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Social Medicine On Air

Social Medicine On Air

By Social Medicine On Air

Welcome to Social Medicine On Air, a podcast where we explore the field of social medicine with healthcare practitioners, activists, and researchers. We examine the deep causes of health and disease, and dream of a world of justice. We are: Jonas Attilus, Sebastian Fonseca, Raghav Goyal, Brendan Johnson, Leila Sabbagh, & Poetry Thomas. Funding for our podcast received from Global Social Medicine Network - King’s College London, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. Funds have been used for equipment and production costs, and funders have no influence over show content.
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28 | Glocalization: Mobilize Locally to Act Globally | Claudio Schuftan

Social Medicine On AirMay 06, 2022

28 | Glocalization: Mobilize Locally to Act Globally | Claudio Schuftan

28 | Glocalization: Mobilize Locally to Act Globally | Claudio Schuftan

Claudio Schuftan, MD joins us today to discuss how human rights problems today have solutions, but priorities are determined by politics. It includes a review of Salvador Allende and Latin American social medicine history, the People's Health Movement and International People's Health University, corporate capture of the World Health Organization, how decisions actually get made at the international level of health, the role of civil society actors, the right to health and how it is implemented, the role of economists and economics in maintaining hegemony, cultural relativism and human rights, the tension between the local and the global, mass mobilizations, the class background of medical trainees, popular participation in health, his own story of exile, and how to think and act globally and locally. 

Dr. Schuftan is a freelance public health consultant in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and an ex-adjunct associate professor in the Department of International Health at the Tulane School of Public Health in New Orleans, USA. He is a Chilean national and received his MD and pediatrics degree in his native country. Since 1975, he has been working on nutrition, primary health care and human rights issues in more than 50 countries the world over. From 1988-1995 he worked in Kenya. Since 1995, he lives in Vietnam and consults worldwide. He started working on human rights issues in the late 1990s and is the author of a fortnightly column, the Human Rights Reader. Most importantly, he is one of the founding members of the People’s Health Movement.

Recommended Resources: 

May 06, 202201:17:42
27 | Why American Medical Education Is So Bad | Beyond Flexner Alliance

27 | Why American Medical Education Is So Bad | Beyond Flexner Alliance

Isabel Chen and Jamar Slocum join us to discuss the history of American medical education and how its evolution has maintained injustice. They speak about prestige, research dollars, medical school rankings, race, admissions, wealth and power, health disparities, and the long shadow of the 1910 Flexner Report that laid the foundation of the current system. They also share how justice-informed movements like the Beyond Flexner Alliance are attempting to rattle the paradigm and recenter care, love, and justice as the ‘social mission’ of medicine.

Beyond Flexner Alliance (BFA) is a national movement, focused on health equity and training health professionals as agents of more equitable health care. This movement takes us beyond centuries-old conventions in health professions education to train providers prepared to build a system that is not only better, but fairer. The Beyond Flexner Alliance aims to promote social mission in health professions education by networking learners, teachers, community leaders, health policy makers and their organizations to advance equity in education, research, service, policy, and practice.

Beyond Flexner Conference 2022 (March 28-30, 2022), Phoenix AZ:

Isabel Chen MD MPH is a family medicine resident and Chief of Social Mission & Advocacy at the  Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. She is a staunch advocate  for social justice through the lens of health and medicine. She performs medical evaluations for asylum seekers in Southern California and is implementing a social determinants of health curriculum and patien  screening tool for Kaiser Permanente. She founded the Keep Safe Initiative, a grassroots organization that develops panic  alarms for sex-trade workers in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, and co-founded The Reading Bear Society, a citywide early education that promotes inner-city health and literacy. She has servedon multiple boards including at Yale, UNESCO, UBC, APHA, CAFP, and STFM. 

Jamar Slocum MD MBA MPH is a  clinical assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University (GW), where he practices hospital medicine and serves as faculty  for the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity and Beyond Flexner Alliance.  During the course of his career, he has combined his skills and experience in clinical medicine and public health to build a healthcare system that is based on equity and prevention. He is a former board member of the Tennessee Health Campaign, one of the leading non-profit advocacy  organizations working to ensure affordable and high quality health care for all Tennesseans. Jamar completed his residency training in internal  medicine at Brown University in Providence, RI and fellowship training in general preventive medicine at the Bloomberg School of Public Health  at Johns Hopkins.

Recommended Resources:

Mar 18, 202258:15
26 | Grounding Communication in Equity | Dr. Anne Marie Liebel

26 | Grounding Communication in Equity | Dr. Anne Marie Liebel

SMOA Survey:

In what ways do our personal biases seep into our conversations with others? How does the structure of our language impact the reception of the information we are trying to share? In the era of digital medicine and health misinformation, how can we ensure we are communicating effectively with our patients? Anne Marie Liebel attacks questions like these in today’s episode of SMOA.

Dr. Liebel is the president of Health Communication Partners LLC, the host of the “10 Minutes to Better Patient Communication” podcast series, and the administrator of She is writing a book about health literacy from a critical social perspective.

To learn more, check out:

What Counts as Literacy in Health Literacy: Applying the Autonomous and Ideological Models of Literacy

Oct 22, 202147:57
25 | Deep Medicine | Rupa Marya & Raj Patel

25 | Deep Medicine | Rupa Marya & Raj Patel

SMOA Survey:

Raj Patel and Rupa Marya join on this episode to draw the links between physical inflammation, injustice, decolonizing medicine, and the relationship between human and non-human flourishing. They discuss environmental racism, political economy and capitalism, the way that inflammation modulates social and biological health, reductive Enlightenment science, the need for decolonized care, and what deep healing looks like. Their new book is Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice (2021).

