NEWER POST

In Maryland Justice Is Blind, and Underpaid, and Considering Joining the...

OLDER POST

Comments Are for Lovers -- and Haters, Too!

Schools

Social Media for Medical Students

0 Written by: | Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 10:00am

Often when we hear about students tweeting, it’s for the wrong reasons — the football player breaking NCAA rules by using racial slurs against an opponent; the high schooler who got in trouble with the Kansas governor for an inappropriate hashtag (#heblowsalot). But with social media an increasingly pervasive part of daily life, it would be nice if there was some way to make it work for students, instead of just against them.

Cue Meg Chisolm, a psychiatrist and professor at Johns Hopkins. She’s a fan of tweeting, both personally and professionally, and she’s hoping to use her experience to help Johns Hopkins medical students figure out where social media might fit into their medical careers.

Chisolm herself has two professional Twitter accounts; @whole_patients demystifies psychiatry for doctors and patients alike (sample tweet:  Curiosity is one of core features I look for in #meded interviews. Surprisingly rare among med school & residency applicants) and @psychpearls, where she offers clinical tidbits for psychiatrists -in-training (sample tweet:  Lack of reliability in dx of specific DSM personality d/os raises the question:  is this diagnosis or “sophisticated” name-calling? #meded). She sees them as ways to connect with her colleagues, patients, and the wider public.

But social media plus medicine can be a volatile combination, too — especially for students who’ve grown up in a low-privacy world. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found an alarming number of blogs and Facebook posts by docs-in-training that contained all sorts of identifying information. Even when patients aren’t involved, a young doctor’s social media presence might not exactly connote professionalism, depending on how many look-at-me-wasted-at-Mardi-Gras pictures s/he has up.

Which is exactly why Chisolm and her colleague Tabor Flickinger are designing a pilot study to train third-year medical students on the potential benefits and pitfalls of social media use. Other medical schools, including Brown, the University of Chicago, and George Washington, already have social media curricula; this is Hopkins’s chance to catch up.

Students in the study will post on a private blog, which will help them mull over the challenging situations posed by their medical training. “They can reflect on encounters and situations that might have bothered them, or talk about successes,” Dr. Flickinger said. “This experience will teach them skills of reflective writing, and to think critically about issues of professionalism. It’s also a proactive way to get them to use social media in a professional way before they are released into the wild, so to speak. And do so in a protected way.”

Leave a Reply



    NEWER POST

    In Maryland Justice Is Blind, and Underpaid, and Considering Joining the...

    OLDER POST

    Comments Are for Lovers -- and Haters, Too!

    Most Comments This Week

    5

    Checkpoint Charlie: Before the Wall Came Down

    Written by Ellen Hartley

    Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015 12:55am

    3

    2

    Is Nonstick Cookware Safe?

    Written by Laurel Peltier

    Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 1:00pm

    2

    Who Holds More Sway, Parents or Peers?

    Written by elizabeth heubeck

    Thursday, Jan 29, 2015 12:00am

    Recent Comments

    bill
    City’s Reveals $26M Plan to Redo Lexington Market

    "Don't they mean an open air drug market? As long as heroin is the main commodity being...

    anne
    Rams Head Live Might Have to Return Your Ticket ‘Handling Fees’

    "I wonder why Pier Six wasn't included in the suit? Oh well, glad I hold onto ticket...

    Terri Steel
    Black and White

    "Thanks Tommy. Your comment made my day.

    TBH
    Is Nonstick Cookware Safe?

    "Thanks Laurel for another informative tip....think I will be off to the store today to...

    Melinda
    Gracious Receiving 101

    "Thanks for commenting,Terri! And for continuing to read!