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Medical school students post unprofessional content online

Submitted by on 26 October, 2018 – 4:32 pm
Most medical schools surveyed report they have experienced incidents of students to publish professional content online, including incidents of violation of patient confidentiality, with few schools have policies to deal with these ads, as A study published in the September 23/30 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on medical education.

Internet applications around user-generated content, called Web 2.0, including social networking sites (eg Facebook, Twitter), media sharing sites (eg Flickr, YouTube), blogs, wikis and podcasts. The risk of these sites in the online publication of professional content that reflect adversely on people, affiliated entities, and the medical profession, according to background information in the article. “Medical schools have the task of establishing the foundations of professional conduct in a generation of students using Web 2.0 and digital connectivity expect. There are few data to document the unprofessional behavior of medical content available in line. Also, the adequacy of current institutional policies professionalism, taking into account these new challenges, it is unknown, “write the authors.

Katherine C. Chretien, MD, of the Washington DC VA Medical Center and colleagues examined the alleged incidents of medical students posting online of amateur content in U.S. schools care. An anonymous survey was sent to the deans of student affairs, their representatives or counterparts of each institution in the Association of American Medical Colleges. Data were collected in March and April 2009, with 60 percent of U.S. schools responding physician (78/130).

The researchers found that schools that responded, 60 percent (47/78) reported having incidents with students to publish professional content. “In the last year, 13 percent (6 / 47) of them incidents, 78 percent (36/47) had less than 5 incidents, 7 percent (3 / 47) had 5 to 15 incidents , and 2 percent (1 / 47) had some incidents, but do not know how many. incidents of violation of patient confidentiality in the last year reported 13 percent (6 / 46). student use of profanity, frankly discriminatory language, representation of intoxication, and sexually suggestive material were more commonly reported. issues of conflict of interest were rare, “the authors write.

“Of the 45 schools that reported an incident and responded to questions about disciplinary measures, 30 were informal notice (67 percent) and 3 reported the dismissal of students (7 percent). Policies that cover students published content Online reported a 38 percent (28 / 73) of the deans. from schools without such policies, 11 percent (5 / 46) will enable development of new policies to include online content. Deans reporting incidents were significantly more likely to report that such a policy (51 percent vs. 18 percent), believing that these issues could be addressed effectively (91 percent vs. 63 percent;) and having higher levels of concern. ”

According to investigators, a number of actions that could address the medical schools that might address some of the concerns raised by these findings. “The formal curriculum should include a professional digital media component, which could include instruction on the management of the ‘fingerprint’, as the choice of privacy settings on social networking sites and conduct periodic searches Web oneself. This is important because the residency program directors, prospective employers, and patients can access this information. ”

“The discussions among students, residents, and teachers must occur to help define the medical profession in the era of Web 2.0.”

More information: JAMA. 2009;302[12]:1309-1315.

Source: JAMA and Archives Journals (web)

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