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iQ Conference 2020
Brent I. Fox, Pharm.D., Ph.D and Joshua C. Hollingsworth, Pharm.D., Ph.D.

How do you keep up with the ever-changing landscape regarding the art and science of medicine, with all the relevant new studies and findings, recent FDA drug approvals, guideline updates, medical reversals, relevant FDA warnings, etc.? How and when do you find the time to consume the plethora of pertinent new medical information? As we all know from experience, there’s generally not much time to sit and read at work in order to keep up sufficiently. There are always more pressing matters — verifying orders, consulting with physicians, filling prescriptions, counseling patients, etc. — that must be addressed while we’re on the clock, and rightly so.

So what about reading during free time, outside of work? According to the 2018 American Time Use Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, adults spend on average 16 minutes per day reading as a leisure activity. That’s not a lot of time — plus, if you are reading for pleasure, do you really want to read technical medical papers and guidelines? Our guess would be, no. So how else can you stay on top of the latest advances in pharmacy and medicine? Well, what if the time you spend performing chores around the house, exercising, commuting to and from work, and other daily activities that require little mental effort could serve double duty, allowing you to get things done and advance your pharmacy-related knowledge at the same time? Enter podcasts.

Comment on This Post And Share Your Favorite Pharmacy Podcasts

Podcasts are audio (and sometimes video) programs made available in a digital format that can be streamed or downloaded from the internet. Most podcasts are free and release content on a regular schedule, putting out an episode a week, for example. To consume a podcast, most people use a podcast app on their mobile device. For instance, Apple makes the (creatively named) Podcasts app for iOS devices (iPhones and iPads), and Google makes the (just as creatively named) Google Podcasts app for Android devices. In addition, there are many free third-party podcast apps that work on both iOS and Android devices. These include RadioPublic, Castbox, and Stitcher, just to name a few. Spotify, the popular music streaming service, also includes podcasts in its library of content. These apps can be used to find, listen to, and subscribe to podcasts of your choosing. Once you subscribe to a podcast, all new episodes will be automatically downloaded to your device as they become available.

There are podcasts for nearly any topic you can imagine. According to the latest estimates, there are over 750,000 podcasts currently available, with more than 30 million episodes. Essentially, anyone with internet access, a way to record audio (e.g., a smartphone or some other recording device), sufficient time, and a little bit of research can produce a podcast. So, as you might expect, the quality in terms of both content and production value varies widely from podcast to podcast. Here, we will cover high-quality podcasts that are relevant to pharmacists. We will start with podcasts produced by medical and pharmacy journals, then move to podcasts produced by pharmacists for pharmacists, and then cover a few general health-related podcasts that may be of interest. Keep in mind that this is just a sampling and is nowhere near an exhaustive list.

Podcasts Produced by Medical and Pharmacy Journals

Several medical and pharmacy journals produce podcasts. Generally, these podcasts serve as companions to the journal itself, with the latest podcast episode covering some portion of the content that was published in the journal’s most recent issue. Often, this will take the form of an interview or discussion with one of the authors of a recently published manuscript in the journal. Alternatively, episodes may consist of the journal’s editors discussing research that was recently published in their journal. It seems that most, if not all, of the major medical journals now have podcasts. These include the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), The Lancet, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Annals of Internal Medicine, and The British Medical Journal (BMJ), among others. Some of these journals put out multiple podcast feeds.

Podcasts Produced by Medical and Pharmacy Journals

New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM)

The Lancet

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)

The Annals of Internal Medicine

The British Medical Journal (BMJ)

American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy

European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy (EJHP)

For instance, searching “JAMA” in the Apple Podcast app returns 27 different podcasts that are part of the JAMA Network. Similarly, searching “BMJ” within the same app returns 33 podcasts that are part of the BMJ Group. Some pharmacy-specific journals also produce podcasts. For instance, there’s the European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy (EJHP) Podcast, which is part of the aforementioned BMJ Group. Then there’s AJHP Voices, the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy’s podcast, which “focuses on impactful, relevant, and cutting-edge professional and scientific content that drives optimal medication use and health outcomes.”