Raj Patel is an author, film-maker, activist, and academic. He is a Research Professor in the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin. He has degrees from the University of Oxford, the London School of  Economics and Cornell University, has worked for the World Bank and WTO,  and protested against them around the world. He is the author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System and The Value of Nothing, as well as co-author of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things. He co-directed the documentary The Ants & The Grasshopper.

Rupa Marya is a physician, activist, artist and writer who is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, the founder of the Do No Harm Coalition, and the founder and executive director of the Deep Medicine Circle,  a worker-directed nonprofit committed to healing the wounds of colonialism through food, medicine, story, learning and restoration. In addition to her work in medicine and writing, Rupa is also the composer and front-woman for Rupa and the April Fishes.

Animation Video (3:18) for Inflamed:

Video (28:28): Health and Justice: The Path of Liberation through Medicine (Rupa Marya):

Synopses of Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2021):

  • Prasad A, "Inflamed by Rupa Marya and Raj Patel review – Modern Medicine's Racial Divide," The Guardian (2021),
  • Jones S, "The Public Body: How Capitalism Made The World Sick," The Nation (2021),

(Disclaimer: at the request of the podcast, two free pre-print copies of the book were supplied by FSG in preparation for this episode)

Oct 06, 202154:24
Group Meditations: It Takes a Village
Aug 11, 202150:45
24 | Resisting Domestic, Market, and State Violence | Anna Mullany

24 | Resisting Domestic, Market, and State Violence | Anna Mullany

Content warning: today's episode discusses domestic violence.

We also appreciate your patience with this episode as we know it is a few weeks behind our usual schedule! Thank you all for your support.

Short SMOA listener story:

In this episode, Anna Mullany discusses the interrelationship between domestic abuse, capitalism and political economy, patriarchy, and the teaching of social medicine. She discusses the history of the anti-domestic violence movement, the violence of the state, the rise of the carceral state, and the 'social problem apparatus.' She also shares stories from students learning about structural violence and social medicine in the classroom. In combining the micro and macro, she points a way towards emancipation for all. 

Anna Mullany is  a 4th year doctoral student at the School of Public Health and Health  Sciences at the University of MA Amherst. The focus of her doctoral  work is on rural intimate partner violence and social services. Taking a political economic perspective, she looks at how the structural determinants of health determine people's wellbeing and daily lives within capitalism. She is committed to investigating how we create a truly equitable world in which health for all is a reality. She teaches courses on "Health Communication" and "Population Health and  Imperialism" to undergraduates in the Public Health Department at UMass Amherst. Additionally, she is on faculty with the Spark Teacher Education Institute in Brattleboro, VT. Prior to her doctoral studies  she worked for 6 years at the Women’s Freedom Center in Brattleboro, VT – a crisis center responding to intimate partner violence. Anna  also serves as a one of the hosts of Indigo Radio, a weekly radio show on the Brattleboro Community Radio Station WVEW, broadcasts of which focus on connecting local and global issues.

Recommended Resources:

  • Harvey M. How Do We Explain the Social, Political, and Economic Determinants  of Health? A Call for the Inclusion of Social Theories of Health  Inequality Within U.S.-Based Public Health Pedagogy. Pedagogy in Health Promotion. 2020;6(4):246-252.
  • Gimenez, M. Capitalism and the Oppression of Women: Marx Revisited. Science & Society, 2005;69(1), 11-32.
  • Waitzkin, H. "The Social Origins of Illness: A Neglected History" in The Second Sickness: Contradictions of Capitalist Health Care (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000).
  • Brown TM, Fee E. Rudolf Carl Virchow: medical scientist, social reformer, role model. Am J Public Health. 2006;96(12):2104-5.
  • Indigo Radio,
  • Spark Teacher Education,
Jul 28, 202158:49
23 | Good Systems Save Lives | Agnes Binagwaho

23 | Good Systems Save Lives | Agnes Binagwaho

Link to SMOA listener survey:

We're joined today by the incredible Agnes Binagwaho, who speaks with us about gender equity and religion before, during, and after the colonial era, the positive power of institutions like the University of Global Health Equity, the importance of teaching leadership and implementation science, and the importance of good systems in care for the most vulnerable. She talks about demystifying healthcare systems, explaining how Rwanda has seen some of the fastest declines in mortality in human history, the importance of human rights, and the importance of trust, accountability, and community (including community health workers). "Tell the truth!"

Agnes Binagwaho MD, M(Ped), PhD is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, the former Minister of Health of Rwanda and former Professor of Global Health Equity at UGHE. She also is a trained pediatrician, Senior Lecture at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a member of the US National Academy of Medicine and the African Academy of Sciences, and was Co-Chair of the UN task force on the Millennium Development Goals Project for HIV/AIDS and Access to Essential Medicines (among many, many other positions). 

