Resource Center

ABSTRACT: Medical student views on the use of Facebook profile screening by residency admissions committees.

PURPOSE:
Previous research has shown that >50% of residency programmes indicate that inappropriate Facebook postings could be grounds for rejecting a student applicant. This study sought to understand medical students’ views regarding the impact of their Facebook postings on the residency admissions process.
STUDY DESIGN:
In 2011-2012, we conducted a national survey of 7144 randomly selected medical students representing 10% of current enrollees in US medical schools. Students were presented with a hypothetical scenario of a residency admissions committee searching Facebook and finding inappropriate pictures of a student, and were asked how the committee ought to regard these pictures.
RESULTS:
The response rate was 30% (2109/7144). Respondents did not differ from medical students nationally with regard to type of medical school and regional representation. Of the three options provided, the majority of respondents (63.5%) indicated ‘the pictures should be considered along with other factors, but should not be grounds for automatic rejection of the application’. A third (33.7%) believed ‘the pictures should have no bearing on my application; the pictures are irrelevant’. A small minority of respondents (2.8%) felt ‘the pictures should be grounds for automatic rejection of the application’.
CONCLUSIONS:
That the views of students regarding the consequences of their online activity differ so greatly from the views of residency admissions committees speaks to the need for better communication between these parties. It also presents opportunities for medical schools to help students in their residency application process by increasing awareness of social media screening strategies used by some residency programmes, and fostering self-awareness around the use of social media during medical school and especially during the residency application process.

via Medical student views on the use of Facebook … [Postgrad Med J. 2014] – PubMed – NCBI.

Post Tags -
Brian S McGowan, PhD

Written by

Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

Leave a Comment