Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Talking to medical students about social media and medicine

This afternoon I had a short session with about 25 medical students talking about social media and medicine.We had a general chat and discussion around twitter and blogs and I also used this short presentation.

A few snippets from the discussion:
-all students had a Facebook account
-most had adjusted privacy settings, some hadn't because they didn't know how or weren't worried as they rarely used
-some had heard about FB profiles being checked by recruitment firms but were unsure if that happened in medicine
-all thought it was inappropriate to become friends with a patient on FB.
-there was a lot of discussion about how or why we might keep different aspects of our identity separate from our professional identity, eg being political
-no students used Twitter
-we thought that @shazmo showed great ingenuity in using her Twitter learning network, as described here.
-there was surprise that doctors sharing pictures of the 'lying down' game on FB had made it to the press, but were not surprised that they were 'let off'.
-there was a feeling that students did not need guidance about how to use FB for example. This was 'common sense' and there was a feeling that guidelines may represent the more general encroachment of medical education in to apsects of life outside medicine, in the same was as other discussions of 'professionalism'.
- thinking about the paper of Farnan et. al, there was surprise that the medical school changed its mind over what was appropriate. We thought this reflected general ambiguity over how to use social media.
-they wondered what it was like to be a medical student before the internet. I told them about Index Medicus.
-we wondered how technology would affect our work in the future. Would we be skyping with patients. This was thought to be unlikely but it was thought that when with a patient we might use video-calling to access a sepcialist opinion for a patient.
-the main reasons for not thinking that telemedicine would be useful were: duplication (time spent discussing remotely and then face-to-face), not being able to examine the patient, and why bother as doctors and patients are local so why not benefit from richness of face-to-face communication
-there was mention of this New Scientist article on 'digital souls'
-the TV series Junior Doctors told a story, as all media do. The difference is that with social media you might be able to tell your own story.

A big thank you to the group. I learnt a lot from you. If I've forgotten anything- let me know!

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