Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students

Does Social Media Make Better Physicians?


Scientific knowledge doubles every 90 days. Physicians must quickly learn about recent discoveries to remain current in their chosen specialties. How does tech help doctors stay up-to-date? TikTok, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook are all used to teach physicians and their patients. Online learning systems have replaced most textbooks, and social media platforms are now vehicles to efficiently disseminate new knowledge.

This seminar will explore the best ways to use technology in medical education, with a focus on the application of social media as a key instructional tool. Students will learn about the different stages of education required to become a physician and explore some of the challenges to continuing medical education. Class assignments will include the creation of health education infographics, reading and drafting posts for medical blogs, and the design of medical podcasts. The course will be particularly interesting to pre-medical students who have a background in blogging or podcasting, though such experiences or skills are not prerequisites for enrollment.

The impact of digital scholarship will be emphasized throughout the seminar. Students will have the opportunity to submit high-quality classwork for possible online publication on several medical education sites made available by the course instructor.

Class assignments require reliable access to personal computers and WiFi. Additionally, engagement in class discussions is mandatory—very few sessions will be recorded. Therefore, students must be present and participate during class.


Meet the Instructor(s)

Dr Michael Gisondi

"Teaching this IntroSems course is one of my favorite roles at Stanford and I look forward to the course each year. It has been so enjoyable to assist students in their exploration of knowledge translation in the digital age.

"I'm an emergency physician and medical education researcher who aims to improve patient care by understanding the best ways to train future physicians. I serve as the Vice Chair for Education in the Department of Emergency Medicine, providing administrative oversight to all of the educational programs sponsored by my department. I am the Principal of The Precision Education and Assessment Research Lab and a member of several education research teams.

"I enjoy using social media as a teaching tool, and I regularly contribute to several medical blogs including International Clinician Educators Blog and Academic Life in Emergency Medicine. I’m happy to help facilitate submissions to these and other popular medical blogs for students who create high-quality assignments in my course. My personal website is"