Improving Neurosurgery Education Using Social Media Case-Based Discussions: A Pilot Study

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World Neurosurg X. 2021 Mar 31;11:100103. doi: 10.1016/j.wnsx.2021.100103. eCollection 2021 Jul.


BACKGROUND: The increasing shift toward a more generalized medical undergraduate curriculum has led to limited exposure to subspecialties, including neurosurgery. The lack of standardized teaching may result in insufficient coverage of core learning outcomes. Social media (SoMe) in medical education are becoming an increasingly accepted and popular way for students to meet learning objectives outside formal medical school teaching. We delivered a series of case-based discussions (CbDs) over SoMe to attempt to meet core learning needs in neurosurgery and determine whether SoMe-based CbDs were an acceptable method of education.

METHODS: Twitter was used as a medium to host 9 CbDs pertaining to common neurosurgical conditions in practice. A sequence of informative and interactive tweets were formulated before live CbDs and tweeted in progressive order. Demographic data and participant feedback were collected.

RESULTS: A total of 277 participants were recorded across 9 CbDs, with 654,584 impressions generated. Feedback responses were received from 135 participants (48.7%). Participants indicated an increase of 77% in their level of knowledge after participating. Of participants, 57% (n = 77) had previous CbD experience as part of traditional medical education, with 62% (n = 84) receiving a form of medical education previously through SoMe. All participants believed that the CbDs objectives were met and would attend future sessions. Of participants, 99% (n = 134) indicated that their expectations were met.

CONCLUSIONS: SoMe has been shown to be a favorable and feasible medium to host live, text-based interactive CbDs. SoMe is a useful tool for teaching undergraduate neurosurgery and is easily translatable to all domains of medicine and surgery.

PMID:33997763 | PMC:PMC8095172 | DOI:10.1016/j.wnsx.2021.100103