The Doctor Is In

Jefferson Physician Hosts Weekly Radio Show on Health

She’s listening.

Marianne T. Ritchie, MD ’80, listens to—and advises on—medical issues all the time. Usually, the gastroenterologist does it in her office at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. But once a week, she takes to the airwaves to inform and educate the people who tune in to her radio show on WPHT-1210 AM.

Using her best “radioside manner,” Dr. Ritchie unravels complicated medical topics for her listening audience on “Your Radio Doctor” every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Each week, she interviews guests that include physicians, researchers, and other leaders in the medical community.

“Radio is a fantastic medium [to] influence people,” Dr. Ritchie says. “The goal of the show is to explain medical conditions and diseases in clear language so the listening audience understands it better. If they have a better understanding, they’re more likely to become engaged and more committed to taking care of themselves and making better decisions for themselves and their loved ones.”

A native of Drexel Hill, Dr. Ritchie declares herself a “proud member of the Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College) class of 1980!” She completed her residency at Lankenau Hospital, and a fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She then came home to Philadelphia to practice at the Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood and serve as a faculty member at Temple University Hospital.

After 14 years as an attending physician at Lankenau, she took a hiatus to care for her ill father and raise three children with husband and fellow alum Stuart Gordon, MD '81. When her father passed away, she went back to work on the faculty at Temple University Hospital. But in 2006, Anthony DiMarino, MD, the Dorrance H. Hamilton Professor of Medicine and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, reached out and invited her to come home to her alma mater.

Since that time, she has built up a practice—and a reputation. A leading advocate for preventive healthcare, she developed two preventive-medicine programs: the Pink Plus triple cancer screening program for women, and the Blue Lights campaign for colon cancer awareness.

And, of course, there’s the radio show, perhaps the most far-reaching attempt to inspire overall preventive care. While the program is aired locally on Sundays, it can be heard nationally and internationally on In addition, all of her shows are posted on her website,, and segments also appear on YouTube.

Dr. Ritchie says she feels the radio show is the “culmination of all the chapters of my life,” drawing from her college days as a DJ at St. Joseph’s University, and her current roles as physician and teacher.

The on-air gig started 10 years ago when she returned to St. Joe’s as a guest speaker. After hearing her talk about women’s health and colon cancer screening, a member of the audience offered to introduce her to a friend who hosted a local radio show.

She ended up as the medical editor of “Women to Watch Media,” a program that airs on Sunday nights on talk station WPHT and highlights women leaders from around the world. Her segment consisted of two-minute pieces on medical issues, including discussing causes, risk factors, prevention, and treatment of conditions.

The segment became so popular that Dr. Ritchie was asked to create her own full-length program. Her first show on February 2, 2020, consisted of an interview with a few of her Jefferson colleagues.

When COVID started sweeping the nation, Dr. Ritchie shifted gears. While much of her subject matter turned to the pandemic, she soon realized that the fear and anxiety provoked by the crisis needed to be addressed. “It couldn’t be all doom and gloom messaging,” she says. “So I began ending each show with an uplifting story called ‘Your Real Champion.’”

In the segment, she highlights healthcare heroes who are making a difference, such as a mother-daughter nurse team that volunteered to work the COVID floors of the hospital together. “These are beautiful stories, these are messages that need to be heard,” she says.

And she is being heard—by thousands of listeners every week. Her growing audience motivates her to continue, even though each segment takes about 30 hours of preparation. It’s a lot of work, but she says she has no intention of stopping because educating the public on health issues is of the utmost importance. “My personal goal is to make it to 100 years old, and as long as I have a voice and a half a brain cell left, I’m going to keep spreading the word.”

Dr. Ritchie invites fellow SKMC alumni to contact her about topic ideas for her radio show. Reach her at