Pritzker School of Medicine released the results of a study examining podcasting as a novel way to communicate with applicants to their medical school. What they found could soon change the way other medical school across the U.S. reach prospective medical students.

So, what exactly did they do? The school created a podcast to help the community of applicants to their medical school navigate both the application process and the process of learning more about the school itself. The end goal: to learn more about the ways in which the podcast audience listened to the show, why they listened, and how useful they felt it was compared to more “traditional” premedical resources.

The research team, led by Ben Ferguson, MD, PhD, University of Chicago, found that about 40% of their applicants who ended up coming for an interview had listened to the podcast prior to the interview. The vast majority of the audience felt that it was helpful for learning about our medical school and its unique features and that it was a faithful representation of our medical school. The vast majority felt that listening to the podcast would encourage their decision to attend our medical school if they were to be accepted.Most importantly, the majority of their audience felt that the podcast was more helpful than other premedical resources and that it was equally or more convenient than the other resources.


“In general, podcasting is an effective way of reaching a premedical audience and providing useful information about a medical school, from specifics about the application process to overviews of interesting and unique features of the school,” told PreMedLife in an email. “In comparison to other traditional resources that are commonly used among premedical students and applicants, podcasts are more helpful and just as convenient. Podcasting can also be a very useful recruiting tool as well and should be a consideration among other medical schools in their recruiting and outreach efforts.”

Here are a few other significant findings from the study:

  • 71% of listeners stated that our podcast was helpful in informing them about the general process of applying to medical school.
  • 87% felt it was helpful for applying to our medical school specifically.
  • 92% replied that it was an accurate representation of our medical school and its application process, student atmosphere, and academic qualities.
  • 52% felt that it improved to a significant extent their personal preparedness to apply to medical school
  • 81 % stated that having listened to our podcast would encourage their decision to attend our medical school should they ultimately be accepted.

Check out the school’s podcast here.

The results of the study were published in the September 2014 issue of Perspectives on Medical Education.