Podcast production is nimble enough to reflect trends that occur not only in medicine, but also in society. The pandemic, practice management issues, and race relations have all been covered in assorted otolaryngology podcasts. “I recently listened to a FrequENTcy podcast about allyship, which was timely as we’re in the midst of a time of racial injustice and inequality,” said Dr. Faucett.
Explore This IssueJanuary 2021
During the pandemic, added Sarah N. Bowe, MD, EdM, associate professor of surgery/otolaryngology and a pediatric otolaryngologist for the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery’s FrequENTcy podcast has rapidly increased its production and launched a dedicated coronavirus disease podcast series providing direct peer-to-peer information and resources on COVID-19–relevant topics. “There appears to be an increasing recognition within the otolaryngology community that podcasts can disseminate information quickly and easily to a broad audience,” she said.
The number of medical student and resident educational podcasts has also been increasing. “We’re starting to see this space being used to provide information on rapidly changing processes in regard to the upcoming Match 2021 season,” said Dr. Bowe, who is also part of the editorial team for the Headmirror website.
The range of otolaryngology podcast topics is likely to grow as the media form matures. “The goal would be to have a few podcasts within otolaryngology that cover a range of topics in an in-depth fashion—at least a few covering general education, another few covering new literature, and then a few more covering opinions within the field—so that listeners can choose their material based on their individual learning goals and availability,” Dr. Malka said. “These topics are what most people report as the reasons they listen to medical education podcasts.”
For the Future
As the podcast field grows, it will provide another way to convey information, particularly for earlier-career otolaryngologists working with others. “One of our goals is to empower the next generation of otolaryngologists to drive the content and production of podcasts, and they have done a truly fantastic job,” said Dr. Bowe.
Quality will also improve as more physicians rely on podcasting for educational content. “There are immense opportunities for podcasts to become an integral component of asynchronous learning opportunities,” said Dr. Bowe. “However, we’ll also need to develop and support ways to evaluate their quality, including assessment of credibility, content, and design, similar to other educational modalities that use peer review.”
Time will show which podcasts rise to the top of the field. “I think for podcasts, more and more we can expect routine and up-to-date content, certainly from established leaders in the field,” said Dr. Villwock. “I think the pandemic has emphasized how otolaryngology has been missing from this space for a while.”