Influence of social networking websites on medical school and residency selection process
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Social networking (SN) has become ubiquitous in modern culture. The potential consequences of revealing personal information through SN websites are not fully understood. OBJECTIVE: To assess familiarity with, usage of, and attitudes towards, SN websites by admissions offices at US medical schools and residency programmes. METHODS: A 26-question survey was distributed in autumn 2009 to 130 US medical school admissions officers and 4926 residency programme directors accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. RESULTS: A total of 600 surveys were completed, with 46 (8%) respondents who self-identified as reviewing only medical school applications, 511 (85%) who reported reviewing residency programme applications and 43 (7%) who reported reviewing both. 90/600 (15%) medical schools or programmes maintain profiles on SN websites and 381/600 (64%) respondents reported being somewhat or very familiar with searching individual profiles on SN websites. While a minority of medical schools and residency programmes routinely use SN websites in the selection process (53/600; 9%), more than half of respondents felt that unprofessional information on applicants' SN websites could compromise their admission into medical school or residency (315/600; 53%). CONCLUSIONS: SN websites will affect selection of medical students and residents. Formal guidelines for professional behaviour on SN websites might help applicants avoid unforeseen bias in the selection process.
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ABSTRACT: Objective The main aim of our study was to establish the prevalence of social networking accounts among a group of second-level students (aged 15-18 years), to determine whether they used privacy settings, and to examine their attitudes to various aspects of social media use in medicine. Design A descriptive study design was employed. The questionnaire was constructed specifically to address the attitudes of students to social media. No similar suitable validated questionnaire could be identified. The questionnaire consisted of 20 questions with a mixture of open answer, yes/no, and Likert scale response options. Participants Participation was voluntary and anonymous. Second-level school children interested in studying medicine and aged between 15 and 18 years took part. Setting An annual open day organized by the School of Medicine in University College Cork, Ireland, formed the setting. The day comprised a mixture of lectures, demonstrations, and practical sessions designed to give the students insight into life as a medical student. Results A total of 96 students attended, and all were handed the questionnaires. Of them, 88 students completed the survey. Overall, 90.9% of students had Facebook accounts and 53% had Twitter accounts. Of those with social media accounts, 14.8% reported having no privacy settings. Most respondents felt that unprofessional behavior on social media sites should be a factor considered in admission to medical schools. Conclusions Serious consequences can result from lapses in best practice relating to social media behavior. Dedicated reflective learning modules need to be incorporated into undergraduate and postgraduate training programs as a matter of urgency.Journal of Surgical Education 01/2013; 71(3). DOI:10.1016/j.jsurg.2013.10.008 · 1.39 Impact Factor
- The Journal of pediatrics 06/2013; 163(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.05.041 · 3.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The use of social networking software has become ubiquitous in our society. The aim of this study was to explore the attitudes and experiences of healthcare professional students using Facebook at our school, to determine if there is a need for development of policy to assist students in this area. A mixed-methods approach was employed, using semistructured interviews to identify themes which were explored using an online survey. A combination of descriptive statistics and thematic analysis was used for analysis. Healthcare professions education programmes at a large Canadian university. Students of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, dentistry, dental hygiene and medical laboratory Science were invited to participate. 14 participants were interviewed, and 682 participants responded to an online survey; the female:male balance was 3 : 1. 14 interviews were analysed in-depth, and 682 students responded to the survey (17% response rate). 93% reported current Facebook use. Themes identified included patterns of use and attitudes to friendship, attitudes to online privacy, breaches of professional behaviour on Facebook and attitudes to guidelines relating to Facebook use. A majority considered posting of the following material unprofessional: use of alcohol/drugs, crime, obscenity/nudity/sexual content, patient/client information, criticism of others. 44% reported seeing such material posted by a colleague, and 27% reported posting such material themselves. A majority of participants agreed that guidelines for Facebook use would be beneficial. Social networking software use, specifically Facebook use, was widespread among healthcare students at our school who responded to our survey. Our results highlight some of the challenges which can accompany the use of this new technology and offer potential insights to help understand the pedagogy and practices of Facebook use in this population, and to help students navigate the dilemmas associated with becoming 21st century healthcare professionals.BMJ Open 07/2013; 3(7). DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003013 · 2.06 Impact Factor