By Kate Anastas
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Advancing technology has changed the way we learn — with more people than ever turning to nontraditional sources for education.

Podcasts continue to rise in popularity as a platform to enhance learning, with more than 30% of the United States population in 2019 listening to episodes monthly. Among the growing audience, physicians in training are taking advantage of podcasts to augment their education.

Research shows that adults studying medicine are susceptible to experiencing educational burnout — so this segment of listeners may be surprising. A recent study published in Academic Medicine looked to discover the appeal of educational podcasts to busy residents. Focusing on physicians in residency for emergency medicine, the study identified three primary motives for podcast-listening:

  • Connection. Surveyed medical residents felt that listening to podcasts helped them feel connected to other physicians in training and faculty, as well as the podcast contributors.
  • Engagement. Medical residents explained that podcasts kept them more engaged than a lecture or textbook learning, while still providing the ability to multitask. Residents could tune in to a podcast during daily activities.
  • Personal interest. Surveyed physicians in training enjoyed gaining new knowledge and reinforcing concepts previously learned. Residents often sought out podcasts as a tool to fill gaps in learning.

In the case of physicians in training, podcasts use real-world advice to expand on the field of medicineThis study could show the value of incorporating other forms of education to supplement learning.