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CME and Social Media

May 03, 2012

Hi and welcome to the Global Education Group CME news video blog, where we address emerging hot topics in the CME enterprise and share them with you.

CME and Social Media

Hello and welcome to the Global Education Group CME Video Blog where we discuss emerging hot topics in the CME enterprise and share them with you. Today we are going to talk about a very big and important hot topic in CME, and that’s CME and social media. Everyone knows that social media has exploded in the last five years; Facebook now has more than 9 hundred million active users and twitter, which wasn’t even around officially until 2007, now has three hundred and forty million tweets daily. Some advocates have jumped on the social media band wagon for CME. They argue that twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms will help CME achieve new heights in terms of physician knowledge, competence and performance.

The Face-to-Face Book

A new book by authors Ed Keller and Brad Fay states that social media is important for sharing simple information and reconnecting people with long lost friends, but it probably isn’t going to be a solution for fields such as CME. The book, titled “The Face to Face Book,” shares highlights from more than 6 years of research on social media, word of mouth communication, and analysis of more than 2 million conversations. Here are a few highlights: Seventy five percent of conversations in the United States still happen face to face, and less than 10% of conversations take place on the internet. Face to face conversations tend to be more positive and likely to be perceived as more credible when compared to online conversations. In 2009 a Twitter study showed that 40% of all tweets were “pointless babble” and only 9% of tweets had what was called “pass along value.”

Mistakes in CME and Social Media

CME Social media advocates seem to be making three big mistakes when it comes to CME and social media. First, the social media advocates think that social media is a panacea. They’re caught up in this frenzy because social media has grown so fast that it must somehow be useful in our field. They haven’t provided evidence where Facebook is, or can be CME’s silver bullet. Secondly, they confuse CME’s use of social media with the overall practice of medicine and its use of social media. Social media can be great for physician to patient interaction or even some physician to physician interactions, but for delivery of CME- probably not. Third, CME social media advocates often don’t put social media in its place. The Media are a tool for connection. They might be useful to advertise new CME activities and opportunities or even augment CME educational activities, but they aren’t a replacement for continuing education. The internet has been and continues to be a great resource and distribution tool for very effective CME. But the message from this recent book and from our CME research on social media offers a simple warning. social media often can be a losing investment and even worse, a distraction to learners when social media competes with the learning activity. As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact us here