Defining a Mismatch

Differences in Usage of Social Networking Sites Between Medical Students and the Faculty Who Teach Them

Gregory E Brisson*, Matthew J. Fisher, Mark W. LaBelle, Sarah E. Kozmic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Use of social networking sites (SNS) by medical students is increasing, and some students lack awareness of pitfalls arising from the intersection of social networking and medicine. Many institutions have developed guidelines on using SNS, but they are insufficient for students. Educators need new methods to train students on the appropriate use of this technology, but more information is needed before implementing change. Purposes: Differences in SNS usage between students and faculty were examined. The goal was to evaluate four content areas: SNS usage patterns, attitudes regarding activity on SNS, experience with patient interactions online, and awareness of institutional guidelines on use of SNS. Methods: A cross-sectional survey took place at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, in 2012. Participants included all students and a cohort of faculty who teach them in a class on professionalism. Results: The response rate was 42% by students (300/711) and 78% by faculty (31/40). Of the students, 94% use SNS, compared to 48% of faculty. Students were more likely than faculty to display content they would not want patients to see (57% vs. 27%), report seeing inappropriate content on colleagues’ SNS profiles (64% vs. 42%), and ignore harmful postings by colleagues (25% vs. 7%). Faculty were more likely than students to have been approached by patients on SNS (53% vs. 3%). Most participants were unlikely to conduct Internet searches on patients. Conclusions: Students are more likely than faculty to use SNS and use it very differently than faculty. Students would benefit from training on appropriate use of SNS. Topics that should be addressed include editing one's online presence, managing friend requests from patients, dealing with colleagues who post harmful content, conducting Internet searches on patients, and discussion of boundaries to identify potential harms associated with SNS usage. Differences in usage between students and faculty raise questions if faculty are well suited to provide this training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

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mismatch
networking
medical student
student
medicine
Internet
educator

Keywords

  • medical education
  • medical ethics
  • medical students
  • professionalism
  • social networking sites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

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title = "Defining a Mismatch: Differences in Usage of Social Networking Sites Between Medical Students and the Faculty Who Teach Them",
abstract = "Background: Use of social networking sites (SNS) by medical students is increasing, and some students lack awareness of pitfalls arising from the intersection of social networking and medicine. Many institutions have developed guidelines on using SNS, but they are insufficient for students. Educators need new methods to train students on the appropriate use of this technology, but more information is needed before implementing change. Purposes: Differences in SNS usage between students and faculty were examined. The goal was to evaluate four content areas: SNS usage patterns, attitudes regarding activity on SNS, experience with patient interactions online, and awareness of institutional guidelines on use of SNS. Methods: A cross-sectional survey took place at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, in 2012. Participants included all students and a cohort of faculty who teach them in a class on professionalism. Results: The response rate was 42{\%} by students (300/711) and 78{\%} by faculty (31/40). Of the students, 94{\%} use SNS, compared to 48{\%} of faculty. Students were more likely than faculty to display content they would not want patients to see (57{\%} vs. 27{\%}), report seeing inappropriate content on colleagues’ SNS profiles (64{\%} vs. 42{\%}), and ignore harmful postings by colleagues (25{\%} vs. 7{\%}). Faculty were more likely than students to have been approached by patients on SNS (53{\%} vs. 3{\%}). Most participants were unlikely to conduct Internet searches on patients. Conclusions: Students are more likely than faculty to use SNS and use it very differently than faculty. Students would benefit from training on appropriate use of SNS. Topics that should be addressed include editing one's online presence, managing friend requests from patients, dealing with colleagues who post harmful content, conducting Internet searches on patients, and discussion of boundaries to identify potential harms associated with SNS usage. Differences in usage between students and faculty raise questions if faculty are well suited to provide this training.",
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Defining a Mismatch : Differences in Usage of Social Networking Sites Between Medical Students and the Faculty Who Teach Them. / Brisson, Gregory E; Fisher, Matthew J.; LaBelle, Mark W.; Kozmic, Sarah E.

In: Teaching and Learning in Medicine, Vol. 27, No. 2, 01.01.2015, p. 208-214.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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