Author: Shane Fernando

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Welcome to PopTalk!, a new podcast from the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. Through this podcast, we hope to introduce our listeners to a variety of population health based topics, from cutting edge developments to clearing up common misconceptions. Our goal is to inform you on ways to improve your health, understand issues that pop up in the media, and find common resources in your local community.
29 Episodes
Confused about what the new mask guidelines mean? When should you consider masking, and what's the current science behind it? These questions and more are discussed with Dr. Shane Fernando and Steve Bartolotta in this minisode
If you've loved our main episodes but haven't had the time to listen through a forty-minute session, perhaps our latest format is for you! Introducing, "Too Long, Didn't Listen". In this format, we compress the most important facts from our long-form episode into a much shorter segment. In this first TLDL, we present the most important facts you need to know about Sleep and your health, as discussed by Dr. Brandy Roane, a clinical psychologist.
Thank you for joining us again for another episode of PopTalk! In this episode, we discuss the science of sleep and how we can improve our own sleep behaviors with Dr. Brandy Roane, a psychologist who specializes in Sleep Medicine. We dive into the dramatic effects of poor sleep, what we can do to improve it, and how many hours we may need. Don’t have a lot of time to tune in? Try our new TLDL episode format, which simplifies each episode into a ten-minute smaller episode.
Welcome to the 2022 PopTalk! season, where we will be bringing you a tremendous variety of health-related episodes throughout the rest of this season. First up, a minisode where Dr. Shane Fernando, Clinical Epidemiologist at UNT Health Science Center, talks about Omicron and the state of the pandemic with PopTalk! producer Steve Bartolotta.
Just in time for the holidays, join us on this interesting episode dealing with family relationships. Many people deal with complex family dynamics during this time, and sometimes conversations can be stressful and contentious, or just sometimes awkward. Dr. Susan Franks, a clinical psychologist at UNT discusses some ways to have healthy conversations with family, and identify ways to be less stressed during the holidays.
Breast Cancer remains one of the most deadly diseases for women. Approximately 281,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in 2021, with another 49,000 non-invasive cases ( What are some of issues women need to consider for their breast health? Where can they go for screening, and how often should it be done? Join Dr. Shane Fernando and our special OBGYN guest, Dr. Melanie Lagomichos as we discuss these questions and more and me. #poptalk #populationhealth #unthsc #tcom #unt #healthsciencecenter #breastcancer #health #wellness #motivation #healthy #life #inspiration #medicine #womenshealth #breastcancerawareness #obgyn #healthywomen #breasthealth
Minisode 5.5

Minisode 5.5


Welcome to Minisode 5.5! We briefly discuss Special Needs, and our upcoming episode lineup for the month of November, including Family Dynamics and Indigenous Health! Join me, Dr. Shane Fernando and our amazing producer Steve Bartolotta.
What are special needs? Join us in our newest episode, where we discuss Special Needs among children and adults, how healthcare affected and how you can get involved with this awesome community. Search "PopTalk!" on all of the major platforms to listen now...we are available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google, and many more. @poptalkunthsc on both Instagram or Facebook, send us a DM if you have any questions or requests! #poptalk #populationhealth #unthsc #tcom #unt #healthsciencecenter #specialneeds #health #wellness #motivation #healthy #life #inspiration #mentalhealth #medicine #doctor #medical #healthcare #doctors #nurse #medicalstudent #hospital #medstudent #medschool #medicina #science #medico #mbbs #medicalschool #medlife
Minisode 4.5

Minisode 4.5


In between our main episodes, PopTalk! will now release "minisodes", a palate cleanser of sorts that will talk about the previous episode and prepare you for the upcoming episode. We briefly discuss Human Trafficking and talk about our upcoming Special Needs talk! Join me, Dr. Shane Fernando and our amazing producer Steve Bartolotta. 
Human trafficking continues to be a terrible reality in our society. In Texas alone, there are an estimated 313,000 victims at any given moment, and 79,000 minor and youth victims of sex trafficking. While we have examined the basics of human trafficking in a prior episode (Season 1: Episode 10), in this episode we dive into the clinical setting with Dr. Beck. Join us as we talk about how we identify it, what to do when we suspect trafficking, and resources that can be helpful. Resources mentioned in podcast: unbound 817-668-6462 National Human Trafficking Hotline 1-888-373-7888
In Texas, Constitutional Carry becomes legal at the beginning of September. What does this mean for gun safety? How can healthcare providers, gun owners and the general public ensure that gun-related injuries are minimized? We talk about these topics and more with North Texas expert Dr. Dan Guzman, a pediatric emergency room doctor at Cook Children's Hospital. His program Aim for Safety ( has engaged with numerous parties within the North Texas area.  Join us in this interesting, non-political and frank discussion about gun safety. 
The number of people suffering from addiction and alcoholism in the United States is astounding. In this episode, we are joined by Olivia Tomasco, a fourth year TCOM student who experienced an incredible week at the Hazelden Betty Ford Clinic, chosen from over 600 applicants. Tune in, and hear how the experience shaped her perception of this crucial issue.
Welcome back to PopTalk! We're excited for our first episode of the second season, where we talk to Dr. Stephan Davis about issues surrounding LGBTQ+ health. Join us as we discuss ally ship, access and how to leverage our existing privilege to help those around us. 
In our season 1 finale episode, we reflect on our journey, from the first beginning of 2020 up until the middle of 2021. We have come a long way, and have had numerous interesting and exciting guests in our schedule. We hope that you have enjoyed listening to season 1, and can't wait until our next season begins in June 2021. Thank you for taking this adventure with us through the world of population health!
COVID vaccinations are ramping up throughout the United States. Unfortunately, there are still many misconceptions about what the process is like, and what it may feel like. So join myself (Dr. Shane Fernando), Dr. Sam Selby and Prachi Thapar and Sukanya Roy as we discuss our experiences with the vaccine, and the most common myths and misconceptions. 
What is the Opioid epidemic? You've probably heard the term in the news or other media sites, but how does it affect our communities? How many lives has the opioid epidemic claimed, and what is currently being done? These questions and more are addressed in our most recent episode, which features special guests Dr. Scott Walters and Dr. Annesha White. 
For World AIDS day, we discuss the continuing AIDS epidemic, potential resources that the community may access, and discuss some of the stigmas associated with the virus. Join us as we talk about this important disease with a panel of guest speakers from local community resources.
In Episode 10, we discuss Sex Trafficking with Dr. Martha Felini. A very complex issue that needs more recognition, Sex and Labor Trafficking is a profound issue throughout the world. How do we identify the victims of trafficking, and how does it happen in the first place? These questions and more are answered by Dr. Felini. Some of the resources that Dr. Felini mentions are as follows: Polaris: HEAL (Health, Education, Advocacy, Linkage): 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report: Human Trafficking Efforts in Texas:
Episode 9: Leukemia

Episode 9: Leukemia


In the ninth episode of PopTalk! we discuss Leukemia with two members of the nonprofit, LeukemiaTexas: Jessica Dunn and Mandy Flaming. We find out what leukemia is, how survival and treatment has changed over the years, and hear the personal experiences of one of our guests, Mandy Flaming. If you're interested in learning more about LeukemiaTexas, check out their website:
Episode 8 - What now?

Episode 8 - What now?


Thank you for joining us on our special arc series, where we discussed racism's history in healthcare, in housing and insurance. We know that this isn't the end of the discussion, and more honest conversations need to happen.  In this episode, we engage our panel to think about what happens do we move forward? What ideas, thoughts and approaches should be embraced? Listen in to see how you can potentially engage.