018: It’s the Best Time Ever to Go into Medicine – Ryan O’Keefe

On this episode, I speak with Ryan O’Keefe who is the host of The Penn HealthX Podcast and a second year medical school student at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. We discuss why it is an amazing moment in history to become a healthcare professional. There are so many opportunities for growth and improvement in healthcare space, and solutions are finally becoming available that the next generation will be able to take advantage of.

As host of The Penn HealthX Podcast, Ryan brings on incredible guests focusing on the intersection of medicine and business, with an emphasis on healthcare management, entrepreneurship, and technology. In this episode we dive into Ryan’s experience that led him to create the podcast and what he has learned from it so far.

It is incredible how similar Ryan’s passions and goals align with what we are trying to do here the The Future of Healthcare. Together people like you, Ryan, and the rest of The Future of Healthcare community can work to create a better future of healthcare.


Check out more about Ryan O’Keefe and Penn HealthX on Facebook or on their Podcast!

Enjoy the Episode!

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– Who is Ryan O’Keefe and why he started his podcast [4:40]
– Why podcast is awesome [8:35]
– Ryan’s favorite podcast guest [13:45]
– The topic on healthcare providers and costs [19:30]
– What’s the focus of Penn HealthX [23:40]
– Figuring out his aspiration through the podcast [27:50]
– A blog, Epi-pen, and prices of healthcare [33:30]
– Health Policy research and his realization [35:50]
– History of health reforms and where we are today in healthcare [40:55]
– Technology and how it affects healthcare [49:02]
– Bad eating habits, addiction, and how it affects the world today [55:35]
– How to truly prevent health conditions (better than drugs) [1:01:40]
– Gamification and getting people addicted [1:04:30]
– Creating a world where being healthy is easy [1:08:00]
– How biohacking plays a role [1:10:00]
– Controversial medicine and pseudoscience [1:11:45]
– Book that influenced Ryan [1:17:20]
– If Ryan could change anything about our healthcare and fitness space what would that be and why? [1:24:08]
– Ryan’s advice for future health professionals. [1:25:30]
– End of interview [1:29:25]

Significant Quotes:

“At the end of the day, Hedge-fund doesn’t really care about my opinion.” [36:20]
“A lot of distrust in medicine and of science comes from not getting nutrition right.” [58:30]
“We need to create a world where it’s more easy to be healthy than it is unhealthy. “ [1:07:50]
“There’s medicine and there’s not medicine. There’s no alternative medicines or supplements. There are things that help you and there are things that don’t.” [1:12:42]

Links Mentioned:

The Penn HealthX Podcast

Penn HealthX on Facebook

Ryan O’Keefe on LinkedIn

Steven Downs’s Articles on Tincture

Ryan’s article on KevinMD


2 thought on “018: It’s the Best Time Ever to Go into Medicine – Ryan O’Keefe”

  1. Mick

    Nathan you seem to be missing a major point about fast food restaurants at off ramps and Facebook, google, Netflix, etc designing addictive products. These companies exist because people have a demand for them. They are simply (and efficiently) fulfilling what society and people want and to me should not be blamed for the problems society has with bad eating habits and addictive behaviors. The same concept applies frequently in healthcare. Patients usually want a simple fix of a problem be it a pill or a surgery despite knowing that losing weight may fix their blood sugar and may solve their knee pain etc.

    1. nrdollinger Post author

      Hey Mick, Thank you so much for the comment!

      I think you are exactly right. They should not be blamed at all for this. When I gave those examples I was intending to get at a more deeper aspect of our human instinct. In a general sense we all strive to create a life, and a world for that matter, with the least amount of suffering and the most amount of happiness. That is one reason why we feel such a strong desire to study things and uncover how things work so that we can in turn alleviate suffering.

      With that idea, things like netflix and the fast food restaurants at the off ramps are desired by people to bring joy and make things easier for people. They are fulfilling the demand and ultimately decreasing the level of suffering. But I bring these up as examples to shed light that even though they bring so much good there are unintended consequences to the fulfillment of these demands.

      An example could be the opioid epidemic, obesity, and other unintended consequences to these goods we created. Humans are incredible though and we will right these consequences and continue to improve and innovate. It is very exciting!

      Let me know your thoughts!


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