Podcasts have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. They are on-demand radio shows that have been pre-recorded and are available to listen by streaming or downloading at any time. You can play them through a number of available smartphone apps or websites at your leisure. Just pop one on while commuting or doing dishes; they are the perfect way to stay caught up on all things eyecare.
There are tons of optometry and ophthalmology related podcasts out there, with a recent influx of new episodes created in the last few months during stay at home orders. Here is a list of our top eyecare podcasts to check out today.
For the ECP Who Wants to Keep Up with Everything
Hosts: Darryl Glover, OD and Jennifer Lyerly, OD
Tagline: “Optometry’s number one podcast where we discuss the hottest topics, latest technology, eyewear, practice management, and more. So sit back, relax, and defocus.”
Defocus Media is an optometry media company created by Darryl Glover, OD and Jennifer Lyerly, OD. They started years ago with just one eponymous podcast, which covers every topic about optometry under the sun and is one of my go-to podcasts to keep up with what’s new. They have since added several more eyecare related podcasts under their umbrella, a number of which are detailed below. This is a great one stop shop to access a wide range of topics within optometry as all their podcasts reside in their single Defocus Media feed.
Hosts: Roya Habibi, OD and James Deom, OD
Tagline: “A podcast about the ups and downs, ins and outs, news, tips and tricks of those who live the optometry lifestyle.”
This is a great one to add to your regular schedule. With a new episode released every week, they stay super up to date and cover topics both related to optometry and general current events. Guests on various topics are interviewed, but typically this podcast has more of a talk show feel that makes for a fun and casual listening experience. Recent episodes delve into topics like which blue light blocking lenses are actually best, managing finances during COVID, and SMILE surgery. Tune in for a relatable vibe with lots of useful news as well as tips and tricks you can take right into your clinical practice.
Host: Harbir Sian, OD
Tagline: “The 20/20 Podcast: Bringing clarity to business, entrepreneurship, and life.”
With episodes released approximately every week or so, Dr. Sian tackles a wide range of topics related to optometry. He wanted to share his own real life conversations with people in various industries from finance to fashion (and of course optometry!) with others. Recent episodes include interviews with NECO’s new president Dr. Purcell on the topics of large mergers and disruption in our industry, the new FTC contact lens rulings and his personal experience with deregulation in BC, Canada, as well as interviewing non-ODs like pro soccer player Kendal Watson and personal branding expert Kat Elizabeth. Listen to this Defocus Media podcast to get new perspectives and ideas that can change the way you practice.
Hosts: Dmitry Richter, OD, and Lizeth Gonzalez
This is an absolute must-listen podcast for docs wanting to learn how to perform eye exams in languages other than English. Another Defocus Media production, it is a companion to the OpTranslate App that has complete translations for all parts of the comprehensive eye exam in 12 languages as well as patient education tools. More info and a list of other useful eyecare related phone apps can be found here. The podcast so far focuses just on Spanish, French, and Turkish with each episode featuring vocabulary lessons for different parts of the exam including entrance testing, refraction, BV testing, slit lamp, DFE, and other commonly used phrases. An excellent way to practice proper pronunciation and improve your language skills in your down time.
For the Private Practice Owner
Host: Gary Gerber, OD
Tagline: “Optometry’s Only Live Radio Show”
By far the longest running opto podcast, started in 2012 by Dr. Gary Gerver, Power Hour is the only live radio optometry talk show. Recorded every Wednesday at 9:00PM EST, listeners can either tune in live or listen to recorded versions at a later time. Episodes focus quite a bit on practice management, but also address listener questions. It has been an extremely valuable resource during COVID with a series of townhalls designed to help us all figure out how to run our practices during such unknown times. The Power Hour is one of CovalentCareers’s Dr. Matt Geller’s secrets to keeping up with optometry. An excellent, always up to date resource particularly for the private practice owner and practice management focused OD.
Hosts: Raymond Brill, OD and Perry Brill
Tagline: “The podcast for wizards of eyes”
Hosted by Dr. Raymond Brill, an optometrist with over 30 years of experience, and his office manager son Perry Brill, this podcast focuses on all aspects of practice management. In each episode they interview “wizards”—aka innovative leaders in the eyecare industry—on topics like how owners can fight disruptors in the industry or focus on ways to implement new products or ideas to improve their practices. This is one of the few podcasts that also has an optical focus and discusses topics from frame lines and in house edging to dry eye and specialty contact lenses. A must-listen for the innovative practice owner looking for new tricks and tips to set their practice above the rest.
For the Corporate OD
Host: Maria Sampalis, OD
An extension of her popular Corporate Optometry facebook group, Dr. Sampalis’ podcast focuses on issues and topics related to practicing in a corporate setting. From taxes, to marketing, job hunting, and more recently the realities of practicing during COVID. A great source of information for those currently working in or considering working as sublease, independent, or employee docs of the various corporate optometry companies.
