iMedicine: The Influence of Social Media on Medicine

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iMedicine: The Influence of Social Media on Medicine was the topic of the day-long 27th Annual Physician Student Awareness Day (SPAD) held on April 24, 2012 on the campus of New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. The entire conference was run by medical students from the Class of 2015.


Karl Adler, MD, CEO, welcomed the 200 attendees by recalling his own medical school education in the 1960s. Dr. Adler relied on textbooks, mimeographed handouts, and lecture notes to master both the art and science of medicine. In his day, students were taught to rely on the history, the physical examination, laboratory tests, radiology studies, and the EKG; his teachers stressed that the history and physical obtained in a face-to-face encounter between the physician and the patient were the keys to successfully caring for the patient.


Ralph A. O’Connell, MD, Provost and Dean, discussed how the party line telephone was the social media of his youth, and he noted that the Council of Deans of the AAMC is holding sessions on social media. He recommended the social media tool-kit from the CDC as a valuable resource for physicians and medical students


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