Resources related to this episode:

  • A. Binagwaho "How Women are Revolutionizing Rwanda" (TED Talk, 2020),
  • A. Binagwaho "Lessons from Rwanda's Journey to an Equitable Health System" (TED Talk, 2017),
  • Farmer P E et al. Reduced premature mortality in Rwanda: lessons from success. BMJ 2013,
  • Binagwaho A et al. Rwanda 20 years on: investing in life. Lancet 2014,

Jun 09, 202152:51
Sunday Meditations: Trusting Transitions, Not Postponing Joy, and the Racialization of Wellness
May 31, 202159:52
22 | Nursing as Radical Solidarity During the Honduran Coup | Adrienne Pine
May 26, 202101:02:59
Sunday Morning Meditations: Gaslighting, Palestine, and the Politics of Self-Care

Sunday Morning Meditations: Gaslighting, Palestine, and the Politics of Self-Care

Hello SMOA family! We are trying something new! In addition to our bi-weekly podcast releases (which we attempt to keep evergreen and not overly current), we are going to try recording some sessions with just the SMOA team responding to the world. We begin with a guided meditation, then kinda just let the ramble ramble. Join us to hear Jonas talk about the double murder, Raghav quote a random book, and Poetry tell us why naps are a radical tool for social change!

If you guys like this format, please let us know. If not, also please let us know!

Grateful for all of you. Take care of yourselves. And take some naps!!

#GazaUnderFire -  #BlackLivesMatter - #FreePalestine

May 16, 202155:27
21 | Birthing Black Freedom: A Midwife Fighting Structural Racism and -isms | Jamarah Amani

21 | Birthing Black Freedom: A Midwife Fighting Structural Racism and -isms | Jamarah Amani

(Short Audience Survey:

Jamarah Amani (@jamarahAA) shares how her work and activism as a midwife fights racism and injustice. She shares her own birth story and ancestors, the racial violence in the history of birth in the United States, obstetric violence, the Birth Justice Bill of Rights, health disparities, community members as healthcare designers, being able to unapologetically be one's whole self, queer midwives and midwifery, incarceration, shackling, prison doulas, the ways in which social work can collude with the mass incarceration system, and how midwifery chose her. 

Jamarah Amani, LM is a community midwife building a movement for Birth Justice. A community organizer since the age of sixteen, she has locally, nationally, and globally worked on HIV prevention, maternal and infant mortality, and access to emergency contraception and midwifery care. She is currently the director of the Southern Birth Justice Network, and the National Black Midwives Alliance. Jamarah is the 2019 recipient of the Trailblazer Award from the City of Miami.

May 12, 202101:16:32
[unproduced audio] Liberation and Implementation on the Ground: HeaLTh 2021 Panel 3 with Phifer Nicholson, Eddy Eustache, Lanny Smith, Christophe Millien

[unproduced audio] Liberation and Implementation on the Ground: HeaLTh 2021 Panel 3 with Phifer Nicholson, Eddy Eustache, Lanny Smith, Christophe Millien

On April 10th, 2021, there was a student-led symposium on the topic of Health & Liberation Theologies (HeaLTh 2021).

This is the raw audio of Panel 3 of that event, on the topic of Health Systems,  Equity, & Theology, moderated by Phifer Nicholson and featuring Eddy  Eustache, Lanny Smith, and Christophe Millien.

Apr 11, 202150:29
Season 1 Finale: Lessons, Joys, and What's Next?

Season 1 Finale: Lessons, Joys, and What's Next?

Huge thanks to all our listeners for supporting us through a successful first season of Social Medicine On Air! 

Tune in to hear Jonas, Brendan, and Raghav chat about what they learned in the last year, and what they are working on next.

The team is hard at work on Season 2, with a whole new team of faces and personalities, and we absolutely cannot wait to share it all with you soon!!

PLEASE reach out to us with thoughts/questions/ideas/concerns, we would be so grateful to hear from you at

With gratitude to our amazing audience,

Jonas, Brendan, Raghav

Apr 07, 202121:38
20 | Indigenous Sovereignty In Health Systems | Cole Allick

20 | Indigenous Sovereignty In Health Systems | Cole Allick

Cole Allick joins us today to talk about tribal healthcare in the United States, how to pursue Indigenous sovereignty in health systems, and changing narratives about Indigenous life and history. He shares about the I-T-U (Indian Health Service, Tribally-run, and urban) system of healthcare delivery, Indigenous renaissance, underfunding and creativity in Indigenous healthcare systems, the implications of Tribal enrollment, North Dakota, Indigenous wisdom as a 'radical act' instead of as a 'radical Other,' the importance of Indigenous spaces, and democratically designing clinical spaces with Elders in mind.

Cole Allick MHA is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and is currently a PhD student in Indigenous Health at the University of North Dakota. He currently works with Washington Statue University as a Tribal Liaison and Outreach Coordinator at Partnerships for Native Health, working with WSU's medical school to create a rural, Tribal, and urban underserved Practice Based Research Network. He is passionate about Tribal sovereignty and healthcare delivery models across Indian Country.

His recommended resources:

  • Reclaiming Native Truth. 2018. "Changing the Narrative About Native Americans: A Guide For Allies." The rest of RNT's website also has helpful videos and resources.

  • Secaira, Manola. 2019. "Abigail Echo-Hawk on the Art and Science of 'Decolonizing Data'." Crosscut.
Mar 24, 202159:21
19 | Fenced In Chios: Refugee Health and the Cruelty of Deterrence | Apostolos Veizis

19 | Fenced In Chios: Refugee Health and the Cruelty of Deterrence | Apostolos Veizis

Apostolos Veizis (@AVeizis) offers a medical view from the frontlines of the ongoing refugee crisis, which as he explains, is not so much a "refugee crisis" as a crisis of logistics and lack of political will. We discuss the mental and physical health effects of life in overcrowded camps (in this case in the Greek islands), how these conditions are created and exacerbated by cruel policies of deterrence, the true drivers of mass migration from Syria and elsewhere, COVID in the camps, the 2016 EU-Turkey deal, and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as an example of a medical-humanitarian response to the crisis.

