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  • Curtis Gillen authors accepted manuscript JFHE March 2017

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Further and Higher Education on 23/08/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0309877X.2017.1359503

    Accepted author manuscript, 141 KB, PDF-document

    Embargo ends: 23/02/19

    Available under license: CC BY-NC-ND

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‘I don’t see myself as a forty-year-old on Facebook’: medical students’ dilemmas in developing professionalism with social media

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>23/08/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Further and Higher Education
Number of pages12
StateE-pub ahead of print
Early online date23/08/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Students’ development of professionalism is vital within medical education, while social media communications can blur professional and personal boundaries. In the UK considerable advice for medical practitioners and students has been developed, advocating care in the projection of a professional identity online as offline. Thus guidance includes the duty to raise matters of concern when encountered online. This study takes an academic literacies approach to a small-scale investigation of attitudes and practices of second year medical students in a British university through a focus group and paired interview, recognising that issues of identity and power are multi-layered and complex.
Students’ interactive use of social media focusses primarily on Facebook, where they had already begun to adapt their self presentation. Depictions of alcohol use are a particular area of concern. Use of Facebook is seen as unavoidable in professional and personal domains. Students’ reflections demonstrate professionalism in respect of care for patient confidentiality and privacy online as offline. Yet they express an ambivalent sense of a future trajectory in which continuing social media use may appear simultaneously undesirable and yet vital. A finding of considerable concern is a reluctance to challenge inappropriate online behaviour despite policy guidelines. Overall the findings of the study support conceptions of online and offline identities as entwined. New generations growing up with social media raise challenges and opportunities for medical education that require greater attention and the development of participatory approaches to research, increasing understandings that in turn may be beneficial for policy makers.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Further and Higher Education on 23/08/2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0309877X.2017.1359503