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The health podcast everyone's been waiting for

The Awakening Doctor podcast launches this week in its bid to explore the personal stories of those who work in the medical and health professions.
Source: Supplied. Podcast creator and host Maria Christodoulou.
Source: Supplied. Podcast creator and host Maria Christodoulou.

It looks to challenge and transform social perceptions of the medical profession, and the individuals who practise it.

“As someone who has always felt like an outlier in the profession, I have instinctively rebelled against the narrative that people have about doctors. By that, I mean the story that people tell themselves about who I am and what I believe, the minute they find out I am a doctor,” explains podcast creator and host Maria Christodoulou, who is a medical doctor as well as a homeopath with more than 30 years of experience in integral coaching and integrative medicine.

“Through the podcast I will share the personal stories of doctors and healers, including their vulnerability and humanity, with the hope that I can begin to change the narrative and shift the power differential that exists between doctors and patients. To create a space where relationships between us are based on our shared humanity,” said Maria.

Maria runs a coaching practice where she draws on her personal life journey and eclectic combination of professional knowledge and experience, to provide a transformative space for people to navigate change, reclaim their wholeness, and emerge with an authentic sense of meaning and purpose.

A collaboration of talent

Many of her clients are medical or healthcare professionals and it is through this work that the Awakening Doctor podcast was born. She is collaborating with producer and editor Amy Kaye to bring her podcast to life.

Each month the podcast will meet with one of Maria’s health-sector colleagues, as well as leaders and educators in the medical profession, to reveal the human side of healthcare.

The first interview goes live today on Wednesday 3 May and features Keith Cloete who was born in a public-sector clinic in District Six, and whose appointment as head of the Western Cape Department of Health was announced in that same clinic 50-something years later.

Cloete, who led the Western Cape Covid-19 pandemic response including the vaccination programme, describes himself as “a son of the Western Cape” and has been in public service for almost 30 years.

In the Awakening Doctor podcast, Cloete talks about being the only child in his class to make it to high school; what it was like to study medicine in the mid-80s; and the impact of racism juxtaposed with his awareness of privilege in terms of gender, sexuality, and opportunity.

He also talks about what it was like to lead the department through the Covid pandemic, his vision for healthcare, and the impact of coaching on his life.

The inaugural Awakening Doctor podcast is available online on and will be available on Spotify, Amazon and Google podcasts.

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