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We are The Nocturnists, a San Francisco-based independent medical storytelling community. Since 2016, we’ve produced over a dozen live storytelling shows in the Bay Area and New York City, four seasons of our podcast, and two special audio diary series: "Stories from a Pandemic" and "Black Voices in Healthcare." Welcome to our community.
 
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show series
 
In this episode, Emily speaks with physician Rupa Marya and political economist Raj Patel about their recent book Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice, which explores the impact of oppressive systems on our health, and how deep medicine can facilitate collective healing. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Educa…
 
In this episode, Emily speaks with neuroscientist and author Sidarta Ribeiro about his book The Oracle of Night, which investigates the art and science of dreams and the extraordinary power dreams have in shaping our world. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Vis…
 
In this episode, Emily speaks with poet, physician, and medical ethicist Dr. Laura Kolbe about her poetry collection, Little Pharma, the languages of poetry and medicine, and how poetry can help illuminate the various aspects of self. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare profess…
 
In this episode, Emily speaks with Dr. Wesley Ely about the harms of deep sedation and immobilization in the ICU, and how he's transforming critical care, one patient at a time. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim credi…
 
In this episode, Emily speaks with cancer biologist and poet Jenny Qi, about her poetry collection "Focal Point," which examines science, disease, love, and family. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim credit for this ep…
 
In today's episode, Emily speaks with Professor Cindy Weinstein and Dr. Bruce Miller, authors of the book Finding the Right Words, which explores literature, grief, and the brain. It tells the story of Cindy’s father, who lived and died with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and serves as a dialogue between patient and doctor, literary critic and ne…
 
In today's episode, Emily speaks with New York Times columnist Ross Douthat about his book The Deep Places, which tells the harrowing story of his experience with Lyme disease, and what it's like to navigate a chronic illness that mainstream medicine hasn’t yet fully explained. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to o…
 
The American healthcare system is a tapestry of providers, insurers and chargemasters, and often leaves patients with unexpected and crippling bills. That is, if they show up to the hospital at all. In this episode, Emily speaks with Emily Maloney who has been on both sides of the health care cost equation. After being hospitalized for a suicide at…
 
Physician Tobin Greensweig makes an unannounced visit to a patient’s house to check on him after he leaves the hospital. Recalling stories from his father's community medical practice, he is struck by the constraints on the doctor-patient relationship in modern medicine. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FR…
 
Psychiatrist Shaili Jain tells the story of a pivotal experience on a road trip with her father, and how it catalyzed her career as a PTSD specialist. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim credit for this episode. Find sh…
 
Medical student Pablo Romano tells the story of losing his mother to complications of surgery, and how he continues her legacy as a medical student. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim credit for this episode. Find show…
 
Internal medicine physician Natasha Spottiswoode reflects on her flying days from Oxford while teaching a green intern how to recognize whether patients are "sick" or "not sick." The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim cred…
 
Internist Ashley McMullen decides to let her hair go natural for the first time in over a decade — a process which serves as a metaphor for self-acceptance in the rigid world of medicine. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to c…
 
Interventional Radiologist Bobby Chiong's patient codes on the table during a procedure, prompting a frantic but successful resuscitation. Afterward, Dr. Chiong reflects on the high-stakes nature of his job and the intimidating responsibility of being entrusted with patients' care. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education …
 
An improv workshop transforms the way psychiatrist David Elkin approaches a patient on the psych consult service, and catalyzes a philosophical shift in his approach to patient care. The Nocturnists is partnering with VCU Health Continuing Education to offer FREE CME credits for healthcare professionals. Visit ce.vcuhealth.org/nocturnists to claim …
 
Alzheimer's disease used to be a rare diagnosis. But today, more than 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's and this number is projected to triple to 14 million over the next forty years. In this episode, Emily discusses the mounting practical, moral, and ethical quandaries of caring for patients with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-caus…
 
The emergency room is a place of intensity—a place of noise and colors and human drama. This is the setting of Dr. Michele Harper's memoir, The Beauty in Breaking, which explores how the healing journeys of her patients intersect with her own. Emily and Dr. Harper discuss the back stories that become salient in caring for patients who may be suffer…
 
Do no harm. Thou shalt not kill. Life is sacred and should be protected at all costs, right? But when is life no longer worth living? Who decides? And what do we do about it? In this episode, Emily discusses the murky ethical dilemmas of medical aid in dying with award-winning journalist Katie Engelhart, the author of The Inevitable: Dispatches On …
 
In the last few years, the medical profession has been grappling with the problem of gender bias in medicine, with how the symptoms of women are seen as atypical, or worse, are minimized, dismissed or ignored. But where did this problem come from? How far have we come and where should we go from here? In this episode, Emily discusses these question…
 
It’s been over a year since the first case of COVID-19 appeared in Seattle, and it’s been a long cold lonely winter. But in our series finale, we wanted to hear about a bright spot in all the darkness: the first vaccines that found their way into the arms of healthcare workers all around the country. More at thenocturnists.com…
 
The COVID-19 global health crisis shed light on the immense value of doctors, nurses, public health workers, and research scientists. At the same time, the pandemic has all but obliterated the arts: theater artists, dancers, and performers have lost their livelihoods and their purpose. But doesn't art save lives, too? More at thenocturnists.com…
 
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