CDEM Voice – FOAMonthly

foamonthly-title

 

Introducing Medical Students to Social Media

-Online Source: https://www.amsa.org/social-media-guidelines-medical-students-physicians/


 

The modern medical student is no stranger to social media networks, most likely having never lived in a world without internet readily available in schools, homes and libraries. As sources of readily consumable information, many students look to Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and podcasts to supplement their medical learning in addition to interacting with others of similar interests. While studies lack evidence of quality, many have found social media to be satisfactory learning platforms for students. However, due to the informal nature of most social media networks, it can be difficult to adhere to principles of professionalism, patient safety and privacy, and transparency. Many medical schools have developed guidelines regarding online behavior, but there is no clear consensus on what level of involvement a physician in training should have. In the same way that you would guide students on how to maintain professionalism at the bedside, how can you appropriately guide your students to interact on social media platforms?

AMSA, the American Medical Student Association, has a helpful introductory guide on the basic principles of navigating the many pitfalls associated with medical information on social media. The guide advises students (and physicians) to respect patient privacy, copyright laws, and adhere to standards of professionalism. One can easily imagine how a single tweet designed to educate could violate patient confidentiality, opening the user up to a minefield of medico-legal issues. In contrast to usual social media behavior, AMSA recommends users to be clear about their identity, to disclose potential conflicts of interest, and to exercise caution when listing professional affiliations or advocating political views. With these basics under their belts, your students can benefit from the medical dialogue on social media without sacrificing their burgeoning professional reputation.

 

 

Emily Brumfield, MD
@DrSadieHawkins
Assistant Director of Undergraduate Medical Education
Department of Emergency Medicine
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s