MDTea Club and Podcast – Join the conversation

MDTea is by Dr Joanna Preston @GerisJo and Dr Iain Wilkinson @geriatricsdoc, consultant Geriatricians at St. George’s Hospital, London and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust respectively.

MDTea offers free education on ageing for the whole MDT. We produce fortnightly podcasts on common topics encountered in clinical practice, critically looking at what evidence bases exist and which do not and applying practical solutions. The aim is to upskill a diverse workforce by discussing each topic from multi-disciplinary view points, not just one profession. We work and learn in teams in real life to solve problems so we aim to translate this to a shared format.

We have released 30 episodes over the last 18 months with funding for 20 more at the moment. Our 4th series started recently with an episode on Theories of Ageing. Others include mouth care, pain, delirium, falls prevention and management, interventions in early dementia, identity and nutrition, to name a few. Our most recent episode was on Sex and older adults – a largely neglected topic.

A week after each episode we host an online ‘journal club’ style discussion with the help of Dr Dan Thomas, the new trainee representative on the clinical quality group. Each episode will be the focus of a twitter chat a week after it is released, on a Wednesday evening at 8.30pm using #MDTeaClub (as voted for by Twitter) and facilitated by @mdtea_podcast. A summary of the discussion can be found on the website shortly after for those who cannot make it. The next is planned for the 20th September.

Later this summer we will be sharing two mini-series allowing more detailed focus over 5 episodes. The first is on End of Life Care exploring management strategies in the care of dying patients from diagnosis to death. As with the main MDTea episodes, these are aimed at professionals. The second will be on Stroke, again exploring the pathway from onset of symptoms to discharge home, but this will be a resource for patients and their families. These have been developed by Dr Tapiwa Moffatt @drTapi and Dr Uzma Faruqi @uzmafaruqi, clinical fellows at Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust.

Commonly asked questions…

What is a podcast and how do I listen?

Podcasts are freely available radio shows that can be accessed anytime on podcast sharing platforms including iTunes. We also host each episode on our website (listening to learn, get it?) where you can listen directly on your computer or mobile phone. Each episode lasts approximately 30-40 minutes; our Twitter followers tell us this is perfect for their commute, dog walks or cooking dinner, amongst others!

How do I know I can trust what you say?

This is a great question and one you should ask of all online resources. For each episode we produce show notes which can be downloaded from our website with references for everything we discuss. We are clear about when there is no evidence base to support practice and supplement this with discussion about best practice.

Each episode is developed by at least 2 members of the MDT alongside two Geriatricians. Our core faculty includes a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, social worker, pharmacist, nurses and a physician associate. We draw on expertise from the wider MDT and specialties as ‘Guest Faculty’ for specific episodes. More details and bios can be found on our website.

Does anyone actually listen? And if so, who are they?

We’re pleased to say that people are listening and generally they seem to like it. At the last count we’d had 41,851 downloads.

From our mailing list demographics we estimate that our listeners are 35% doctors, 39% therapists, 20% nurses, with the remainder being a mix of managers, SALT, HCAs and others. 42% identify with primary rather than secondary care and 44% with a specialty other than Geriatrics as their primary area of work.

How can I use this for my team learning and/or my CPD?

Each episode has an infographic providing a short introduction to that topic, which can be downloaded from our website to use either as posters in your workplace, or as part of a blended learning approach for tutorials.

The website also contains a CPD form next to each episode for you to easily log self-reflective learning. You will automatically be emailed a copy of this for your records.

I still don’t quite get this whole podcast thing.

It’s okay. We made the website with you in mind. You can listen to each episode directly on the website if you prefer without any need for downloading apps or files. There you can also sign up to our mailing list and we’ll email you each time a new episode is out.

MDTea podcast is a free, open access education resource for anyone working with older adults. We are funded by HEKSS through a Technology Enhanced Learning grant. You can find us on twitter: @mdtea_podcast on or at

Dr Dan Thomas @dan26wales a trainee in Liverpool, coordinating the #MDTeaClub.

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