Podcasts Produced by Pharmacists for Pharmacists

There are several podcasts that are produced by pharmacists (and other healthcare providers) for pharmacists (and other healthcare providers). Here are a few such podcasts that are rated highly. The Best Science (BS) Medicine Podcast, produced by Michael Allan, M.D., and James McCormack, Pharm.D., aims to give pharmacists and other practitioners evidence-based drug therapy content in a practical and entertaining way. Similarly, the CorConsult Rx podcast, produced by Mike Corvino, Pharm.D., BCPS, aims to provide evidence-based medicine and drug updates to pharmacists and other practitioners “that are on the go.” The HelixTalk podcast is produced by pharmacy faculty at Rosalind Franklin University College of Pharmacy in order to provide “real-life clinical pearls and discussions [that] will help you stay up-to-date.” The Elective Rotation Podcast, produced by Joseph Muench, Pharm.D., covers critical care and hospital pharmacy information and claims to be the number-one ranked podcast in this area of focus. Then there’s the Pharmacy Podcast Network, which has more than 20 different podcasts, some of which are hosted by pharmacists, covering different aspects of pharmacy and pharmacy practice, ranging from pharmacogenomics to career development. The American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) also has a podcast, in which the hosts interview experts and influencers in clinical pharmacy and provide an overview of various research topics.

Podcasts Produced by Pharmacists for Pharmacists

The Best Science (BS) Medicine Podcast

CorConsult Rx podcast

The HelixTalk

The Elective Rotation Podcast

Pharmacy Podcast Network

The American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)

Other Health-Related Podcasts

There are other health-related podcasts that we find interesting and insightful, and that you may as well. Here are just a few. There’s the People’s Pharmacy Podcast, hosted by Joe Graedon (pharmacologist) and Terry Gradon (medical anthropologist), which covers “everything from home remedies to the latest medical advances.” Their approach is appropriate for a lay audience, and the podcast has been featured on “Good Morning America,” NPR, and other national outlets. The Peter Attia Drive Podcast, hosted by Peter Attia, M.D., brings on experts in various fields related to “health, performance, critical thinking, and pursuing excellence,” with ultimate focus on health and longevity. Dr. Attia dives in deep with his guests each week in their area of expertise. Then there’s the Found My Fitness Podcast, hosted by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D., which aims to promote strategies to “increase healthspan, well-being, cognitive and physical performance” through in-depth discussions with experts.

Other Health-Related Podcasts

People’s Pharmacy Podcast

The Peter Attia Drive Podcast

Found My Fitness Podcast

As with any resource in medicine, you want to make sure the podcasts that you subscribe and listen to are reputable and give accurate and up-to-date information. This is more of a concern for those “independent” podcasts, produced by individuals, and less so for podcasts produced by established and well-respected medical journals and content providers. Otherwise, the approach you take is up to you. You can subscribe to a particular podcast and listen to every episode it produces.

Alternatively, you can track a few different podcasts and consume only those episodes that are of specific interest to you. If you are looking for a specific topic (e.g., an overview of hypertension guidelines), try using it as a search term in your podcast app. You may find new and unexpected podcasts to enjoy this way. Sharing reputable podcasts with your patients or colleagues is also a great way to disseminate valuable information. One topic that we didn’t find a podcast dedicated to is drug shortages. We know such a podcast would be relevant and valuable to many ComputerTalk readers. So, do you regularly listen to any medicine-focused podcasts? Do you do so when accomplishing other tasks, such as commuting to work or working out at the gym? We welcome your comments and questions. CT

Joshua C. Hollingsworth, Pharm.D., Ph.D., is an assistant professor, Pharmacology and Biomedical Sciences, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn Campus, and Brent I. Fox, Pharm.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy, Harrison School of Pharmacy, Auburn University. The authors can be reached at jch0010@auburn.edu and foxbren@auburn.edu.