Ep 14. Media in Medical Education


Ruleout podcast was created with the long-term goal of inspiring other students to use their voices. Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Faizan, a student that embodies all those hopes.

As a second year student, Faizan, along with other medical students, started MEDamorphosis podcast. The goal of his podcast is to share pearls from physicians in a wide range of fields in order to help medical students decide what to specialize in. This episode here explores the MEDamorphosis podcast as well as Faizan’s inspiring vision for media in medical education.

Background Information

Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular with 40% of Americans aged over 12 years having ever listened to a podcast, and 21% having done so in the past month, up from 9% in 2008 (Vogt, 2016). In 2016, there were 2.6 billion podcast downloads (Vogt, 2016).

In a review of 356 emergency medicine residents across the USA, 88% listened to podcasts at least every month (Riddell, Swaminathan, Lee, Mohamed, Rogers & Rezaie, 2017). Sterling et al. (2017) assessed the role of podcasts at the postgraduate level in an audience who had limited hours for class-based learning. The systematic review of 29 papers demonstrated high usage rates of up to 80% among residents and fellows in critical care, emergency and anaesthia (Sterling et al, 2017)

In a randomized control trial, 130 medical students were randomly assigned for learning either with a book chapter or a podcast about common orthopedic diseases in an isolated computer room (Back, von Malotky, Sostmann, Hube, Peters & Hoff, 2017). Back et al (2017) showed a significantly higher gain of knowledge and higher satisfaction from learning with podcasts compared to book texts among students. 

Characteristics of a good podcast have been studied by several groups. Lin, Thoma, Trueger, Ankel, Sherbino & Chan (2015) conducted a Delphi consensus on health professions educators at the 2014 International Conference on Residency Education to determine which of the 151 quality indicators met the a priori ≥90% inclusion threshold. Thirteen common quality indicators consistently received high consensus agreement (≥90%) among the health professions educators (Lin et al, 2015). Health professions educators valued credibility as the most important domain in assessing quality for blogs and podcasts in the form of transparency and trustworthiness. Experts also valued accurate, professional and audience-specific content for blogs and podcasts (Lin et al, 2015).

The recommended range for podcasts is 10-20 minutes (Cho, Cosimini, & Espinoza, 2017), and is consistent with other reported listener preference (Parson, Reddy, Wood, & Senior, 2009). Interview format, clear disclosures, and accurate information were reported as desirable (Cho et al, 2017).

Other preferred characteristics from survey of medical students found support for dialog over monolog format (93%); citation of current evidence (67%); use of personal anecdotes (52%); and humor (37%) (Cosimini et al, 2017). Multiple trainees requested summary points, either between sections or at the end (Cosimini et al, 2017). Some trainees requested a platform where 1.25× or 1.5× speed was available, consistent with the author’s own listening habits (Cosimini et al, 2017).

Link to MEDamorphosis


Faizan is everything we need in medicine: intelligent, well-spoken and inspiring. He has an amazing project through MEDamphorosis and I would be honored to help in any way I can.


Back, D. A., von Malotky, J., Sostmann, K., Hube, R., Peters, H., & Hoff, E. (2017). Superior gain in knowledge by podcasts versus text-based learning in teaching orthopedics: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of surgical education74(1), 154-160.

Chen, Z., & Melon, J. (2018). Evolution of social media: review of the role of podcasts in gynaecology. International urogynecology journal29(4), 477-480.

Cho, D., Cosimini, M., & Espinoza, J. (2017). Podcasting in medical education: a review of the literature. Korean journal of medical education29(4), 229-239.

Cosimini, M. J., Cho, D., Liley, F., & Espinoza, J. (2017). Podcasting in Medical Education: How Long Should an Educational Podcast Be?. Journal of graduate medical education9(3), 388-389.

Davis, J., Chryssafidou, E., Zamora, J., Davies, D., Khan, K., & Coomarasamy, A. (2007). Computer-based teaching is as good as face to face lecture-based teaching of evidence based medicine: a randomised controlled trial. BMC medical education7(1), 23.

Kapoor, S., Catton, R., & Khalil, H. (2018). An evaluation of medical student-led podcasts: what are the lessons learnt?. Advances in medical education and practice9, 133.

Lin, M., Thoma, B., Trueger, N. S., Ankel, F., Sherbino, J., & Chan, T. (2015). Quality indicators for blogs and podcasts used in medical education: modified Delphi consensus recommendations by an international cohort of health professions educators. Postgraduate medical journal91(1080), 546-550.

Parson, V., Reddy, P., Wood, J., & Senior, C. (2009). Educating an iPod generation: undergraduate attitudes, experiences and understanding of vodcast and podcast use. Learning, Media and Technology34(3), 215-228.

Riddell, J., Swaminathan, A., Lee, M., Mohamed, A., Rogers, R., & Rezaie, S. R. (2017). A survey of emergency medicine residents’ use of educational podcasts. Western Journal of Emergency Medicine18(2), 229.

Sterling, M., Leung, P., Wright, D., & Bishop, T. F. (2017). The use of social media in graduate medical education: a systematic review. Academic medicine: journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges92(7), 1043

Vogt, N. (2016). Podcasting: fact sheet. Pew Research Center

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