For a Focus on Female Voices (But Really Worth Listening For All ODs)
Hosts: Rachel Simpson, OD and Kate Hamm, OD
Tagline: “Rachel and Kate are two real-life friends talking about equality issues viewed through the lens of optometry. Tune in for their take-aways and action items. See you at lunch!”
One of my favorite Defocus Media podcasts. Started while they were 4th year optometry students at USML, friends Rachel and Kate have created a podcast highlighting topics particularly relevant to young ODs. The two hosts have great rapport, and they focus on various issues from negotiating pay and the gender wage gap to current events and the importance of increasing diversity within optometry. With their new grad perspective this is also a great one for students and recent grads.
Host: Marjolijn Bijlefeld, editor of Women in Optometry Magazine
Tagline: “A podcast series from Women in Optometry Magazine”
This podcast focuses on and features a number of different women ODs. They discuss topics from practice management, to career choices, family, leadership and more. A great addition to the Women in Optometry magazine published by Jobson. Episodes are released every few weeks and are around an easily digestible 20 minutes long. Recent episodes tackle topics like dry eye, myopia management and personal finance. This podcast features primarily women’s voices, and there is useful info for all eyecare professionals.
For Students and New Grads (And All Grads)
Host: Jasdeep Singh Soni, OD
Hosted by openly Sikh recent OD grad Jasdeep Singh Soni, this Defocus Media podcast explores the intersection of optometry with current social, political, and religious issues. In each episode, a new OD or OD student with a unique perspective is interviewed. Recent episodes include a conversation with Dr. Nishan Pressly on their experiences of practicing as a minority, the importance of mentorship for minority students, and personal branding; and a student to student discussion with fellow OD student Nadia Afkhami about the real life fears of many optometry students and how to tackle them. This is a great podcast made by a very recent grad about the realities of practicing today.
Host: Damaris Raymondi, OD aka @newyorkeyedoc on Instagram
Tagline: “I interview inspiring health care professions with conversations meant to recharge you before you start your work week”
Dr. Raymondi interviews various ODs and others in the optometry and healthcare world about topics ranging from practice development to pressing current issues outside of optometry. She has a unique Latina perspective and often does segments in Spanish. She has a very relatable personality and works hard to interview diverse guests including many non-eye health professionals. She doesn’t shy away from controversial topics, and has done a series of recent episodes focused on race and diversity in optometry. A must listen for those looking for inspiring stories and real talk about optometry today.
For a Medical and Clinical Perspective
Host: Varies per episode
Made by the creators of the new optometry publication Modern Optometry, this is a clinically focused podcast that specializes in medical optometry topics. Each episode covers either articles from a recent issue of the publication or a panel of speakers will discuss a specific topic. Recent episodes include discussions on scleral lenses, glaucoma co-management and emergency eye care during COVID. The ideal podcast for useful clinical tips for the medically focused OD.
And Finally, for an Ophthalmology Focus
Hosts: Ehsan Sadri, MD
Tagline: “Candid Conversations with Ophthalmology’s Innovators and Business Leaders”
This is another podcast with a regular schedule, with weekly episodes released each Thursday. Each episode features an interview with a different expert in the eyecare world from fellow ophthalmologists, to researchers, key opinion leaders, and industry executives discussing cutting edge new innovations within the profession. Great for keeping up on the latest in ophthalmology news, and getting a glimpse of what the future of eye care holds.
Host: Gary Wortz, MD
Tagline: “Open. Outspoken. An honest look at controversial topics in the field”
Similar to OIS, Dr. Gary Wortz interviews a number of different experts within different areas of ophthalmology to share exciting new innovations and developments. A recent series of episodes focused on dealing with COVID-19, while others discussed topics from trifocal IOLs to networking. While focused on ophthalmology, many of the discussions are equally applicable to optometry and definitely worth a listen!
Host: Neil Bressler, editor in chief of JAMA Ophthalmology
Tagline: “Conversations with authors exploring the latest clinical research, reviews, and opinions featured in JAMA Ophthalmology”
This weekly podcast features interviews with authors of JAMA Ophthalmology articles. These are nice, short podcasts usually around 15 minutes long, perfect when you’ve got just a little time, and want to learn something new. An excellent way to keep up with current research in ophthalmology and vision science directly from the researchers performing it!
There are also quite a few podcasts that either don’t release as regularly or have stopped making new episodes entirely, but are still worth checking out! These include the following Defocus Media podcasts: Dry Eye Divas with discussions on beauty and makeup and their effects on dry eye, Chang Reaction with a few episodes on specialty contact lenses, VisionTECH with a focus on new technology, and Primary Eye Guys made by two Canadian optometry students studying optometry abroad in Ireland with an interesting global perspective on the study of optometry, they released over 30 episodes in 2019 that are worth a listen! As well as some non-Defocus Media ones like OD Entrepreneur Podcast with a focus on practice management and Between Two Temples another interview based general optometry podcast.
Before merging with CovalentCareers, NewGradOptometry also came out with its own audio series with podcast versions of some of NGO’s best articles. Check them out here!