Amay Tewari, Senior Photographer

Yale medical professors Howard Forman and Harlan Krumholz have been friends for over two decades, and now, they are sharing their friendship over discussions about health in their new podcast.

The two physician-professors host Health & Veritas, a podcast dedicated to educating the public and answering questions related to health and healthcare. According to Krumholz, the podcast is an opportunity to make healthcare communication more accessible by removing jargon and explaining healthcare concepts concisely.

“I think what we’re trying to do is to bring the kind of things that we’ve taught our students and the kind of ways that we’ve conducted our academic career to a place that’s suitable for the general public,” Krumholz said.

Krumholz noted that, whereas Forman had experience in policy, he was familiar with the academic world; both of their perspectives shape the podcast’s content. 

Each episode is divided into three sections: a health news item of the week, a guest segment and a non-health item that either inspires the hosts or keeps them up at night.

In one episode, podcast guest Dr. Erica Spatz spoke about shared decision-making, which refers to the partnership between patients and clinicians to diagnose and select treatments based on what is best for the former. She said she saw the invitation to speak with Forman and Krumholz as an “exciting” opportunity.

“When they reached out to be a guest on their podcast, I was absolutely honored and thrilled,” Spatz said. “Anytime you can get with Harlan and Howie is time well-spent.”

Spatz commended the podcast’s “nuance[d] and deeper understanding” in analyzing the complexity of important issues that are not amplified enough.

But, in addition to amplifying information in healthcare, the drawbacks of misinformation and bias have played a big role in shaping the podcast’s development.

“You want clear information that is not being filtered through a media source, that is not being filtered through an editor, that is not being filtered through a political lens,” Forman explained. 

Podcast guest Dr. Anne Wyllie, inventor of the COVID-19 SalivaDirect test, expressed worry over poorly or improperly conveyed information about work in her field which has spread to the public. She said that this has “really unfortunately hindered” much of the progress that organizations have been able to make in COVID-19 testing. 

Krumholz also emphasized the dangers of misinformation in healthcare.

“A lot of times what’s happening is that somebody starts a rumor or there’s a bad study out there,” Krumholz said. “Then somebody amplifies it and disseminates it and talks about it in ways that make it sound better than what it is.”

However, Krumholz noted science is self-correcting much of the time and is not always black and white. Evidence can come in a spectrum, he said, expressing hope that people start viewing it through a more critical lens. 

“[Forman and Krumholz] have a keen sense for what’s important and ask questions that I think people will be excited to respond to,” Spatz said. “You’ll hopefully get a very rich dialogue on these podcasts just by nature of their familiarity with healthcare topics and their inquisitiveness and their respect for the people they’re bringing on.”

Forman said that the podcast receives around a few hundred listeners each week. He expressed hope that his Yale-affiliated podcast listeners would one day become “leaders in health and healthcare.”

While he and Krumholz are still “getting [their] cadence down,” Forman said he was satisfied with the progress they have made so far. 

Krumholz also conveyed anticipation for the future of the podcast.

“We’re just getting started,” Krumholz said. “We’re learning as we go.”

Health & Veritas releases new episodes every Thursday.

WILLIAM PORAYOUW