Stories from the history and future of health care

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Latest Episodes!

Birthing babies. Teaching new parents. Just how scientifically real “mom brain” is and the physiological transition into motherhood. Listen now to the neonatal nerdout with certified birth educator and doula, Sarah Suhrstedt.

Dr. Zahir Basrai returns to Head-to-Toe to share a tale about his medical training colliding with hiking in the Peruvia jungle.

As promised, here is the special Nurses Week Podcast! It includes four shout out voicemails left on the podcast feedback line this week. It's a short episode! But it carries lots of love. It also might feature a distinguished former President...have a listen!

“You are what your baby needs, not your breast milk,” “Before I only had anxiety and now, I have confidence,” “What your patients need is you. It’s YOU.” “But here’s the thing about medicine. Anything you choose is going to become routine, eventually, and so you have to look for the thing where you get something more.” —and other quotes about the absolute insanity of raising healthy children by today’s standards. Please enjoy my conversation with pediatrician and writer Alison Escalante, MD about the genesis of her career from history major to med school to TEDx speaker, with advice for new parents and new pediatrics practitioners alike.

“Our stories are sacred.” Spotlight on Anne Richardson, a certified chaplain, spiritual director, labyrinth facilitator, and poet with years of experience in spiritual care. Listen for an in-depth discussion on Anne’s own journey and the role of spirituality in healthcare. Bonus: Poem at the end!

Lost seals, anti-vaxxers, and measles, oh my! Guestless, Marie discusses the current buzz in healthcare news, reads listener thoughts on patients leaving AMA, and shares her current suggestions on things you should read / listen to / watch / and donate to.

3rd Annual "Best Stories 2018" podcast went live December 31st, 2018! Episode 2/2 "Changing the Status Quo" features six healthcare professionals sharing their best tales from the year gone by: Mary Chiesa Founder of Saplacor, Patrice Little Found of NP Student Magazine, Andrew Craig RN writer of Traveler Talk, and Amelia Roberts RN Care Coordinator.

3rd Annual "Best Stories 2018" podcast went Dec.31st,2018! Listen to episode 1/2 "Pride and Joy" where five healthcare professionals share their best tales from the year gone by: Denetra Hampton, Dr. Bobby Mansouri, Amanda Jones, and Dr. Emily Letran.

Jeff Powers, of "The NP Dude" podcast, sheds light on some of the legal challenges facing APRNs and RNs everywhere. As a lawyer and nurse practitioner, avail yourself of this FREE legal advice! Listen now and check out Jeff's podcast at

Dean Hall swam the 184-mile Willamette River with active leukemia—and then, his cancer was gone. No chemo. Just the power of purpose. Listen to our discussion about his astounding recovery, overcoming trauma, patient experience, and making the extraordinary possible.

Spotlight on Dr. Dan Magdziarz and his five pearls of wisdom from twenty years inside the E.R. oyster.

From tank jockeys to ECMO pumps, Marie attempts to give RTs the spotlight they deserve. Special guests Chris Webb, RRT and Jon Inkrott, RRT, RRT-AACS, flight respiratory therapist.

Five 2018 graduates discuss their achievements and feelings on their futures in medicine and healthcare.

Jorge gives us the low down on how he got in drawing comics and how that translated to mixing medicine and art. We discuss the smashing together of seemingly unrelated fields, and how big our professional crushes on ZDoggMD are. “Don’t be afraid to be judged by your peers just because you’re presenting information in a different way.”

From smoking in hospital breakrooms, to echocardiograms on neonates, to robots and holograms, to a coffee date in a hospital cafeteria that lead to over 40 years of marriage. Warning: Swooning may occur.

A photography idea turns into multi-generational portraits and therapeutic storytelling with families going through terminal dementia. Career Profile with Carmen Buck, NP, photographer: “In truth they’re just beautiful stories of inspiration…thirteen really unique messages.”

Nina Ng, RN nurse administrator and wellness consultant for volunteers, enlightens us on what managing trauma is like in war-torn Middle Eastern cities.

Chief complaint: refractory hiccups. Praise for preceptors. Finding the medical zebras. And choosing life over all your limbs. Jonathan Tan, RN turned PA, shares stories from the provider side of ICU, ER, and the urgent care world.

Baptized in blood, and here's another chart. Welcome to the E.R. Dr. Zahir Basrai shares a story from his early days in emergency medicine. Weak stomach-ed persons be forewarned.

Career Profile: Eileen Anderson, retired RN. Decades of ICU nursing, how to treat poison ivy, Reiki, and chasing Laura Ingalls Wilder in her retirement.

“I can really harness this energy and use it for good.” Spotlight on Angela Simpson, national director and founder of Silent No More Foundation.

Opening an innovative hospital unit. Speaking at the Smithsonian. Finding restitution for cancer victims. Supporting medical students in the Third World. Launching a national foundation. Publishing a book. Starting a podcast. Seven professionals discuss highlights from their healthcare work in 2017.

Life altering chocolate. Busking at the bedside. Facing racism over coffee. Dying with dignity. Tiny victories when the system works against you. And using the Force. Get ready to experience a range of emotions from 7 professionals’ BEST STORIES of the year.

Episode 12 - Violence in the Workplace: "I'm sorry, we don't do brain transplants." Wanting the impossible, balancing customer service with safe patient care, and worrying about how you'll clock out unscathed. Special episode with MOAB President and CEO Mike O'Malley, veteran nurse Sharona, and host Marie MacMillan.

Episode 11: "There are no boundaries to the human condition." A personal history in nursing - Linda Sorensen, RN Patient names have been "bleeped" in order to protect patient privacy in accordance with HIPPA.

Special 1st birthday episode including a healthcare news roundup, March for Science, and Nelly's chart topper. Hearing Myself Talk Vol. 2!

Drugs, FDA, and “Viagra the Musical” – I learned so much from Jean Masonek. If you give drugs, take drugs, prepare or prescribe drugs, are interested in pharmaceuticals at all this whole episode is soooo worth a listen.

Interview with 86-year-old Pat Petersen, lifelong Oregonian and retired registered nurse. She talks to me about her schooling, working while having a family, leading support groups for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients, and volunteering with hospice by providing respite care in the home. She is a wonderful woman who loves to talk and I’m so honored she shared her life story with me.

Beth Reid has more than 40 years of nursing history to speak from. Graduating from school in 1954 and retiring from the profession in 1995 - she gives us a glimpse into decades of change and personal memories from the frontline of modern healthcare. She reflects on what she would change and what is changing. "God is here; give hime your chair" is only a taste! Listen to the whole episode for more.

Best Stories 2016! Peanut butter sandwiches, hospital pillows, baseball, and knowing it’s worth it.

Convention bound!

Episode 4 - Guest-less, I share some of my own thoughts and stories.

Your IQ will go up listening to this one.

Check out Episode 2!

Podcast is live!

Here's a quick intro

Looking for podcast guests! 

Experienced medical professionals (RN, RT, CNA, techs, therapists, physicians, ethicists, administrators, etc) willing to sit down for less than an hour and talk about their personal history in medicine, share a patient story that has stuck with them, what has kept them in healthcare, how they would change the system, and more. Email me at if you're interested in joining me! 

Have a crazy patient story? Not your every day run-of-the mill mediocre stories, I mean the most ridiculous memorable patient story you got. That one you repeat at staff barbecues and laugh at in the locker room until you cry. I'm thinking of a special *Not Your Best Day At Work* compilation episode. HIPPA-fied of course. Email me! if you think you got something juicy enough!

*Thanks to the folks at Echo Audio and Sweetwater for helping me get started!*