Blog | Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Advocacy and education in social media for medical students

I had a great discussion recently as part of a social media faculty learning community at my institution and thought it should be shared.

As a group, we decided that what we would create is an elective for 4th year medical students on using social media in medicine and medical education. We are still finalizing the learning objectives, content and other components of what we want the students to learn. We are aware that students are very savvy when it comes to social media, but know that there is more for them (and others, including us) to learn. Including a section on professionalism is an obvious must. In addition, we plan to have a reflection component where students must contribute their reflections in writing.

We had a phenomenal discussion today about including a section on advocacy. We came to the conclusion that medical students should learn advocacy within the realm of social media. An absolutely phenomenal example is what Dr.Bryan Vartabadian has accomplished with his blog and Twitter feed, which ultimately made its way to a post on the Forbes website. This clearly demonstrates the impact that implementing one’s voice through social media channels can have.

What are your thoughts on medical education focusing on advocacy within social media? In addition, we would love your opinions on what else we should include in this elective for students. I look forward to any ideas. Crowdsourcing at its best!

Alexander M. Djuricich, MD, FACP, is Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and a Program Director in Medicine-Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. This post originally appeared at Mired in MedEd, where he blogs about medical education.