One thing both healthcare professionals and those new to the health and wellness space have in common is that they are really busy. With such busy schedules, medical podcasts can help you stay up to date and maximize your efficiency.
The booming popularity of podcasts over the past several years has positively impacted healthcare professionals and medical students in many ways. From stress management to unlocking empathy, keep reading to find out how medical professionals are benefiting from listening to podcasts. (22)
Did you know? Podcast production and awareness have exploded in recent years. In 2006, only 22% of consumers knew what a podcast was. In 2022, 79% of consumers are aware of podcasting. (7)
What are podcasts?
A podcast is a digital audio file that is available on the internet to be streamed or downloaded from a computer or mobile device. Podcasts are typically available as individual episodes or series of episodes.
They also come in a variety of lengths with different topics and subjects, so you are bound to find one that interests you. (24)
Medical podcasts cover a wide range of topics. Some focus on medical issues, while others feature interviews, real-life case studies, emerging research, and much more.
Why have medical podcasts grown in popularity?
There’s been a dramatic increase in podcast popularity. As of 2022, 62% of Americans twelve and older have listened to a podcast. (7)
Today, there is more free and subscription-based medical audio content than ever before. For example, the American Medical Association (AMA), the Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine now produce audio briefs and summaries of the latest medical research.
Audio archives (NEJM audio archives) are undeniably more convenient than their printed and mailed counterparts. You can listen to something for ten to 15 minutes in the car on the way to work instead of taking time out of your busy day to sit down and read an article.
9 benefits of listening to podcasts—specifically for healthcare providers
What are the benefits of podcasts, and how are practitioners benefiting from listening to podcasts? We’ve outlined nine benefits of listening to podcasts below.
1. Practitioners can tune in on their time
One of the best parts about podcasts is you choose to listen on your time—which, for many medical professionals, is often limited. Podcasts give you the freedom to listen when you want and how you want. You can listen to a podcast on the way to work, or you can tune in to decompress on the couch after a long workday.
2. Podcasts can help manage stress levels
Working in the medical industry can be very rewarding but also very stressful. Luckily, listening to a podcast related to stress management and mindfulness can be an effective stress management technique. In fact, there are a variety of podcasts that offer specific mindfulness teachings that you can listen to while cleaning or exercising. (25)
Did you know? Listening to mindfulness podcasts can help you decompress after a stressful workday, making working in the healthcare system more manageable. (25)
3. Medical podcasts help practitioners handle tough patient conversations
For many healthcare professionals, having difficult conversations with patients is a daily occurrence. Listening to certain podcasts can actually help you improve how you handle these conversations and help improve the practitioner-patient relationship. There are specific medical podcasts you can listen to that will help walk you through having tough conversations with patients. For example, there is a podcast series by AMA, called “AMA DocTalk,” that examines real-world solutions and provides insights to patient case studies. (2)(3)
4. Listening improves empathy with patients
Podcasters often tell detailed and brutally honest stories. Listening to people tell their stories can help you build your own empathy, by understanding what your patients may be going through on a deeper level. (13)
Plus, your patients are listening to a lot of the popular podcasts out there too. According to the latest podcast statistics data, 109 million Americans have listened to a podcast in the last 30 days. (7)
5. Multitasking and podcasts go together
One of the great drivers of podcast consumption growth is that podcasts are the ultimate multitasking content format. Podcasts are easy to listen to while you’re doing other things. Choose to learn something new while multitasking. You can catch up on the latest medical jargon as you go for a jog, or you can listen to patient stories as you fold the laundry. (1)(21)
Did you know? More than half of podcast listeners are multitasking while tuning in. (8)
6. Listening helps practitioners gain a new perspective
If you’re a visual learner, audio programs like podcasts can help stimulate mental imagery and help you see things from a different, more creative perspective. (14)
7. Podcasts can make practitioners better listeners in real life
Listening to certain podcasts can help you become a better listener in person and help you connect with your patients on a deeper level. Tuning into podcasts can also help you engage more with patients, colleagues, friends, and family. There is a whole collection of TED talks dedicated to helping you become a better listener. (15)
Did you know? A study found the optimal length of an educational podcast is 15 to 20 minutes. (6)
8. Can help you bond more with colleagues and patients
Organizing and executing a book club may feel next to impossible, but committing to listening to a podcast for 30 minutes a week is more doable and a good way to connect with colleagues. Listening and discussing podcasts could help build a stronger sense of connection among colleagues. Having a strong sense of connection with colleagues has been linked to higher commitment, lower level of reported job stress, and increased perception of social impact. (4)(20)
It can also be beneficial for treatment adherence to share and discuss podcasts with your patients. This is because podcasts can further educate patients on the importance of making lifestyle changes to improve health outcomes. (10)
“I talk to patients about the medical podcasts I listen to often. I also share the recordings and can do so freely. This helps me better explain the things I want them to learn and that are especially valuable.” — Dr. Eli Camp, ND
9. Medical podcasts are more engaging and less expensive than textbooks
Listening to medical audio files is a very cost-effective and engaging way of continuing your education throughout a demanding career. Podcasts can be a great source of information that doesn’t involve finding a quiet place and opening a book, or signing up and paying for a monthly mailed-out journal. Medical podcasts have also been shown to improve medical students’ knowledge base and educational performance. (5)(11)
“In podcasts, we can talk and discuss what people want to hear. How to get back to the roots of our medicine and restore people to help vs. just treating conditions. Instead, the conditions are addressed as a side effect of restoring health.” — Dr. Eli Camp, ND
Top medical podcasts
If you’re interested in medical podcasts, the list below contains some popular and well-rated medical podcasts.
- 2 Docs Talk (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- AMA Doc Talk (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- Docs Outside the Box (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- Medtech Talk (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- Healthcare Happy Hour ( Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- Straight Talk MD (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- The #HCBIZ Show (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- The 10 Minute Healthcare Marketing Podcast (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
- TedTalks: Health (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)
The bottom line
Have a favorite medical podcast you like to listen to? Let us know which one it is and what you enjoy about it by commenting below!
Are you a healthcare provider who’s been routinely listening to podcasts? We’d love to hear about any other podcast benefits for doctors you may have noticed over time that didn’t make our list.
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