As a fieldwork student or new grad, it can be overwhelming when you realize how much there still is to learn, particularly in an ever-changing and expanding field like health care. Without PowerPoint slides to study or a professor’s lecture to listen to, it’s hard to know where or how to even begin.
Previously, we’ve always suggested staying connected on social media or with blogs and websites. But it turns out that there is a thriving community creating occupational therapy podcasts!
Whether it’s during your next commute while cleaning your apartment or during a much-needed self-care run, this free and easily-accessible routine modification opens up endless opportunities for continued OT education on the go.
Listening Hack: For longer episodes, I often increase the playback rate to 1.5x in order to get through the episode in one car ride and to keep my wandering mind focused
Time to get started!
If you are using your computer, you can use iTunes. Simply open up iTunes and in the top left corner, click what might say “music” and scroll down to “podcasts.”
Using your phone? You can use the Podcasts app on your iPhone.
Stitcher is a website and app, and it's fun to use. You can sort by topics and subjects using #hashtags.
While there aren’t tons of OT-specific podcasts out there, podcasts exist all over the internet and you might be surprised to see how much content is relevant to our field.
Next time you find yourself feeling curious, or just bored with the Top 100 on your commute, try listening to a podcast. Down below, you’ll see some of our favorite channels. While some aren’t OT-specific, you will find plenty of content relevant to you, both inside and outside the clinic walls. Keeping in mind that podcast preferences are unique, here are some suggestions to get you started:
The Glass Half Full
Jessica and Natalie bring a positive outlook to OT and their clients’ conditions. They are strong advocates for the profession, hoping to spread the word of how important occupations are to individuals. While they have a strong emphasis on neurological disorders, their podcasts cover a wide variety of occupational therapy topics.
Brock Cook has started a new podcast dedicated specifically to occupation. With a fantastic radio voice and an Australian accent, Brock makes you feel like you are sitting across the table from him. He interviews OTs from around the world to discuss and explore what occupational therapy looks like in different regions, settings, and countries. Be sure to tune in to this OT podcast because Occupied is definitely up and coming.
My favorite part of this OT podcast from FOX is that it is run by OTs, for OTs. They are able to share some great insight into working in geriatrics including everything from intervention ideas to getting board certified. They also shine some light on how their business works on doing home health and billing Medicare B. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait for FOX Rehab to start up in my area!
Mandy Chamberlain is changing the game for occupational therapists working with older adults. She has an endless supply of resources for interventions and activities for geriatric rehab. You can see this extend to her podcasts as she interviews clinicians and academics from across the profession. Be sure to subscribe and good luck listening to all her content. She has A LOT.
That’s right! Your favorite professional organization is broadcasting straight to your device. Actually, they have several different podcasts you can check out. These are a must for anyone looking at OT podcasts. Why not? It’s the info you want, straight from the horse’s mouth! Given that Living Life to Its Fullest is produced with OT “consumers” in mind, this could even be used as a patient-education tool when appropriate. However, they aren’t very recent or updated.
Milestones: A Child Development Podcast
Allison Carter hosts this podcast that goes in-depth on Sensory Processing, Child Development, and other topics for children with special needs. An OT with over 15 years of experience, Allison does a wonderful job of detailing various areas of child development and other general information. Topics from Early Intervention to various areas of Sensory Processing and Sensory integration are all covered. Definitely a must-listen for those who serve this patient population.
wiredON Development Interviews
As another great option for the rising pediatric clinician, this channel hosts high-energy interviews with clinicians from around the world to explore various issues and treatments used in the pediatric setting.
On The Air
Easily one of the most active and high-quality occupational therapy podcasts out there. Stephanie Lancaster is producing a new episode consistently every 1-2 weeks. If you look at her extensive list of episodes, you’ll see some familiar names and faces (and voices) as well as new content creators and sharers.
You have two great options with TED; there are the classic TED Talks and there’s also TED Radio Hour.
While not a podcast, TED talks are amazing to listen to and watch. Sarah at OT Potential put together an awesome list of talks that are relevant to occupational therapy. You can even learn more about OT and social media superstar, Bill Wong. He’s been known to talk at quite a few TED talks. Here is my favorite TED talk given by an OT. Everything Holly Cohen says resonates with occupational therapy, and it is really cool to see an OT on the big stage!
