Biomedical Research

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Social networking in medical schools: medical students viewpoint

The rapid growth and availability of social networking websites have changed the medical students approach to learn and manage the information about their academic, personal and professional lives. The aim of this study was to evaluate the medical student’s opinion on the using of social networking sites and learning and development of medical information. Self-administered, paper based questionnaire survey was conducted in the Department of Medical Education, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 647 questionnaires were distributed among the first and second year male and female medical students. 432 (66.76%) of the students completed the questionnaire 246 (56.94%) were males and 186 (43.05%) were females. The questionnaire items on the students’ perception were about the social networking sites (SNSs) usage and its positive and negative impacts. Among 432 medical students 312 (72.2%) students showed that social networking sites are the necessity of the everyday life [p=001]; helps in sharing the healthcare information 321 (74.3%) [p=0.001]; provide enough opportunities to promote academic medical activities 392 (90.7%) [p=0.02]; improve the quality of health care and communication 360 (83.3%) [p=0.01]; and SNSs is the fastest and easiest access for sharing and understanding the medical subject contents to promote activities among the fellow students 302 (69.9%) [p=0.001]. Medical students have a positive perception about the social networking websites and its role in medical professionalism. SNSs are being used extensively by the medical students to promote and enhance the knowledge. The most positive impact of SNSs was to facilitate the medical students to learn and understand the medical information; however, the study provides students' concerns related to the shared information security.

Author(s): Kamran Sattar, Tauseef Ahmad, Hamza Mohammad Abdulghani, Shakir Khan, Jennesse John, Sultan Ayoub Meo