The Recommended Dose Explainer Episode Transcript


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Ray Moynihan: Yeah, g'day, my name's Ray Moynihan and what we have here is a very brief introduction to The Recommended Dose. The Recommended Dose is a new podcast designed to promote a more questioning approach to healthcare. Each episode features a conversation with an internationally known thinker, exploring some of the big questions and controversies in health and medicine. 

On The Recommended Dose, you won't hear the normal promotional hype about the latest breakthroughs, but you will hear respected voices celebrating scientific evidence and how you can find it, and telling the stories of their lives and work. The first episode is with Dr Fiona Godlee, the Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal, or BMJ. 

One of the oldest and most respected and influential journals in the world. Fiona will tell us how closely looking at the evidence can radically change the way you think about healthcare, and how she likes to stir up some big hornets nests. And I know you're going to love listening to her.

Fiona Godlee: I think I'm one of those people who'd rather not take pills if I don't have to. I'd rather not see doctors if I don't have to, so that's my bias.

Ray Moynihan: But first things first. Who am I, and who's funding this series of podcasts? Well, I'm Ray Moynihan, a health researcher and journalist. I've been lucky enough to study at Harvard, publish in the world's leading journals. Write acclaimed books on the business of medicine, and work at Australia's leading investigative television and radio programs. I recently won a fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council, and I'm based at Bond University.

Now in this ocean of fake news we now all find ourselves swimming in, I'm confident you'll come to trust The Recommended Dose, as it's funded by one of the most credible and reliable healthcare groups on the planet. A group called Cochrane. 

Cochrane's an independent not for profit, involving collaboration of more than 37,000 people across 130 countries. Producing summaries of the best evidence about what works, and what doesn't in healthcare. The idea for this podcast came from Cochrane Australia's Shauna Hurley.

Shauna Hurley: Thanks, Ray. Well Cochrane's main aim is to provide people around the world with the evidence they need to make informed health decisions. And in a nutshell, that's what we want to do here on The Recommended Dose. So, each week we'll share the perspectives of some of the world's leading health researchers, writers and thinkers.

We're hoping you'll find these conversations useful and compelling. Whether you work in the world of health, or more especially if you're not a health insider at all. Because ultimately, we want to open the world of evidence up to everyone. You can find out more about Cochrane online at, but for now, it's back to you Ray for series one of The Recommended Dose. We hope you enjoy it.

Ray Moynihan: While this podcast is not about Cochrane, we will be hearing from some of the extended family of Cochrane researchers around the world. One of the early episodes is a conversation with Professor Jimmy Volmink, who helped set up Cochrane in Africa. Jimmy was a child of apartheid in South Africa. And now he's Dean of one of the country's most prestigious medical schools.

Jimmy Volmink: The first time I encountered a white person was probably in the form of a policeman, and the first time I really could say that I had a friend who was white, was when I was in my twenties. 

Ray Moynihan: Another of my favourite episodes of The Recommended Dose, coming soon, is my conversation with the controversial Allen Frances. One of the world's highest profile psychiatrists and now a major critic of what he sees as medicalisation out of control. The way psychiatry is turning more and more of ordinary life into mental illness.

Allen Frances: So, in general, we've taken every day experiences that are part of the human condition and we're over diagnosing them as mental disorder, and way too often providing a pill when there's not really a pill solution for every problem in life.

Ray Moynihan: We're very pleased to be launching this new podcast, The Recommended Dose, promoting a healthy questioning in healthcare. We trust you'll enjoy the conversations.

November 2017