Do medical schools care about your internet presence? What if you take your strong political views to social media?
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[00:55] OldPreMeds Question of the Week:
“I was just curious as to whether you know or think that medical schools look at your social media accounts. I don’t feel like I have anything to hide. But I do have some rather political views and do share posts or comment on posts with my opinion. Is that something I should be more cautious about?”
[01:20] What Medical Schools Do
Medical schools are so busy when they’re looking at applications. More likely than not, they’re not taking the time to look at your stuff.
With that said, they can easily look at your stuff and may on occasion look at your stuff. There are probably tools that schools can use that will try to automatically pull in social media accounts for applicants.'If you don't want your grandmother reading what you wrote, don't put it on the internet.'Click To Tweet
As the saying goes, don’t put on the internet what you don’t want grandma to read. This goes out to strong political views, right or left. This shouldn’t hurt you in your application. Where it comes to potentially hurt you is the lack of any sort of empathy for the other side.
This is the same thing that comes up in interviews as well. If you’re asked about abortion or physician-assisted suicide, and if you have zero empathy for the other side, this is where you get into trouble.
If your posts are strongly political and they’re attacking, then there’s a problem. But if they’re not inflammatory but just your point of view, then you should be okay.
[Related episode: Why Should I Be Careful in Social Media?]
[03:15] Changing the Name on Social Media
A lot of students play this game of changing their names on social media during the application process. Or some will make their stuff private or do something to make sure they lock down their social media accounts. Sure, you can do this. But you shouldn’t be posting that kind of stuff, to begin with.
If you’re hiding your profiles and social media posts, then you should be doing some reflection as to why you’re hiding in the first place.'If you're thinking you need to hide your account, then you probably should have a little conversation with yourself about changing your tone on the internet.'Click To Tweet
Be careful with your online presence in medical school and beyond. You can read almost everyday in this country where people lose their jobs because of something they posted on social media.
[Related episode: The Intersection of Medicine, Social Media and Technology]
[05:22] Final Thoughts
Social media is not a safe place for you to go and talk about anything and anyone. Anything you put out there can come back to hurt you. Hence, behave.
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