Answers to these questions and more can be found by listening to Psound Bytes, a podcast series covering psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF).
Sitting in traffic? Going out for a morning run? Cleaning up in the kitchen after dinner? Psound Bytes offers an innovative way for health care providers to stay up to date on the latest news and research related to psoriatic disease and acquire Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit without interrupting their daily routines. According to research data, 62 million people listen to podcasts weekly, with the majority of podcast listening occurring at home or in the car.  Data from 2018 show that health and living podcasts were one of the top 10 genres, with 57.2 million households tuning in. 
Abby Van Voorhees, M.D., chair of dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and chair of NPF’s medical board, was recently interviewed regarding COVID-19, so we asked her about the benefits that listening to podcasts can provide health care professionals. “I see two main benefits,” she says. “The first is the timely transmission of information. Given the pandemic crisis in this country, time is of the essence. So it was a wonderful medium to share the findings with many people so quickly after it was obtained.
“The second advantage of a podcast is that it is easy to enjoy it while doing other tasks,” she adds. “So, for example, listening while driving or doing the dishes allows us to learn when it is most convenient for each of us individually. That can be so helpful in our 24/7 world.”
Each CME podcast episode features experts in the field discussing the latest advancements in psoriatic disease research and care, as well as answering questions and sharing tips to help patients thrive. Some previously featured experts include:
- Van Voorhees discussing intriguing COVID-19 survey results
- Albert Rizzo, M.D., chief medical officer at the American Lung Association, separating fact from fiction regarding COVID-19
- Ben Kaffenberger, M.D., and Jessica Kaffenberger, M.D., both dermatologists, who partnered with periodontist Purnima Kumar, DDS, to discuss the inflammatory relationship between oral health and psoriasis
- April Armstrong, M.D., director of the Psoriasis Program, Department of Dermatology at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, addressing the impact of diet and supplements on psoriatic disease
- Nehal Mehta, M.D., cardiologist and chief of the Section of Inflammation and Cardiometabolic Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, discussing cardiovascular disease and psoriatic disease
Many factors go into choosing guests to interview, such as recently published research and/or an aspect of psoriasis on which a guest is an expert. The guests provide the most current information available during interviews by spending time researching and preparing beforehand. When asked about the preparation that went into her episode about COVID-19, Van Voorhees shared that she “reviewed the surveys that had been conducted with the NPF’s medical board and the scientific advisory committee, highlighting the results that I thought would be of greatest interest to the professional membership as well as to those with psoriasis.”
Not only is each episode 30 minutes or less, but all the CME Psound Bytes podcasts are eligible for a minimum of 0.25 CME credit. Have a block of time available? Health care providers can listen to a series of podcasts and claim even more CME credits. Credits can be claimed easily by visiting the link in the podcast description or cme.psoriasis.org and completing the short online post-evaluation survey. Then, providers can download their CME certificates. CME-eligible episodes are released twice per month.
NPF is proud to offer this innovative educational tool to health care providers, especially during times like this, where ease of access to pertinent, informative educational offerings is so valuable. As Van Voorhees points out, “Podcasts are an especially powerful tool right now because of the ability to record these conversations long distance. For example, I was interviewed while home in Virginia for the COVID-19 podcast. We didn’t need to wait until the ‘stay in place’ order was lifted, and I was able to attend a meeting. This way, information is shared quickly and efficiently.”