Education for Health

: 2014  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 304-

Globalisation of social media : An unfair occurrence in medical education?

Neel Sharma 
 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, National University Hospital, Singapore

Correspondence Address:
Neel Sharma
National University Hospital

How to cite this article:
Sharma N. Globalisation of social media : An unfair occurrence in medical education?.Educ Health 2014;27:304-304

How to cite this URL:
Sharma N. Globalisation of social media : An unfair occurrence in medical education?. Educ Health [serial online] 2014 [cited 2022 Sep 30 ];27:304-304
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Full Text

Dear Editor,

There is no escaping technology. Residing in a global city in Asia, I see technology everywhere: From the mobile phone to the mobile tablet. Individuals of all ages are tech dependent, it seems.

When we focus on the field of medical education, research currently highlights the benefits of technology in learning. [1],[2] And added to this facet of technology is the facet of social media -Facebook or Twitter as prime examples. [3] Currently, I am a registered user of both forms, predominantly for work purposes. One of the major benefits I find is the ability to receive the latest updates in medical education without laborious internet searches. In addition, I am able to connect to fellow educators allowing for instant exposure to an array of expertise.

A systematic review on the use of social media in medical education noted that such tools promote learner engagement, feedback, and collaboration and professional development. [4] In addition, a review by Hamm et al. noted that social media improves communication and knowledge among health care professionals and trainees. [5]

A recent trip to China, however, made me rethink. Both Facebook and Twitter are banned. Therefore as educators singing praise for such avenues and investing in its usage continuously; from an educational perspective, are we not to be held accountable for disadvantaging many others. Sometimes I wonder whether the platforms we theoretically envisage as advantageous are far from beneficial when considered on a global scale. And so what is the solution? I welcome readers' thoughts.


1Ellaway R, Masters K. AMEE Guide 32: E-Learning in medical education Part 1: Learning, teaching and assessment. Med Teach 2008;30:455-73.
2Masters K, Ellaway R. e-Learning in medical education Guide 32 Part 2: Technology, management and design. Med Teach 2008;30:474-89.
3Kind T, Patel PD, Lie D, Chretien KC. Twelve tips for using social media as a medical educator. Med Teach 2014;36:284-90.
4Cheston CC, Flickinger TE, Chisolm MS. Social media use in medical education: A systematic review. Acad Med 2012;88,893-901.
5Hamm MP, Chisholm A, Shulhan J, Milne A, Scott SD, Klassen TP, et al. Social media use by health care professionals and trainees: A scoping review. Acad Med 2013;88:1376-83.