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Social Media Can Professionally Benefit Pediatric Clinicians

Social Media Can Professionally Benefit Pediatric Clinicians

Open discussions and teaching of online professionalism needed, particularly to students

FRIDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- There are increasing opportunities for social media to enhance the personal and professional lives of pediatric clinicians, but professionalism online needs to be modeled and taught, according to an article published online Oct. 21 in Pediatrics.

Terry Kind, M.D., M.P.H., from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and colleagues explain the challenges medical students may face in navigating digital environments and outline how to teach and model professionalism in the use of social media.

The authors say that there is little guidance on best practices and that clinical educators need to help apply existing principles of professionalism to the online arena. Clinical educators need to opt in to responsible social media use, to be aware of both the pitfalls as well as the opportunities to connect, learn, teach, and model professionalism. Explicit discussion with students is encouraged using examples of responsible and irresponsible social media use.

"If you feel stuck at the red light, skeptical about commingling social media and your career, first explore and observe," the authors suggest. "Soon you will want to move with the traffic, get into the green zone and opt in online, modeling professionalism and making productive use of social media."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required) (http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2013/10/16/peds.2013-2521.full.pdf+html )