Intended for healthcare professionals


Why I . . . make podcasts

BMJ 2023; 380 doi: (Published 14 February 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;380:p115
  1. Marika Davies
  1. London

GP Nik Kendrew talks to Marika Davies about how creating podcasts that combine fun and learning helps him to self-care

Looking for a project to occupy his spare time during lockdown, Nik Kendrew decided to start podcasting. The result was Boggled Docs, a regular review of medical topics in the media (

“I needed something to keep my mind occupied so doing this helped me immeasurably, it gave me a structure,” he recalls. “It was a constructive way of keeping up-to-date and sharing that with other people.”

Kendrew, a GP partner in Kent, was drawn to the world of television and radio from a young age, working in hospital radio from the age of 14 and in student television while at university. “My sights were set on being able to do something with presenting and medicine,” he recalls.

As a GP trainer, Kendrew also developed an interest in education, with a particular focus on making it engaging for the learner. “It should be easy to do, not just sitting down with a load of books,” he says.

Combining these interests gave Kendrew a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve with the podcast. “I wanted to do a podcast that was entertaining and fun but where you could still learn something,” he explains. “It’s meant to have a warm, welcoming, and friendly feel, a bit like listening to the radio.”

Boggled Docs aims to help doctors be prepared for patients consulting about “current sizzling media issues.” Each episode focuses on a current topic and is accompanied by show notes signposting links to guidelines and learning.

“I used to be disorganised about continuing professional development and appraisals and I wanted to find a way that made it easier for me and for anyone listening,” he says. “Doing the podcast means I’m learning all the time and applying it to everyday practice, hopefully helping other people with their CPD too.”

Kendrew researched the equipment he would need, such as a microphone and special mixing desk, and learnt about recording software and editing. “The mixing desk means I can add sound effects and jingles to make it more like a radio show than a plain podcast,” he says. “The editing makes the flow of conversation sound natural; it’s got to be entertaining to listen to.”

In each episode Kendrew invites a guest to discuss the topic of the week, and he enjoys the connection that he makes with them. “It often sounds like we are two best friends having coffee, even though it’s possibly the first time I’ve ever spoken to them,” he says. “It’s lovely when we get that level of connection, interaction, and fun.”

Other regular features in the podcast include a story to make listeners smile and a song of the week. Kendrew also shares an experience that has given him a positive feeling that week. “I want people to feel better from listening to the podcast, so there are different elements that have a positive slant to them,” he says. “It’s good for me because I’m looking for positivity to put in the podcast; it makes me do self-care.”

Kendrew spends six to eight hours making each episode and has produced over 70 episodes in two seasons so far. One of his favourite episodes was based on It’s a Sin, a television drama about the 1980s AIDS crisis, for which he interviewed two HIV consultants—one who had worked in that era and another currently practising in the specialty. “It was such an enlightening and inspiring discussion and I felt so privileged to be a part of it,” he recalls. “It was one of the most amazing conversations I’ve ever had.”

The podcast gives Kendrew a sense of community with listeners who contact him on social media, and with other medical podcasters with whom he shares hints and tips. “I’ve had so much support from people who listen, it’s been amazing to be lifted up by them,” he says. “I feel like we’re all in this together, wanting to maintain that interest in being the best that we can be in primary care.”

How to start

  • Listen to lots of podcasts to get a feel for them

  • Come up with an idea that you are passionate about

  • Put together a structure or a format that feels comfortable for you

  • Read Make Noise, a creator’s guide to podcasting and great audio storytelling by Eric Nuzum

  • There will never be the perfect time to start a podcast so just give it a go and have fun with it