Podcasts―learning by listening

Technology is in a constant state of shift. Consider audio formats: wheel-to-wheel was replaced by 8-track, cassettes and then CDs. The shift is still on and podcasts are increasingly becoming a favoured listening format. Podcasts are audio files that can be downloaded or streamed, and function as an on-demand radio show. 

The choices are practically limitless: there are 750,000 shows with over 30 million episodes as of June 2019.1 Podcasts are part of the growing trove of free open-access medical education (FOAM)2 resources. Content varies from fact-oriented lectures to amusing but informative “edutainment.” 

College librarians have attempted to identify medical podcasts worth considering across the specialties, focusing on availability of CPD credit, cost (most are free) and reputation of producer such as noted publishers or professional associations. The list of podcasts available from the library can be found here.


  1. Winn, R. 2019 Podcast Stats & Facts (New Research From June 2019). Podcast Insights. June, 2019. Available from: https://www.podcastinsights.com/podcast-statistics
  2. Lo A, Shappell E, Rosenberg H, Thoma B, Ahn J, Trueger NS, Chan TM. Four strategies to find, evaluate, and engage with online resources in emergency medicine. CJEM. 2018 Mar;20(2):293-299.