Apostolos Veizis MD is the former Director of Medical Operational Support Unit of MSF Greece, and is presently the Executive Director of INTERSOS in Greece. He had worked as Head of Mission and Medical Coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Médecins du Monde(MDM) in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, Albania, Egypt, Georgia, Greece, Turkey, and participated inassessment, emergency assignments and evaluations in Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, Zambia, Malawi, Uzbekistan, North Macedonia, Cyprus and Tajikistan. He actively participates in international and national medical congresses and contributes to the literature on refugee issues and health. 

Recommended Resources:

  • "Migration and Health: Medical and Humanitarian Assistance for People on the Move, MSF Experiences and Challenges" (2016, video),

  • "Apostolos Veizis: On the front line of the refugee and migrant crisis in Greece," WHO,

  • Veizis, A (2020). "Commentary: 'Leave No One Behind' and Access to Protection in the Greek Islands in the COVID‐19 Era," International Migration 58(3), 
Mar 10, 202154:23
18 | Dance, Healing, Justice | Shilpa Darivemula

18 | Dance, Healing, Justice | Shilpa Darivemula

Shilpa Darivemula discusses the connection between traditional dance, medicine, trauma, and healing. She explains the way that traditional dance allows renarration of identity, how classical Indian dance can tell non-traditional stories, how pairing medicine and dance addresses inequities, the danger of instrumentalizing art, and how medical environments can be seen as places of art. 

Shilpa Darivemula is a resident physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Creative Director of the Aseemkala Initiative. Shilpa began training in Kuchipudi at the age of 8 at the Academy of Kuchipudi  Dance and performed her solo debut recital—her Rangapravesham—in 2011 at the Kalanidhi Dance school. She continues to perform medical narratives, conduct research and address racial and social inequity in healthcare through her work with the Aseemkala Initiative.

Her recommended resources:

  • Shilpa Darivemula and Roshni Prakash, "Performing My First Caesarean: A Reflection on the Intersection of Dance and Surgery," The Intima,

  • Shilpa Darivemula (2020). "Addressing OB/GYN Care Access for Refugee Women Using Traditional Dance Exchanges," BMJ Medical Humanities Blog,

  • Mallika Sarabhai (2009). "Dance to Change the World," TEDIndia,

  • Kavita Ramdas (2009). "Radical Women, Embracing Tradition," TEDIndia,

  • Krieger, N (2005). "Embodiment: a conceptual glossary for epidemiology," J Epidemiol Community Health,

  • Alice Proujansky (2019). "The Black Midwives Changing Care for Women of Color (Photo Essay)," The Guardian,

  • "Spirit of Birth (film)," Working It Out Together: A Magazine for Contemporary,

Feb 24, 202159:23
17 | Two-Eyed Sight: Indigenous Science, Existence, and Planetary Health | Nicole Redvers

17 | Two-Eyed Sight: Indigenous Science, Existence, and Planetary Health | Nicole Redvers

Nicole Redvers (@DrNicoleRedvers) joins us to speak about Indigenous ways of knowing, the necessity for protecting Indigenous lands and ways of life, and the necessity for integration of traditional knowledge and Western science in the pursuit of human and planetary health. She discusses the need for truth-telling and reconciliation; how Indigenous communities have resisted colonialism, extraction, and exploitation across Turtle Island; and how reciprocal knowledge is a gift.

Dr. Nicole Redvers ND MPH is a member of the Deninu K’ue First Nation and has worked with various Indigenous patients and communities around the globe helping to bridge the gap between traditional and modern medical systems. She is co-founder and chair of the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation based in the Canadian North, winning a $1 million dollar prize for work with homeless and at-risk people in northern Canada. She is actively involved in international efforts ot include indigenous perspectives in planetary health and sustainable healthcare education (SHE), and sits on a number of national and international committees. Se is the author of The Science of the Sacred: Bridging Global Indigenous Medicine Systems and Modern Scientific Principles (North Atlantic Books, 2019) and is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota. 

Her recommended resources:

  • Redvers N, Schultz C, Prince MV, Cunningham M, Jones R (2020). "Indigenous perspectives on education for sustainable healthcare." Med. Teach.

  • Redvers, Nicole. The Science of the Sacred: Bridging Global Indigenous Medicine Systems and Modern Scientific Principles. North Atlantic Books, 2019.

  • Redvers N, Yellow Bird M, Quinn D, Yunkaporta T, Arabena K (2020). "Molecular Decolonization: An Indigenous Microcosm Perspective of  Planetary Health." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health.

Resources mentioned during the show:

  • Cultural Survival and the International Indian Treaty Council, "Respecting Our Traditional Science and Ways of Knowing: Indigenous Peoples’ Sovereignty, Lifeways, and Climate Change,”

  • Schaefer, Carol. Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for Our Planet. Trumpeter, 2006.
Feb 10, 202101:02:00
16 | Epistemic Violence, Coloniality, and Reparations | Eugene Richardson

16 | Epistemic Violence, Coloniality, and Reparations | Eugene Richardson

Eugene Richardson (@real_ironist) joins us to discuss how global public health continues to use colonial frameworks for understanding health and disease, including for COVID-19 and Ebola modeling, and the need for reparations for health equity. He discusses how desocialized statistics support an unjust status quo, and how better forms of knowing can lead towards a world of justice.

