InsideTheBoards for the USMLE, COMLEX & Medical School

The Medicine of Chernobyl Part 1: What Happened at Chernobyl, Radiation Concepts, and Rad Onc

December 10, 2019

Inspired by the HBO series Chernobyl, we’re running a series on the biological effects of radiation and its therapeutic uses within radiation oncology. We interview Dr. Greg Thompson, a radiation oncologist (and one of ITB’s earliest supporters) while providing some education on radiation biophysics, answering questions about radiation that you might have after watching the Chernobyl series, and also covering diseases related to ionizing radiation. 

In this first episode, we discuss rad onc as a specialty, explain the nature of ionizing radiation (alpha, beta, gamma anyone?), and breakdown a USMLE practice question that answers the question from the Chernobyl series: why do they talk about giving potassium iodine to those affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. 

02:49 - What is Rad Onc and what do Radiation Oncologists do?

05:35 - How to get into Radiation Oncology

09:49 - ITB's Crowdfunding Campaign (Companion Video here is way funnier)

10:29 - Chernobyl: What Happened?

13:09 - Biology and Physics of Radiation

18:52 - Effects of Radiation (explained by the CDC)

19:10 - Ionizing Radiation

19:52 - Effects of Radiation continued

21:37 - What does the radiation do to them? (From the HBO Series)

22:40 - USMLE Style Question

24:00 - Potassium Iodide - Why give it to people with Radiation exposure?

24:50 - Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Radiation


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Sources, Credits, and More Resources

The Real Chernobyl (Sky News Documentary) 

Radiation Basics (Made Simple) from the CDC 

HBO's Chernobyl Series Companion Podcast

HBO's Chernobyl Series Trailer

Thanks to Ike Potter, producer of the ITB Main Podcast, and Christopher Breitigan, ITB's creative director, the executive producer of our Chernobyl series and the genius behind @ITBsides on Twitter.

InsideTheBoards is not affiliated with the NBME, USMLE, COMLEX, NBOME or any professional licensing body. InsideTheBoards and its partners fully adhere to the policies on irregular conduct outlined by the aforementioned credentialing bodies.

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