Is having a public twitter account as a med student a bad idea?

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Hi! Incoming M1 here. I'm a big time lurker on med twitter. While most of the --non-resident-- docs on there are non-anon, the majority of the med students seem to be. This allows them to more freely critique their (unnamed) institutions. FYI: The MedTwitter accounts I most admire and wish to emulate are forceful on racial justice and political issues affecting healthcare. If I or other med students were to make our identities on twitter known while tweeting about these issues, would that get us in hot water with our institutions (or potential residency programs)? Does it come off as unprofessional? If so that's wrong, but I want to know.
 

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Hi! Incoming M1 here. I'm a big time lurker on med twitter. While most of the --non-resident-- docs on there are non-anon, the majority of the med students seem to be. This allows them to more freely critique their (unnamed) institutions. FYI: The MedTwitter accounts I most admire and wish to emulate are forceful on racial justice and political issues affecting healthcare. If I or other med students were to make our identities on twitter known while tweeting about these issues, would that get us in hot water with our institutions (or potential residency programs)? Does it come off as unprofessional? If so that's wrong, but I want to know.

Just know anything in the public domain is fair game when any institutions does background check.

Before you join the club, you have to follow the rules. So you’re left with two choices, don’t join, because you don’t like the club. Or you play by the rules, get in, then change from within.

Congratulations for starting med school. Good luck.
 
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Unsolicited opinion perhaps, but I (pre-med) have a non-anon personal twitter account; I have been following Med twitter for a while and think a lot of stuff there is overdramatic and toxic and I know I do not want to have any involvement with that tweeting crowd in med school.
 
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Nothing particularly wrong with having one but you'll just have to remember to keep your mouth (and by extension fingers) shut at times as anything you put out there will essentially be online forever even if you delete it.

Not really a problem for people with common sense but there's always the ones you see that will face consequences for things said from years ago.
 

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Its an unnecessary risk. Even if you don't post anything offensive or derrogatory, twitter accounts get hacked all the time. Theres not a whole lot of positives, and a couple of really big cons. I'd say just keep it private, or use a fake name or whatever.
 
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Welcome to being a professional, where everything you say can and will be taken out of context and used against you. Choose your words and where you post them wisely and enjoy the rest of your career.
 
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operaman

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It’s definitely a risk. Medicine is a field where mistakes are more costly to you early on. If I post something stupid and get doxxed and fired, I’m still a licensed attending who can work just about anywhere; if a Med student did that and got expelled, their medical career is over.

There’s also an incredible pressure built into Twitter to say stupid things. Professional sounding tweets don’t tend to go viral and help you build much clout, so there’s always pressure to push the envelope. The whole reward structure of the platform contributes to this. There’s a reason the discourse on Twitter is so toxic and it’s not simply that only toxic people are posting there. There’s something about it that draws the worst out of people. All that to say: be careful thinking that you are mature and savvy enough not to post anything stupid.

Even anon accounts aren’t that anon. Multiple anons have been doxxed and it’s incredibly easy for people to figure out who you are.
 
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Just thinking beyond school, many residency programs have policies about social media - some don’t allow any photos of their logos/property/building/anything posted, some don’t allow any mention of themselves good or bad. The degree to which this is enforced probably varies, but why risk it? If this becomes a hobby of yours and you don’t have an anon profile, where you match may impact your ability to maintain that particular account. Recently, one of my friends joined med Twitter and I thought about joining as well because it seemed like a good resource to stay up to date with the ever changing covid stuff. Then I noticed the friend was really only screen capping and sending me negative interactions they had on the app and it just didn’t seem worth it to me. New stressor of something to keep up with and a pretty low payout for helping people if you don’t have a huge following.
 
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I have a public twitter account. Multiple of my deans/attendings follow me (and other students from my school). I do post about racial justice and political issues, as well as things that can be critical of my institution, but in a way that I feel comfortable associating with my professional reputation. I would happily say all of these things in person to my dean's face as well, and I have not had any issues. I'm not that prolific of a tweeter though, nor do I have a massive following.

