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KEY POINTS

Key Points

  • image The internet has become an integral tool not just in surgical education but also in Americans’ lives by changing the way that people communicate with each other, access information, and conduct their daily lives.

  • image The internet has revolutionized surgical education by allowing for expanded reach—asynchronous learning whereby students and instructors do not have to be on the same time schedule—and multimedia materials such as interactive lessons and videos.

  • image Despite the appeal of web-based education, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have failed to identify high-quality studies demonstrating that it is superior to standard educational methods in improving learning outcomes.

  • image Web-based and virtual reality simulators can be used both to teach technical skills and to assess performance. Virtual reality simulators have been effective in training surgeons on technical skills that translate to operating room performance.

  • image Online and social media–based journal clubs can overcome barriers associated with traditional journal clubs such as lack of a convenient time and no local clinical or methodological experts. However, they may require more time and commitment from the leaders, and they may not be as effective as traditional, in-person, faculty-moderated journal clubs.

  • image Social media rapidly and exponentially increases the spread of information.

  • image Multiple pitfalls exist with regards to web and social media–based education, including but not limited to: (a) need for more widespread adoption and use, (b) lack of accuracy and regulatory oversight over educational content, (c) issues regarding patient confidentiality and privacy, (d) nondisclosure of conflicts of interest, and (e) paucity of evidence for effectiveness of these materials for improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and outcomes.

  • image Social media has become a necessary component of surgical practice.

INTRODUCTION

Surgical education has changed significantly over the past two decades. Disruptive forces such as work hour restrictions and the advent of laparoscopy have forced educators to rethink how and where to teach residents. Technologies, including the internet and web-based applications, have further enabled educators to redesign surgical education (Fig. 54-1). The internet has become an integral tool not just in surgical education but also in Americans’ lives by changing the way that people communicate with each other, access information, and conduct their daily lives image. Today, almost 9 in 10 American adults use the internet. Furthermore, the internet has revolutionized education by allowing for expanded reach, asynchronous learning whereby students and instructors do not have to be on the image same time schedule, and multimedia materials.

Figure 54-1.

The relationship between disruptive forces, enabling technologies, and surgical education. (Reproduced with permission from Pugh CM, Watson A, Bell RH, Jr, et al. Surgical education in the internet era. J Surg Res. 2009 Oct;156(2):177-182.)

Like internet usage, social media has seen a rise in adoption over the past decade. Social media is a term that encompasses multiple computer-mediated platforms that are used for creating ...

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