Storytelling is a practice that has been proven to build community, inspire empathy, and incite change. So when you combine that with medicine and go beyond the science, the algorithms, and the data, you’ll find the art in medicine that our next guest is an expert in cultivating.

Dr. Ajay Major is an internal medicine resident, healthcare activist, and a physician-publisher passionate about narrative medicine. He has co-founded multiple online publications, including in-Training, a magazine for medical students, in-House, a magazine for residents and fellows, and The Palate, a magazine for medical students at the intersection of nutrition and public health.

More recently, he has helped found Pager Publications, a non-profit publishing house that curates and supports peer-edited publications for the medical education community.

His publications don’t just provide the patient and physician stories that move us, but also shine light on issues from racial injustice and healthcare inequity that inspire us.

After hearing his story, don’t be surprised if you’re compelled to action.

That’s precisely the point.

Show Notes
  • (00:01:44): Doctor, journalist, activist, publisher, entrepreneur – what role do you identify with most?
  • (00:02:20): How did you get started as a journalist and editor?
  • (00:06:50): How did you and your co-founder, Dr. Aleena Paul, establish such an effective partnership?
  • (00:09:28): What advice do you have for the rest of us on making a co-founder relationship work?
  • (00:12:07): Now that the teams at in-Training and in-House are spread across the country, how is virtual technology helping keep everyone connected and on task?
  • (00:13:52): What have you learned about managing teams?
  • (00:16:44): Do you see in-Training and in-House evolving into more traditional journalistic outlets?
  • (00:23:33): After working in online media, you are now moving towards print media with Pager Publications, Inc. Can you tell us about this publishing house?
  • (00:27:56): in-Training was launched when you and Dr. Aleena Paul were challenged to “go big or go home.” How can the rest of us harness that challenge in our own lives?
  • (00:30:05): What advice do you have for anyone trying to start a company or creative endeavor?
  • (00:32:24): How are the skills of writing, reading, speaking, and critical analysis essential for the modern physician?
  • (00:35:42): What is medicine plus?
  • (00:37:10): How did the in-Training article about the issues in Ferguson, Missouri bring the magazine to national recognition?
  • (00:42:36): Do you believe in-Training and in-House have a place in health policy issues on a national level?
  • (00:46:13): Why is having a social media presence as a physician so important?
  • (00:48:53): What does leadership mean to you?
  • (00:50:30): What makes a good pitch?
  • (00:51:14): What are your favorite posts on your publications?
  • (00:52:01): What have been the most popular posts?
  • (00:52:52): Have there been any books that have made an enormous impact on you?
  • (00:54:23): Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • (00:55:26): Do you use any tools to manage your time and work?

Selected Links
People Mentioned


Music by Lee Rosevere – Sad Marimba Planet from

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

– Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.