist with the BMJ and the Medical Journal of Australia, and has also had original research published in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, PLOS Medicine and the British Medical Journal - to name a few. Regularly interviewed by media globally, and invited to speak around the world, Ray has a long-time interest in the evidence-informed approach and the work of Cochrane.
The TRD Team
The Recommended Dose is produced in Melbourne by Cochrane Australia's Shauna Hurley, with much excellent help from our team of editors Jan Muths, Liam Blake, Tim Morizet and Ben Griggs.
For more details or to suggest a guest for the show, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org