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Getting the Most Out of Physician Podcasts


Doctors can get the most out of physician-directed podcasts with a combination of planning and spontaneity.


Physician podcasts have become more available and widespread in recent years. A number of physicians have started popular and well received podcasts. Doctors often recommend physician-run podcasts, as well as other podcasts of interest, to each other.

Topics ranging from personal finance to career management to wellness tend to appeal to doctors, and sometimes the subject matter is directed towards them at specific professional stages.

Podcasts are easily accessible with mobile devices, and they suit our current media-based environment, in which consumers seek out highly tailored content rather than listening to material that is geared towards the general population. Doctors can get the most out of physician-directed podcasts with a combination of planning and spontaneity.

Listen While Exercising

The most common time for doctors to listen to podcasts is while driving. You can also consider listening to podcasts while exercising. Activities like using a treadmill or even lifting weights can lend themselves well to taking in a podcast. You can make your day more efficient by learning while working towards fitness goals, and this can help motivate you to exercise if you need a nudge.

While you might initially search for programs to listen to, eventually you may see similar programs that you could decide to listen to if they also interest you. Creating and loading a list of interesting programs can make the process efficient.

One of the biggest problems in listening to podcasts while “on the go” is temporarily losing Wi-Fi. Sometimes downloading the program in advance can prevent interruptions caused by an inconsistent internet connection.

Classify Useful Information

As we consume more information in different formats rather than through print, the value of being able to refer back to useful material remains important. For instance, if you listened to a podcast about taxes, you might want to save the program until you are ready to use some of those tips.

Or if you have found some leadership advice helpful, you might want to refer to it and refresh your memory when you are deliberating a big decision about your practice staffing arrangement.

Consider creating a folder or tab on your computer, phone, or in your email so that you can easily find this digital information when you need it later. Some podcasts feature an interview and may include a portion with a cluster of facts that you can use. You could consider adding a note to remind yourself which part of the podcast has the relevant information that you want to revisit.

Start or Join a Book Club

Departmental Journal Clubs offer an opportunity for physicians to get together and critically assess newly published research. The practical aspects that go into the practice of medicine are becoming more complex, necessitating continued learning of multiple aspects of career management.

The same principle of critiquing research can be applied across specialties when doctors get together to discuss a physician directed podcast, potentially sharing opinions about the content and adding additional relevant insights to the discussion. Such a process can help build camaraderie among doctors with common interests who might not have had the chance to build each other’s knowledge otherwise.

Media Outreach to Advance Your Career

If a specific podcast really resonates with you, consider reaching out to the host. Many physicians who host podcasts are relatively accessible. You could pose a question that you want to learn more about, and the host may end up addressing your topic in a future program if it seems like it would be relevant to other listeners too.

You can even become more involved by offering to be a guest on the show if you have an area of expertise that you think the audience would appreciate hearing about. And, if you run a physician centered service or business, you could find a mutually beneficial sponsorship arrangement.

Of course, keep in mind that your attempts to connect might not be successful, especially if the podcast is extremely popular and/or your interests don’t align closely. But podcasts can be an opportunity for you to potentially connect with other physicians if it is the right fit.

Overall, our consumption of information is constantly changing. Using podcasts effectively can help improve your knowledge base and may even help you promote yourself and your professional interests.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice