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Utility of a dermatology interest group blog: the impact of medical student interest groups and Web 2.0 tools as educational resources

Authors Jalalat S, Wagner Jr RF

Received 8 July 2014

Accepted for publication 4 August 2014

Published 26 September 2014 Volume 2014:5 Pages 331—337

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S70776

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Sheila Z Jalalat, Richard F Wagner Jr

Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA

Abstract: The open access University of Texas Dermatology Interest Group blog was established in 2004 for the purposes of increasing communication and collaboration between medical students and dermatology faculty, residents, and alumni, as well as to promote educational opportunities and the missions for which the interest group was created. This blog is unique because of its longevity and continuous postings directed toward the educational and professional needs of medical students and residents. A blog user survey was performed to assess viewers' thoughts, purpose of viewing, demographic profile, subscriber status, usage of the blog and other Web 2.0 tools (forums, Facebook, blogs, Twitter, podcasts), and perceived usefulness. Sixty-one anonymous online surveys were completed during a 1-month period. Statistical analyses of the responses demonstrated that the utilization of web-based tools and the blog were valuable resources for students, especially for blog subscribers, those more involved in an interest group, and those reading the blog for a longer period of time. The usefulness and impact of this method of communication and dissemination of information in medical education may encourage other student groups, faculty advisors, and educators to implement similar educational tools at their institutions.

Keywords: education, medical student, dermatology, blog

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