Eugene Richardson MD PhD is an infectious disease physician and anthropologist who previously served as the clinical lead for Partners In Health’s Ebola response in Kono District, Sierra Leone, and has worked with the WHO and Africa CDC coordinating infectious disease response. His research focuses on biosocial approaches to epidemic disease prevention, containment, and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa; as part of this effort, he is chair of the Lancet Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice. He recently released Epidemic Illusions: On the Coloniality of Global Public Health (MIT Press, 2020):

His recommended resources:

  • Schwab, Tim (2020). "Are Bill Gates’s Billions Distorting Public Health Data?", The Nation:

  • Mbembe, Achille (2008). "What is Postcolonial Thinking? An Interview with Achille Mbembe", Eurozine:

  • Richardson, Eugene (2020). "Colonizer, Interrupted", Democratic Left:

  • Vannini, Phillip (2008). "Critical Pragmatism," in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods, ed. Lisa M. Given:

Jan 27, 202156:15
BONUS: Osama Tanous on History, Zionism, and "Othering"

BONUS: Osama Tanous on History, Zionism, and "Othering"

Important content that didn't make it into the hour-long episode. Listen to Osama Tanous discuss the danger of "othering," the history of the idea of Zionism, the challenges of talking about Palestine, and more.
Jan 20, 202112:10
15 | The Long War: Settler Colonialism and Health in Israel-Palestine | Osama Tanous

15 | The Long War: Settler Colonialism and Health in Israel-Palestine | Osama Tanous

Osama Tanous joins us to speak of the medical impacts of life in the long occupation of Palestine. We discuss what 'settler colonialism' is, the challenge of apolitical 'humanitarian' approaches, the political-medical-historical-economic connection, and the way that Palestine exemplifies the medical effects of structural violence. 

Osama Tanous MD is a Palestinian pediatrician based in Haifa and is in the late stages of his Masters in Public Health from Tel Aviv University. He is currently a Fulbright Hubert Humphrey fellow in public health and health policies. Osama is a researcher for the Galilee society and a clinical instructor at the Technion. His research interests include structural violence, settler colonialism and health disparities.

Related Resources:

  • The Red Nation webinar, "Friday Night Forums 5: Palestine and the Blockade on Gaza w/ Osama Tanous, Noura Erakat & Ziad Abbas",

  • Jewish Voices for Peace's Health Advisory Council webinar with Osama Tanous,

  • Osama Tanous, "A New Episode of Erasure in the Settler Colony," Critical Times In the Midst (blog),

  • Osama Tanous, "Coronavirus outbreak in the time of apartheid," Al Jazeera,

  • Osama Tanous, "COVID-19: Health Disparities Put Palestinians inside Israel at Risk," Institute for Palestine Studies,

  • Osama Tanous, "When Pandemics Hit Militarized Urban Spaces," Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung,

Jan 13, 202101:06:38
14 | Mental Health, Individualism, and the Economy | "It's Not Just In Your Head"

14 | Mental Health, Individualism, and the Economy | "It's Not Just In Your Head"

Podcast crossover episode! 

Harriet and Max, hosts of the "It's Not Just In Your Head" podcast, join us today to discuss mental health, how capitalism accelerates inequality and social breakdown, and how most approaches to mental health care support neoliberal individualism. They explain the connection between personal and social liberation, our need for one another, the value and pitfalls of medication-based approaches, the need for a strong labor movement and organizing, and how mental health is inextricably bound to social conditions. 

"It's Not Just In Your Head" is a podcast with Harriet Fraad (@harrietfraad) and Max Golding, two mental health professionals who explore how our capitalist economic system impacts our emotional lives, from precarious housing and employment, to unaffordable healthcare, to endless debt -- it's not just  in your head! Dr. Harriet Fraad is a mental health counselor and activist in New York City with over 45 years of experience, who writes and speaks on the intersection of politics, economics, and personal life; her work can be found at Max Golding is a licenced marriage and family therapist from California who is interested in tenant and labor organizing, and connecting the struggle for mental health with other struggles for justice and liberation.

Their recommended resources:

  • Mark Fisher. (2009). Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? Winchester, UK: Zero Books.

  • Capitalism Hits Home (podcast) with Dr. Harriet Fraad & Julianna Forlano, link

  • Kate Pickett & Wilkinson, Richard. (2010). The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone. London: Penguin Books.

Dec 30, 202056:51
BONUS: Howard Waizkin Interviews Jonas and Brendan

BONUS: Howard Waizkin Interviews Jonas and Brendan

Curious about the hosts of the show? First, listen to Howard Waitzkin's episode from last week, then catch him here turning the tables on the hosts. We discuss our backgrounds, imposter syndrome, our paths to medicine, class, priviledge, accompaniment, spirituality, liberation theology, and the roots of social medicine in South America. 

Resources relating to this episode:

  • TEDx Talks, The Success of Nonviolent Civil Resistance: Erica Chenoweth at TEDxBoulder, 2013,

  • Clodovis Boff and Leonardo Boff, “A Concise History of Liberation Theology,”

  • Paul Farmer and Gustavo Gutiérrez, In the Company of the Poor: Conversations Between Dr. Paul Farmer and Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, ed. Michael P. Griffin and Jennie Weiss Block (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2013),

  • Paul Farmer, “Sacred Medicine,” Sojourners Magazine; Washington (Washington, United States, Washington: Sojourners, January 2014),
Dec 09, 202037:38
13 | Life Beyond Capitalism? | Howard Waitzkin

13 | Life Beyond Capitalism? | Howard Waitzkin

Howard Waitzkin speaks with us today about reimagining life and medicine after capitalism. A humble giant in the field of social medicine, Howard helps to unpack how capitalism is destructive for the earth, for healthcare systems, and for social life. How can individuals and communities work towards non-violent, "rinky-dink" action against the systems which are destroying us? 

