Social Media: Portrait of an Emerging Tool in Medical Education

Durga Roy, Jacob Taylor, Christine C. Cheston, Tabor E. Flickinger, Margaret S. Chisolm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: The authors compare the prevalence of challenges and opportunities in commentaries and descriptive accounts versus evaluative studies of social media use in medical education. Methods: A previously published report of social media use in medical education provided an in-depth discussion of 14 evaluative studies, a small subset of the total number of 99 articles on this topic. This study used the full set of articles identified by that review, including the 58 commentaries and 27 descriptive accounts which had not been previously reported, to provide a glimpse into how emerging tools in medical education are initially perceived. Each commentary, descriptive account, and evaluative study was identified and compared on various characteristics, including discussion themes regarding the challenges and opportunities of social media use in medical education. Results: Themes related to the challenges of social media use in medical education were more prevalent in commentaries and descriptive accounts than in evaluative studies. The potential of social media to affect medical professionalism adversely was the most commonly discussed challenge in the commentaries (53 %) and descriptive accounts (63 %) in comparison to technical issues related to implementation in the evaluative studies (50 %). Conclusions: Results suggest that the early body of literature on social media use in medical education - like that of previous innovative education tools - comprises primarily commentaries and descriptive accounts that focus more on the challenges of social media than on potential opportunities. These results place social media tools in historical context and lay the groundwork for expanding on this novel approach to medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-140
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Keywords

  • Curriculum development
  • Teaching methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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