TED Radio Hour takes on the same concept of TED Talks of sharing inspiring messages, wise insights, and experts’ opinions but in a solely audio format.
Occupational Therapy Insights
“What is occupational therapy?” A question we hear all too often. Frederick Covington and Occupational Therapy Insights is an educational series for parents, educators, and therapists that delves deep into the world of occupational therapy and breaks it down into a form that everyone can understand.
Lifestyle By Design
Lifestyle By Design is a series of interviews created by THE Karen Jacobs. She takes an interesting approach and interviews clients and recipients of occupational therapy to learn how they overcome the challenges of every day. This series is relatively new and Karen Jacobs is a busy woman so be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss her awesome work.
Trojans Talk OT
A podcast from USC that is on again, off again. The few episodes they have are excellent! They focus on everything occupational therapy, including entertaining practitioners, researchers, students, and friends.
The Medical Nomads
Dylan is a physical therapist who does a fantastic job educating and advocating for all healthcare professionals who are traveling or thinking about traveling. His website is great and he actually records his podcasts on Youtube as well so you can watch as well. He even puts in time stamps so you can hop around the video in an organized manner. This is definitely a go-to resource if you are thinking about traveling as a new grad OT.
Now, this podcast isn’t created by OTs, nor does it even reference occupational therapy specifically; however, it’s included because you will find a lot of the content here will pique your interest as an occupational therapist. The 99% Invisible covers everything from history to sounds, to cities. But they also include conversations on architecture and curb cuts and the design of products such as cans and holding cylindrical objects. Sound familiar?
RUSK Insights on Rehabilitation Medicine
Dr. Tom Elwood hosts interviews with top professionals in the field of rehabilitation, including those from the Rusk Institute at New York University’s Langone Medical Center and other world-renowned facilities. He covers the whole range of related topics, from “Samantha Muscato: Covering a Broad Range of Occupational Therapy Approaches” to “Dr. John Dodson: Exploring Geriatric Cardiology – Parts I & II.”
RehabCast: The Rehabilitation Medicine Update
Produced by the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (the official journal of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine – ACRM) and hosted by Dr. Ford Fox, this podcast features in-depth interviews with the authors of published journal articles as well as relevant news briefings. Just reading some titles, like “Spinal Cord Injury Urinary Health, Falling Class and MoCa’s New Fame” and “Brain Injury, Guns, & D.C.; Neuromuscular electrical stim done right” might get you interested.
The Voice of the Patient
Founded by Dave Reed, a physical therapist, this podcast seeks to fulfill his mission, “to change lives, that is, to improve the quality of the lives we touch by improving healthcare through not only hearing but truly listening to the voice of the patient.” Listening helps to remind us that no matter what our productivity requirements or payer expectations are, the patient is our purpose.
Kessler Foundation Disability Rehabilitation Research and Employment
As an organization dedicated to both rehabilitation research and the promotion of employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, we have a lot to learn from the Kessler Foundation. These podcasts give you an all-access pass to amazing opportunities like grand rounds and professional lectures, all from the comfort of your pajamas.
Shepherd Center Radio
People come from around the globe to be treated at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Not only do they provide high-quality medical treatment and rehabilitation, they are also performing and publishing new research on a daily basis - some of which we learn about through their radio podcast.
Institute on Disability and Public Policy Podcasts
While not specifically focused on occupational therapy or rehabilitation, The Institute on Disability and Public Policy exposes us to crucial knowledge and understanding regarding the experiences, history and political issues affecting the daily lives of our patients.
Ouch: Disability Talk
Rather than solely focusing on data, facts, or history, this BBC Radio podcast uses a personal and sometimes-humorous approach to challenging issues surrounding disability and access. How could it be boring with topics like “How do you learn to trapeze if you’re blind?” and “Using chopsticks with your toes?”
Disability Now - The Download
What do you get when you combine a podcast presenter (Paul Carter), a business coach (Robin Hindle-Fisher), and a disability consultant (Phil Friend)? A very interesting conversation. Listen to Disability Now for inspiring, informative, and sometimes troubling interviews about the realities of people with disabilities in a majority able-bodied community.
But which occupational therapy podcast should you start with?!
Here’s my advice: Pick one that sounds interesting and give it a try. If it doesn’t suit you, try a different one! There are too many high-quality podcasts out there to waste time feeling bored. If you find success, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to add your suggestions to the list.