Howard Waitzkin MD PhD is Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Sociology and former director of community medicine at the University of New Mexico, a prolific scholar and practitioner of social medicine, and a tireless activist across North and South America for universal and accessible healthcare. His own family background of poverty led him to life-long questions on inequality, public health, oppression, capitalism, and medicine. 

Resources written by Howard:

  • Howard Waitzkin, “Is Our Work Dangerous? Should It Be?,” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 39, no. 1 (1998): 7–17,

  • Howard Waitzkin et al., “Social Medicine Then and Now: Lessons From Latin America,” American Journal of Public Health 91, no. 10 (October 2001): 1592–1601,

  • Howard Waitzkin, “One and a Half Centuries of Forgetting and Rediscovering: Virchow’s Lasting Contributions to Social Medicine,” Social Medicine 1, no. 1 (February 25, 2006): 5–10.

  • Out soon: Social Medicine and the Coming Transformation, by Howard Waitzkin, Alina Pérez, Matt Anderson (New York: Routledge, 2020)

Dec 02, 202001:09:56
12 | Accountability and Advocacy in Global Health Financing | Leena Yumeen and Maria Pennella

12 | Accountability and Advocacy in Global Health Financing | Leena Yumeen and Maria Pennella

Today we hear from Leena Yumeen and Maria Pennella, and discuss the importance of accountability in global health funding. They explain the importance of advocacy in influencing these systems and, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of not backsliding on the fight against global killers like tuberculosis.

Leena Yumeen is an Advocacy Fellow with the Fund for Global Health, an organization focused on increasing the effectiveness of global health programs and international health aid through research and lobbying. She is pursuing a Bachelors in Political Science at Columbia University, and has also worked with Partners in Health on congressional lobbying and citizen outreach.

Maria Pennella received her bachelors in health sciences from the University of Central Florida. Since graduating in 2018, she has worked for a cultural exchange program in Tanzania and become involved as an Advocacy Fellow with the Fund for Global Health. “Thinking Globally, Acting Locally”, is her guiding quote that pushed her to get involved in lobbying for equitable global health funding and policies within US Congress.

Their recommended resources:

  • Mandavilli, A. (2020) '‘The Biggest Monster’ Is Spreading. And It’s Not the Coronavirus.’, The New York Times, 3 August. Article.

Nov 18, 202050:34
11 | Narrative Therapy and Liberation | Tanvi Avasthi

11 | Narrative Therapy and Liberation | Tanvi Avasthi

Tanvi Avasthi (@tanvicious) speaks with us today about narrative therapy, loss and trauma, and the power of asking "what do you want?" to recenter our patients as protagonists of their own lives. She explains how we can avoid pathologizing our patients and ourselves, and how we can resist the forces of white supremacy and capitalism which are attempting to destroy us and make us hate ourselves. She shows us a way of beautifully holding the humanity, justice, and poetry of healing together.

SMOA producer Raghav Goyal joins this conversation as cohost.

Tanvi holds masters degrees in Medical Anthropogy and in Nursing and currently works as an ER nurse in Batimore, and is a future Midwife and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner. In addition to her clinical work, she also has experience working as a doula and yoga instructor, and we know her through her work as one of the co-founders of the Campaign Against Racism, an activist group with  chapters all around the world, that is using tools of restorative  justice, narrative therapy, and community organizing to effect local and  systems wide change.

Her recommended resources:

  • Narrative Medicine Suggested Questions (PDF),

  • Narrative Therapy slides (Campaign Against Racism online presentation, Tanvi Avasthi, 2020),

  • Charon R, Wyer P; NEBM Working Group. Narrative evidence based medicine. Lancet. 2008 Jan 26;371(9609):296-7.

  • Kleinman A, Benson P. Anthropology in the clinic: the problem of  cultural competency and how to fix it. PLoS Med. 2006 Oct;3(10):e294.
Nov 04, 202001:16:16
10 | Mobilizing Medicine Against the Climate Crisis | Harleen Marwah

10 | Mobilizing Medicine Against the Climate Crisis | Harleen Marwah

Harleen Marwah (@ThereGoesHarMar) dives into the conversation on the links between health, healing, and the climate crisis - and how people in healthcare can work for a healthier world. Recorded in the midst of the record-setting 2020 California fires, we discuss the health effects of a climate in crisis, climate grief, connecting clinical work with a larger ecological consciousness, and how she has organized healthcare students for change.

Harleen Marwah is the Founder and Chair of Medical Students for a Sustainable Future (MS4SF),  a community of over 260 medical students from around the world, and she has collaborated with the United Nations on the Paris Agreement. She is currently a current fourth year medical student at the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, and looks forward to working towards a healthier, more just and equitable future as a pediatrician. 

Extinction Rebellion "Heading for Extinction" talk (27" video):

Harleen Marwah's recommended resources:

  • Watts,  N, et al. 2019. "The 2019 Report  Of The Lancet Countdown On Health And Climate Change: Ensuring That The  Health Of A Child Born Today Is Not Defined By A Changing Climate". The Lancet 394 (10211): 1836-1878.

