Friday, May 20, 2011

Clinical Connections with Social Media: Proposed Medical School Elective

Clinical Connections with Social Media                                                                   1-2 Credits
Instructor: Dr. Robert West

Prerequisites: Successfully completed second year of medical school.

Weekly Activities: Video or physical attendance to MSI and/or MSII core curriculum class sessions, researching current clinical applications of these concepts (via online sources, personal clinical experience, correspondence with clinical faculty, or otherwise), writing up short descriptions of these clinical connections, and posting them to various online sources. Depending on student preferences, these sources will consist of blogs, Twitter, Quora, Youtube, Facebook, and others. Students will synthesize exposure to three arenas: Basic science curriculum, clinical applications, and academic social media tools.

Elective Description: Because they have processed sizeable portions of the fundamentals of medicine, third and fourth year medical students will use social media to connect these basics to their clinical applications in a format that additionally benefits first and second year students. Students will choose a theme, and then attend to 10 relevant classes from the MSI and MSII curriculum. They will then research and write up the clinical relevance of the material in these class sessions, amalgamating their personal experiences with the medical literature and the experiences of the clinical faculty. Students will then publish these write-ups in a social format that promotes access by interested MSI’s and MSII currently taking those classes. Additionally, these connections will be available for other stakeholders to weigh in, such as clinical faculty, students and faculty of the school of graduate studies, and the wider medical public. Instruction will be provided for students’ use of their preferred social media tool: Blogging, Twitter, Quora, Youtube, Facebook, and others. With this elective, students will gain experience with social media applications in medicine, deepen the student’s grasp of basic sciences by integrating it with clinical practice, and synthesize students and faculty experiences from different places in the process of medical education. Write-ups will be assessed by the teaching faculty before being posted. Posts will require word limits, inclusion of hyperlinks, and a minimum number of references.

Reading: Self-directed.

Criteria for Evaluation of Performance: One credit hour will be awarded for the successful completion of ten class session write-ups. A maximum of two credit hours will be offered in this way. The write-ups will be evaluated by a clinical faculty member, and criteria for satisfactory write-ups will be reviewed.


Neil said...

This is a great idea. Would love to see the products that come out of this elective.

astupple said...

Thanks Neil.

It isn't a reality yet, but I see it as a way to prep future docs to use SM in healthcare by starting them off with mutually helpful content.

Lisa Fields said...

Thank you for posting this ink. Dr. West continues to be a valuable and trusted voice in Social Media and specifically Health Care/Social Media.

Social Media is like a knife. If you know how to use it it's a wonderful tool but in the hands of person who does not know how to use it, it's easy to get cut.

I'm excited the practical wisdom Dr. West has shared with the community at large now has the opportunity to be focused upon his students.

astupple said...


Agreed! Dr. West is singlehandedly doing mountains for modernizing meded at SUNY Upstate. I'll be sure to pass along your kind words.

Social media interests me, among other things, in how it offers simple next steps. As rich platforms, there's so much room for growth. This elective idea is such a small simple example.

I love the knife analogy. I used the gun analogy- my parents made my brother and I learn how to use a gun (and matches) so that we didn't hurt ourselves through ignorance.


Lisa Fields said...


Thanks for your kind words.

If you are ever up Really early on a Sunday morning 6:00AM you just might enjoy #HCSMANZ Tweetchat folks. The group is made up with mostly folks your age who are interested in Social Media and Medicine in New Zealand and Australia.


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Such a great information and I've been looking for this..

astupple said...

That's great, Wenna. Let me know if you have any other thoughts/questions.

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