If your doctor hadn’t had so many pictures of herself doing keg stands in college on Facebook, she may have gone to a better medical school. According to a new study by researchers at the University of Miami’s Miller, a small percentage of admissions officers of medical schools and residency programs said they have used social networking sites to evaluate candidates.
Out of 600 staff members who completed online surveys, around 9% admitted to using social networking sites and close to 20% said they’ve use some form of Internet search to learn more about applicants.
Dr. Henry Sondheimer, the senior director of medical education projects at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), said he wasn’t surprised by the study’s findings. “There is no question in my mind that some percentage of medical admissions officers and residency directors do go online and Google and Facebook people to see what they’ve got up on their personal sites,” Sondheimer said.
But should we even be surprised considering people are now getting fired if they like certain things on Facebook? Social media allows for anyone to check us out which can be a very good thing sometimes but it can hurt us as well. But it is one thing to be fired for supporting gay marriage on Facebook and quite another to not get into your dream medical school because you put things on your Facebook wall that did not portray you in the best light.
According to a recent AAMC report, more than 45,000 people applied to medical school in 2012 so we will definitely be seeing some very generic and harmless status updates in the future.