  • Gillis, Justin. 2017. "Climate Change Is Complex. We’Ve Got Answers To Your Questions." New York Times,

  • Patz, J. 2018. Climate Change Is Affecting Our Health. Is There A Cure?. TEDxOshkosh. (19" video)

  • Holder, C. 2020. The link between climate change, health and poverty. TedMed. (13" video)
Oct 21, 202050:48
9 | Teenage Motherhood and HIV | Sasheenie Moodley

9 | Teenage Motherhood and HIV | Sasheenie Moodley

Sasheenie Moodley (@SasheenieM) discusses the complexities of teenage motherhood, HIV, family dynamics, and navigating poverty in the townships of her native South Africa. She explains dynamics of familial expectation and young mothers being "hidden away," how one reveals HIV or pregnancy status, dreams of future success, and her experience doing research as an insider-outsider.

Sasheenie Moodley MPH was born and grew up in South Africa and pursued her PhD at the University of Oxford, where she works with pregnant teenagers and teenage mothers in Botshabelo, South Africa. This research explores what life is like - during and after teenage pregnancy – through the lens of HIV. Sasheenie is currently a medical student at the University of Virginia.

Her recommended resources: 

  • Long, C. (2009). Contradicting maternity: HIV-positive motherhood in South Africa. Johannesburg: WITS University Press. 

  • Macleod, C. (2003). Teenage pregnancy and the construction of adolescence: Scientific literature in South Africa. Childhood, 10(4), 419-437.

  • Mkhwanazi, N. (2014). Revisiting the dynamics of early childbearing in South African townships. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 16(9), 1084-1096.

  • Mkhwanazi, N. (2010). Understanding teenage pregnancy in a post-apartheid South African township. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 12(4), 347–358.

  • Ngabaza, S. (2011). Positively pregnant: Teenage women’s experiences of negotiating pregnancy with their families. Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, 25(3), 42-51.

  • Steinberg, J. (2013). Working through a paradox about sexual culture in South Africa: Tough sex in the twenty-first century. Journal of Southern African Studies, 39(3), 497-509.

  • Toska, E., Cluver, L., Pantelic, M., & Hodes, R. (2017). To know or not to know? HIV-status disclosure and protective sexual practices among adolescent girls and boys in South Africa. Centre for Social Science Research University of Cape Town.

  • Vale, B., Hodes, R., & Cluver, L. (2016). Negotiations of blame and care among HIV-positive mothers and daughters in South Africa’s eastern cape. Medical Anthropology Quarterly,

Oct 08, 202054:32
8 | Medical Ethics During A Pandemic | Tim Lahey

8 | Medical Ethics During A Pandemic | Tim Lahey

Tim Lahey (@TimLaheyMD) joins us today to discuss medical ethics during a pandemic and states of emergency, and questions of allocation, ventilator scarcity, and systemic injustice. We also talk about medical education, justice, power and privilege, collaboration towards institutional change, vocation, and the temptations of pride and righteous anger in this work. 

This special episode also features SMOA producer Raghav Goyal as a co-host! 

Tim Lahey, MD, MMSc, is an infectious diseases physician, ethicist, and professor of medicine who has conducted research on vaccine immunology, Tb, and HIV. He directs ethics at the University of Vermont Medical Center and has participated in ethics and social justice education with medical students for over a decade. Beyond his academic publications, you can read Tim’s stories for the New York Times, Washington Post and other popular outlets here.

His recommended resources include: 

  • Emanuel,  Ezekiel J., et al. 2020. "Fair Allocation Of Scarce Medical Resources In The Time  Of Covid-19". New England Journal Of Medicine 382 (21): 2049-2055. doi:10.1056/nejmsb2005114. (Full Text):

  • Sederstrom, Nneka O. 2020. "Unblinded: Systematic Racism, Institutional Oppression, And Colorblindness". Bioethics.Net. (blog):

  • Toner, Eric, et al. 2020. "Interim Framework For COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation And Distribution In The United States". Johns Hopkins Center For Health Security. (PDF)
Sep 23, 202001:09:53
7 | Medical Activism | Andrew Goldstein
Sep 09, 202001:00:43
6 | Decolonizing Global Health | Laura Mkumba

6 | Decolonizing Global Health | Laura Mkumba

Laura Mkumba discusses the colonial history of the field of global health and the necessity of decolonizing global health. We consider how proximity to whiteness, maternal-fetal outcomes, global health work and education, privilege, and our thoughts all reflect histories of coloniality.  

Laura Mkumba (@laura_mkumba) is a native of Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania by way of Atlanta, GA. She received her Master of Science in Global Health from Duke University, where she co-founded the Duke Decolonizing Global Health Working Group in 2018. She has spent the last decade working in international and domestic HIV/AIDS research as well as mental health, health equity, adolescent health, and sexual/reproductive health of sexual and gender minorities. 

This week saw the recent passing of Chadwick Boseman. We hope this  episode honors his memory, his powerful legacy, and all he stood for.

Laura Mkumba's recommended resources:

  • Fine, P. (2020). The future of global development: Decolonizing global health and development. (Interview)  
  • Karan, A. (2020). Opinion: It's Time To End The Colonial Mindset In Global  Health.  
  • Tuck, E., & Yang, K. W. (2012). Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization: Indigeneity, education & society, 1(1). (PDF)
Sep 03, 202056:39
5 | The Social Construction of Knowledge | Ruth Staus
Aug 26, 202001:01:57
4 | Is Global Health Just a "Charitable Hobby"? | Hugo Flores

4 | Is Global Health Just a "Charitable Hobby"? | Hugo Flores

Hugo Flores teaches us about the moral imperatives of providing healthcare. By tackling the persistent myths and mistakes of global health work, he shows how folks from diverse backgrounds can come together to fight for health systems "good enough for your grandmother." 

