About The Authors

Jeewanjit Gill
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine

Brittany Harrison
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine

Timothy J. Wood
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine

Christopher J. Ramnanan
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine

Alireza Jalali
University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine

Ali Jalali, MD is the Teaching Chair of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa and the Social Media Advisor for The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. He has a Medical Doctorate and a Specialist Diploma in Sport Medicine from the University of Liege in Belgium. Dr. Jalali is also involved with many publications and conferences with his main research interests revolving around instructional innovation and use of technology in medical education. He has received numerous awards including the 2010 University of Ottawa Excellence in Education Prize.


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Investigating the Use of Social Networking Tools Among Medical Students

Short Communication


Background: Social networking tools are often used in medical education to facilitate teaching, owing to their popularity amongst medical students. This study aimed to determine which tools are most widely used by medical students, particularly for educational purposes, to inform future implementation in medical education. Methods: Preclerkship University of Ottawa medical students were surveyed (response rate n=65/325) regarding the use of  social networking tools, including Facebook®, Twitter®, YouTube®, Google+®, Skype®, text messaging, blogs, Flickr® and Pinterest®. Results: Overall, 85% of respondents use social networking tools for 2 or more hours a day. The tools utilized most frequently on a daily and weekly basis were Facebook (56%) and YouTube® (40%), respectively. Facebook® (53%) and YouTube® (31%) were the most popular tools used specifically for educational purposes, facilitating learning related to lectures and physician skills development, respectively. Conclusion: The majority of students are using social networking tools, but there is some variability in how the tools are used. The variability should be considered when creating educational initiatives.



Social Media, eLearning, Facebook, Twitter, Texting, Medical Education


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