Pair of podcasts highlights School of Medicine experiences

Tulane School of Medicine has launched two new podcasts that illustrate different facets of the medical experience. A student-run podcast examines ways of engendering “open-hearted” medicine, and a biotech podcast brings listeners innovative new conversations from the entire Gulf Coast region.

The Open-Hearted MD

The “Open-Hearted MD” podcast features a rotating lineup of students and guest mentors, and the conversations will explore topics including mindfulness, gratitude and how to bring improvisation and humor into the medical practice. Difficult aspects of being a physician will be covered as well, such as confronting death and dying and physician burnout.

“Think of a physician who made you feel at ease,” said podcast host Rebekah Byrne, MD, MPH, an adjunct professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. “Now ask yourself: What qualities did this person embody: Presence, deep listening, compassion?” These are the qualities of an “open” heart.

“We bring the curious-student perspective – the beginner’s mind – to the wisdom of the experienced mentor in hopes that everyone, from the pre-med student to the seasoned physician alike, will find benefit” from an open-hearted discussion, Byrne said. “We aim to ask the hard questions, get vulnerable, and ground ourselves in skills that allow us to better care for our patients and ourselves.”

The idea for the podcast took shape after Byrne and a group of medical students traveled to India to work with Tibetan refugees. The students met with the Dalai Lama, who told them smiling and kindness are important qualities of being a good doctor.

The podcast website includes key takeaways from each episode, suggestions for further reading and reflection questions. The goal is to develop an educational tool that complements medical school curriculum. (Write to for more information.)

“We hope that listeners find these conversations as inspiring as we do,” said Byrne. “We want to engage people around ideas of building community and sharing in the practice of being an open-hearted MD.”

The podcast features original music written and performed by 2022 School of Medicine graduate Timothy Knowlton.

Subscribe to “The Open-Hearted MD” on all major podcast platforms, and find out more about the podcast here.

Bio from the Bayou

Bio from the Bayou” is a new Tulane podcast produced in collaboration with LSU Health New Orleans, bringing listeners biotech conversations from the entire Gulf Coast region.

The podcast’s first episode is co-hosted by James Zanewicz of Tulane University and Patrick Reed of LSU Health New Orleans.

“To effectively partner with industry and investors, it is important that universities begin to present research, tools, experts and assets the way they” — industry and investors — “want to receive it. By employing a mindset of complete connectivity, we ensure that we are speaking the same language and adapting at the speed of business,” said Zanewicz, whose corporate skills helped launch the School of Medicine’s unique business development efforts toward bringing promising technologies to market.

Reed believes that traditional academic tech transfer can be a very passive activity, even when done well.

“Often, our offices must wait at the bottom of the research funnel for innovation to result,” said Reed. “By bringing business development and proactive partnering into the mix, I have an opportunity to grow the top of the funnel by bringing in additional collaborations and partnerships that maximize translational research activities.”

Bio from the Bayou will release clusters of short episodes around key bio industry events such as BIOJPM HealthCare WeekBioNetwork West and AUTM. Join the conversation by listening to podcast here.