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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Dr. Death: Delicious true medical crime (but don't listen if you have a surgery coming up)

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system. Dr. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications. And all they had to protect them was a system ill equipped to stop the madness. From Wondery, the network behind the hit podcast Dirty John, DR. DEATH is about a medical system that failed to protect these patients at every possible turn. Reported and hosted by Laura Beil.

Series or standalone:

Series--each season will be about a different defrauding doc

Begin listening to:

Three Days in Dallas


Investigative reporting


Laura Beil, Medical reporter covering the Dallas area

Sound/production quality:

Excellent--and the theme song is a good one!

Rating/age suitability:

For adults only

Approximate length of episodes:

30-40 minutes

Curricular ties:

None--this is for your own enjoyment

Similar recommended pods:

Sick (see my review) for more medical fraud; Dirty John for more general fraud from Wondery.

Podcast Librarian’s Review:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If you’re a podcast and/or true crime fan, then you’re likely already familiar with Dr. Death. This podcast is such a wild ride, and I don’t want to reveal too much about it because that’s half the fun of listening. If you haven’t heard it, don’t Google it or read a description; just go listen! Suffice it to say, after listening you will always think twice before getting surgery done because you never know who your doctor really is. I actually listened to the entire series twice because it was just so crazy that I had to hear it again. This is Wondery at its best with top-notch audio and production quality (and a catchy little theme song). Laura Beil is a fantastic host, with great inflection and the increased access that only a career as a local health reporter allows. I found this pod after listening to Dirty John (which I haven't reviewed but you should listen to), and it was the perfect follow-up. A year later, I still haven’t heard a true crime series that was quite as shocking as this one. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Have you listened to Dr. Death yet? Let me know below (but no spoilers)!

Update (10.15.2020)

Season 2 is coming this week! Also, there's a movie in the works about Season 1, but that just got re-casted.

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