After the gold rush? A systematic and critical review of general medical podcasts

J R Soc Med. 2009 Feb;102(2):69-74. doi: 10.1258/jrsm.2008.080245.


Objectives: Podcasts are increasingly used to enhance many forms of research communication and education. We set out to assess the extent of this podcast revolution by identifying and critically describing the content and quality of podcast services provided by leading general medical journals.

Methods: Summary of general and internal medicine journal podcasts identified in April 2008 by means of web-searching, with a brief commentary on their content and quality.

Results: Of the top 100 general medical and internal journals as ranked by impact factor only eight offer a regular podcast. The technical quality of most is of an acceptable but not of a high standard. The mode of delivery and resulting listening experience is variable with those utilizing an interview format more interesting to listen to than those reliant upon a single voice.

Conclusions: General medical podcasts are potentially a valuable resource for providing a digestible overview of the latest research, and for providing an opportunity to dip into areas outside one's own core interests. Although they represent a novel use of technology for disseminating knowledge, uptake has been limited and the quality of the listening experience is variable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Medicine*
  • Information Dissemination*
  • Internal Medicine*
  • Internet*
  • Journal Impact Factor
  • Periodicals as Topic*