Remote and asynchronous learning has blossomed with people with a high expertise level. —Ronit Malka, MD
Explore This IssueJanuary 2021
The earliest medical podcasts were either recorded lectures or other more traditional audiovisual presentations, and listeners had to tune in without being able to see the companion visual aids, making it difficult to understand everything being said. “Over time, podcast producers recognized this and began formatting their podcasts for a listener-only audience, but most of them were focused on intermittent review of literature or opinion-based material, which left a gap in podcast-based resources for fundamental educational material,” Dr. Malka said.
Today, many podcasts trend toward shallow coverage, with either sporadic or short-term episodes, but it’s something podcasters are aiming to improve. “Additionally, many of the earlier podcasts stopped updating material after a few months or years of production, which quickly made their content less relevant or appealing for listeners hoping to supplement their fund of knowledge,” said Dr. Malka.
Otolaryngology Podcasts Today
Podcast development is increasing with the need and desire for on-demand content, said Erynne A. Faucett, MD, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Department of Child Health in Phoenix. “This is in response to the change in learning needs and the changing times,” she said. Dr. Faucett, along with Jennifer Villwock, MD, co-created the Rx: Fierce podcast.
Sponsored by a Women in Otolaryngology grant, Rx: Fierce is focused on leadership and development of women in medicine and surgery. The podcast features inspirational stories from medicine, surgery, and science, interwoven with self-coaching content. “There are plenty of personal development seminars, but they’re not always accessible because you need a significant amount of time, money, or both,” said Dr. Villwock. “The topics we discuss are applicable to all surgical specialties, and people tend to like the personal stories of those we interview; we’ve made an intentional effort to interview prominent and successful women in the field.”
With the pandemic limiting in-person contact, one’s digital footprint, including podcast creation and engagement, becomes more important, said Dr. Villwock, an associate professor of rhinology and skull base surgery and associate director of the otolaryngology–head and neck surgery residency program at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. “When applying to residency programs, for example, that footprint is becoming the informal way people get to know us,” she said.