Should doctors of the future use social media and digital tools in their future practice? Should medical schools incorporate digital literacy into their curriculum? These are hot-button topics with no clear-cut answers. Medical school curricula are already so jam-packed with vital information that there is little room for cramming more content into the two preclinical years. But some educators believe that weaving digital literacy into a medical education is critical. At Stanford, Dr. Bertalan Mesko advocates strongly for the inclusion of social media in the context of health science as part of a medical education. He has created a course on social media and also created Webicina, a resource on social media in medicine. The Association of American Medical Colleges also published a piece on digital literacy in medical curricula. Dr. Anne Marie Cunningham has a blog on “Wishful Thinking in Medical Education” which addresses this topic, as well.
I don’t know of any medical schools which formally weave digital literacy into their curriculum. Several issues may be at play: most of the faculty teaching medical students are older and thus perhaps not as adept with digital tools as the students they are teaching; an assumption may be made that students are already knowledgeable about the digital tools at hand; there is simply no time to cram anything more into the curriculum. If anyone reading this knows about a formal component of a medical curriculum which teaches digital literacy please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
–Liza Thompson, Expert Medical School Admissions Consulting