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GMS Z Med Ausbild. 2013;30(1):Doc9. doi: 10.3205/zma000852. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Blogging medical students: a qualitative analysis.

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Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Mercator Kolleg, Munich, Germany.


in English, German


Blogging is an increasingly popular method of sharing and reflecting on experiences of medical students in the World Wide Web with a potentially global learning community. The authors are not aware of studies that specifically examined blogs by medical students and thus for the first time investigated the type of experiences and impressions that emerged from these blogs with relevance for medical students and medical educators.


This was a qualitative study. Initially 75 blogs were identified. 33 blogs with a total of 1228 English and 337 German blog entries met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. We started with line-by-line coding and switched to focused coding using constant comparative analysis to create a categorical framework for blogs.


Medical students use blogs to write and reflect about a large variety of issues related to medical school. Major emerging themes included the preparation for written and oral high-stakes exams, experiences during clinical rotations, dealing with distressing situations during medical school, and social life of students beyond medical school.


Our findings suggest that blogs are a potentially useful tool for medical students to reflect on their experiences during medical school as well as for medical educators to better understand how students perceive their time in medical school. The educational benefit of blogging might even be increased if trained medical educators would help to facilitate meaningful and targeted discussions emerging from blog entries and comment on students' learning challenges with the chance to reach a large community of learners.


Blogging; medical education; medical student; qualitative; undergraduate

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