The ITB USMLE, COMLEX, & Medical School Blog
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Mark Zuckerberg has said that the average U.S. consumer spends over 40 minutes on Facebook every day. That’s just the average person. Not lowly medical students who will spend forty plus hours per week studying on their computer, tablets, or smartphones.
With med students especially, the constant temptation to check social media accounts is a mere click away. It is easy to see how the accessibility can make social media seem like a distraction. Add to that the existence of “push notifications” and you may as well say goodbye to uninterrupted study with your copy of Netter, Picmonic and a strong cup of coffee. Seems like social media is just a recipe for disaster when it comes to focused, distraction-free board preparation.
Or is it?
Many meds students will say that they completely remove or deactivate their social media accounts in preparation for board exams (especially Step 1). They feel that they are too distracted and would be too tempted to spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like when they know they “ought to be” spending that time studying.
But more recently there seems to be a movement among medical students to figure out ways to use social media to their advantage rather than their detriment.
The immensely popular Twitter user (and person you should follow) @studentdrdiva told us:
my twitter account helps keep me sane during long sessions of studying… I use it on my study breaks to connect with people and it keeps me reminded that there is life outside of medical school.
Some med students claim they are even using these platforms in order to help them achieve higher board scores. The interconnectivity found with social media may afford medical students the opportunity to have “study groups” from the comfort of their own individual homes.
So, the question becomes one of how to reap the benefits of social media accounts without getting dragged down by all the potential distractors (but isn’t that the point of most of board preparation…pun very much intended).
We did some researchers and talked to A LOT of medical students. Here’s a list of some of the best Twitter has to offer in terms of test prep.
These accounts are all pretty active. Having more active accounts like these will help push those distracting Kardashian memes and cat videos further down your newsfeed, which is really the whole point.
But here’s one to satisfy your baser cat gif needs, so you can get back to studying more quickly.
Of course, we think @BoardsInsider is a great Twitter account out for all your #meded needs. Not that we’re biased 😉 but we do like to post high-yield questions and facts to our account…you know, so you can study smarter, not harder.
But there are definitely some people out there who are really crushing it in the Twitter #meded and #FOAMed space. Admittedly, they make us look like Vin Diesel standing next to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
Our Twitter Top Picks
- @StudentDrDiva (~20k followers)
- This diva posts on all things medschool: she retweets great deals on study packages, encouraging memes, medical memes, interesting/pertinent medical images, words of wisdom to younger students, and study tips for exams. Definitely recommend following her if you could use the extra boost of energy and support on those rough days (and who couldn’t).
- @Master_USMLE (~107k followers)
- Tons of key facts to memorize for exams: basically a randomized, “twitter-ized” (yeh we said it. #neologism #stillnotschizophrenia) version of First Aid. Very active so expect this account to be prominent on your feed, but it’s worth it for the high yield facts.
- @UniversalNotes (~300 followers)
- Friend of ITB (look for an upcoming podcast episode w/ their founder Dr. Aaron McGuffin) Random “high-yield” questions in non-board format that are then answered in a separate, later tweet. Not as active as the others, but definitely worth the follow.
- @USMLEAID (~21k followers)
- Mostly rare cases with photos and descriptions of associated symptoms. Not always all about the “high-yield” information, but the photos and cases may be interesting enough to keep you excited about medicine even on days you’re faced with studying the “same old boring” conditions.
- @Medrx_education (~22 K followers)
- Mnemonics and high yield facts for exams in short sentence format. Will also answer questions users post. Very active.
- @Knowmedge (~13k followers)
- Marketing themselves as an “Internal Medicine Board Review learning platform”, this account is both very active and overflowing with great, high-yield information and mnemonics that med students studying for board exams or shelf exams will be able to use..
- @SeeFisch (~21k followers)
- @Picmonic (~7k followers)
- Make studying fun again. The Picmonic team is constantly posting free “picmonics” on high yield topics. We love Picmonic. It’s entertaining. It’s informative. And the audiovisual approach really makes things “stick” in your memory. If you haven’t already, you should check out our podcast episode with one of their co-founders, Adeel Yang.
- @CramFighter (~1k followers)
- CramFighter is a platform aimed at giving your study plans some structure. They post tons of valuable advice and articles on study strategies.
- @FirstAidTeam (23k followers)
We’ve made this whole thing easy for you. Just click here to follow the custom list “Top Ten Twitter For Meded.”
“BUT WHAT ABOUT FACEBOOK?”
You ask, disappointed. Well, we have some advice on Facebook, too, but we’re going to save that for another post. Happy Studying.
In addition to the 10 accounts originally listed in this article, we would like to recognize an additional account. By popular demand, we would like to recommend you follow the account @Osmoselt, of the test-prep company “Osmosis“. They may have “only” about 2k followers but the team in charge of the account consistently tweets links to their high-yield, subject-based, med-ed videos.
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