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BMC Med Educ. 2016 Feb 18;16:67. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0572-x.

Who's misbehaving? Perceptions of unprofessional social media use by medical students and faculty.

Author information

1
Departments of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA. elizabeth.kitsis@einstein.yu.edu.
2
Epidemiology & Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA. elizabeth.kitsis@einstein.yu.edu.
3
Departments of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.
4
Epidemiology & Population Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.
5
Family & Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.
6
Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.
7
Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY, 10461, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Social media use by physicians offers potential benefits but may also be associated with professionalism problems. The objectives of this study were: 1) to examine and compare characteristics of social media use by medical students and faculty; 2) to explore the scope of self- and peer-posting of unprofessional online content; and 3) to determine what actions were taken when unprofessional content was viewed.

METHODS:

An anonymous, web-based survey was sent to medical students and faculty in October, 2013 at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York.

RESULTS:

Three-quarters of medical students reported using social media "very frequently" (several times a day), whereas less than one-third of faculty did so (p < .001). Medical students reported using privacy settings more often than faculty (96.5 % v. 78.1 %, p < .001). Most medical students (94.2 %) and faculty (94.1 %) reported "never" or "occasionally" monitoring their online presence (p = 0.94). Medical students reported self-posting of profanity, depiction of intoxication, and sexually suggestive material more often than faculty (p < .001). Medical students and faculty both reported peer-posting of unprofessional content significantly more often than self-posting. There was no association between year of medical school and posting of unprofessional content.

CONCLUSION:

Medical students reported spending more time using social media and posting unprofessional content more often than did faculty.

PMID:
26887561
PMCID:
PMC4757980
DOI:
10.1186/s12909-016-0572-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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