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West J Emerg Med. 2017 Feb;18(2):229-234. doi: 10.5811/westjem.2016.12.32850. Epub 2017 Jan 30.

A Survey of Emergency Medicine Residents' Use of Educational Podcasts.

Author information

University of Washington, Department of Medicine, Division of Emergency Medicine, Seattle, Washington.
New York University, Department of Emergency Medicine, New York, New York.
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Emergency Medicine, San Antonio, Texas.
University of Kentucky, Department of Emergency Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky.
Greater San Antonio Emergency Physicians, San Antonio, Texas.



Emergency medicine (EM) educational podcasts have become increasingly popular. Residents spend a greater percentage of their time listening to podcasts than they do using other educational materials. Despite this popularity, research into podcasting in the EM context is sparse. We aimed to determine EM residents' consumption habits, optimal podcast preferences, and motivation for listening to EM podcasts.


We created a survey and emailed it to EM residents at all levels of training at 12 residencies across the United States from September 2015 to June 2016. In addition to demographics, the 20-question voluntary survey asked questions exploring three domains: habits, attention, and motivation. We used descriptive statistics to analyze results.


Of the 605 residents invited to participate, 356 (n= 60.3%) completed the survey. The vast majority listen to podcasts at least once a month (88.8%). Two podcasts were the most popular by a wide margin, with 77.8% and 62.1% regularly listening to Emergency Medicine: Reviews and Perspectives (EM:RAP) and the EMCrit Podcast, respectively; 84.6% reported the ideal length of a podcast was less than 30 minutes. Residents reported their motivation to listen to EM podcasts was to "Keep up with current literature" (88.5%) and "Learn EM core content" (70.2%). Of those responding, 72.2% said podcasts change their clinical practice either "somewhat" or "very much."


The results of this survey study suggest most residents listen to podcasts at least once a month, prefer podcasts less than 30 minutes in length, have several motivations for choosing podcasts, and report that podcasts change their clinical practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest: By the WestJEM article submission agreement, all authors are required to disclose all affiliations, funding sources and financial or management relationships that could be perceived as potential sources of bias. Dr. Swaminathan is co-host and assistant editor of the EM:RAP podcast. Dr. Rogers is creator of the Wildcast EM podcast. Dr. Rezaie is the founder and creator of the REBEL EM podcast.

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