Hugo Flores MD is a physician who founded and leads Compañeros En Salud, a Partners In Health sister organization in the Sierra mountains of Chiapas, Mexico. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Global Afffairs at the University of Notre Dame.

His recommended resources:

  • Lessons From Haiti:
  • ""The Accompaniment Approach: Eight Principles for Effective Aid Delivery," 2012.
  • Are the Paris Principles Being Implemented? An Overview of Localizing Aid In Fragile Settings," by the Paul Farmer Aid Delivery Support Initiative in partnership with the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser for Community Based Medicine and Lessons From Haiti, 2013.

Aug 19, 202053:57
3 | Neoliberalism and Health | Tinashe Goronga

3 | Neoliberalism and Health | Tinashe Goronga

Tinashe Goronga (@tisaneg) discusses the impact of neoliberal policies on health outcomes. After describing what neoliberalism is and how it works, he connects how his patients' lives in Zimbabwe are influenced by these international and national systems.

Tinashe Goronga MD MPH is a physician from Zimbabwe who most recently served as General Medical Officer at the Binga District Hospital, in addition to his teaching and leadership with EqualHealth and the Campaign Against Racism. He studied public health at the Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde.

His recommended resources:

  • Thomson, M., Kentikelenis, A. & Stubbs, T. (2017) Structural adjustment programmes adversely affect vulnerable populations: a  systematic-narrative review of their effect on child and maternal health. Public Health Rev 38, 13. Full text.

  • Barry, M., Cullen, M. R., Thomas, J. E., & Loewenson, R. H. (1990).  Health care changes after independence and transition to majority rule. JAMA, 263(5), 638–640. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440050030009

  • Lennock, J. (1994) Paying For Health: Poverty And Structural Adjustment In Zimbabwe. Oxford: Oxfam. PDF.
Aug 12, 202049:09
2 | Antiracist Medicine | Michelle Morse

2 | Antiracist Medicine | Michelle Morse

Michelle Morse (@michellemorse) discusses race and antiracism in medicine. Beginning with Camara Jones' metaphor of the Gardener's Tale, she helps to imagine how medicine can work for the good of all and how medicine can move past its entanglements with racist ways of thinking and acting.

Michelle Morse MD MPH is a physician, organizer, and social medicine leader who has cofounded EqualHealth, the Social Medicine Consortium, and three residency programs at the Mirebalais University Hospital. She is an assistent professor at Harvard Medical School, a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, and is currently working on the global Campaign Against Racism. 

Her recommended resources:

  • Jones, C. P. (2000). Levels of racism: A theoretic framework and a gardener's tale. American Journal of Public Health, 90(8), 1212–1215. PDF.

  • Jones CP, Truman BI, Elam-Evans LD, et al. Using "socially assigned race" to probe white advantages in health status. Ethn Dis. 2008;18(4):496-504. PDF.

  • Ford CL, Airhihenbuwa CO. Critical Race Theory, race equity, and public health: toward antiracism praxis. Am J Public Health. 2010;100 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S30-S35. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.171058. PDF.

  • Tsai J, Ucik L, Baldwin N, Hasslinger C, George P. Race Matters?  Examining and Rethinking Race Portrayal in Preclinical Medical  Education. Acad Med. 2016;91(7):916-920. doi:10.1097/ACM.0000000000001232. Full text.

  • Jee-Lyn García J, Sharif MZ. Black Lives Matter: A Commentary on Racism and Public Health. Am J Public Health. 2015;105(8):e27-e30. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302706. Full text.
Aug 12, 202056:04
1 | What is Social Medicine? | Michael Westerhaus

1 | What is Social Medicine? | Michael Westerhaus

Michael Westerhaus (@socmedmjw) teaches the history of social medicine and what social medicine means. He explains the difference between social medicine and public health, the value of storytelling and social position in medicine, the relationship between inequality and health, and addresses if it is right for healthcare practitioners to "get political."  

Michael Westerhaus MD is a primary care physician for refugees at the Center for International Health in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is also an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota and an active social medicine educator with SocMed and the Social Medicine Consortium.

His recommended resources: 

  • 1. Porter, Dorothy.  2006. “How Did Social Medicine Evolve, and Where Is It Heading?”  PLoS Medicine 3(10): e399. Full text.

  • 2. Fanon, Frantz. 1994. “Medicine and Colonialism.” In: A Dying Colonialism.  Grove/Atlantic Press. PDF. (MR Press is rights-holder and has approved this usage).

  • 3. Anderson, Smith, and Sidel. 2005. What is Social Medicine? Monthly Review. Full text.
Aug 12, 202057:38
Trailer | Welcome to Social Medicine On Air!

Trailer | Welcome to Social Medicine On Air!

Welcome to Social Medicine On Air, a podcast where we explore the field of social medicine with healthcare practitioners, activists, and researchers. Social medicine hopes to work for a world of justice and health - especially for the most marginalized - and connects clinical care to the deep causes of health and illness. Through our conversational interviews, we hope to create a warm and welcoming space to learn about social medicine.

Hosted by Brendan Johnson and Jonas Attilus, produced by Raghav Goyal, and design by Clara Brand. 

Aug 02, 202004:13