There's a number of anon twitter accounts that I greatly admire, but also a number that I think cross some lines that I personally would never cross. Sort of similar to how I feel about some accounts on SDN - nothing is ever truly anonymous. I've identified multiple people here on SDN as people I know in real life, and I'm sure someone here has identified me too (would not be hard at all). Many anon twitter accounts are similarly identifiable. My personally policy is that I don't say things online that I would not be willing to stand by in real life.
 
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Gilakend

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I don't do any public social media, but nothing you post (even on an anonymous private account) should be something you wouldn't want others to see. I have my twitter account to private even though it is literally 100% sports retweets.
 
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I have a professional SM account associated with my name. I choose to keep it apolitical. I use it for education and networking... I do not want politics in my social media feed and unfollow people who post too frequently about their political opinions. Maybe I am traditional but I do not feel it is appropriate or necessary to share your political views so openly with the world.
 
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I have one. I don't think it's bad, per se, but you need to choose your words carefully so everything you write is stuff that you'd be okay with saying in person/having people you know irl see it. Don't give in to the urge to be edgy. I mostly follow scientists/doctors who do work that's interesting to me and RT resources/papers/articles with a little personal interest stuff :).
 
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deleted804295

Yes. Just make an anon Twitter. I have an anon Twitter with a couple thousand followers and I get to show my creativity on it. I prefer it more than having one with my face where I have to make sure everything I say is professional.
 
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If you need help making an anon account just make it fake everything.

Fake location, fake name, fake birthday, fake story.

The way people get doxxed via avenues like Twitter is because they have traceable information. Ie. They might list a place they went to, or where they work, or a pic and their first name, without that info it's virtually impossible to be doxxed. Especially if you have fake info attached. It throws doxxers onto a false trail and theyll be busy looking for someone who doesn't exist
 
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our school wants us to make an SM twitter for networking but i have an issue with a stalker which makes it impossible for me to have social media. :bang: will not having one of these professional accounts harm us? i keep seeing people from my class brag about networking with big wigs.
Internet networking means nothing. I guarantee none of these 'big wigs' will recognize the people on twitter.
 

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Twitter seems awful, toxic, and hostile

Maybe unless you're a prominent public figure or benefiting financially, it’s not worth your time, imo.

also, to be honest, what good does it do you or the world by tweeting 3 sentences other than instant gratification/sense of entitlement. Really, like what’s the practical benefit. It’s not even like ppl have convos like they have on here

my 2 cents lol
 
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Twitter seems awful, toxic, and hostile

Maybe unless you're a prominent public figure or benefiting financially, it’s not worth your time, imo.

also, to be honest, what good does it do you or the world by tweeting 3 sentences other than instant gratification/sense of entitlement. Really, like what’s the practical benefit. It’s not even like ppl have convos like they have on here

my 2 cents lol

Twitter can be good for tweeting research papers and get more views and citations. But that works in situations where people actually care about your work lol.
 
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Hi! Incoming M1 here. I'm a big time lurker on med twitter. While most of the --non-resident-- docs on there are non-anon, the majority of the med students seem to be. This allows them to more freely critique their (unnamed) institutions. FYI: The MedTwitter accounts I most admire and wish to emulate are forceful on racial justice and political issues affecting healthcare. If I or other med students were to make our identities on twitter known while tweeting about these issues, would that get us in hot water with our institutions (or potential residency programs)? Does it come off as unprofessional? If so that's wrong, but I want to know.
Ask Eugene Gu
 
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readmypostsMD

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definitely lots of entitlement. my friend retweeted someone's post trying to suggest that physicians take a 10% paycut to fund other positions in the hospital. maybe if i weren't first generation and didn't have a lot of loans/have to take care of my family when i graduate, i'd support that post. yes, CEOs should take a paycut but i'm not in a position to get paycut after paycut when i do graduate residency one day, and i do want to have a family so i probably will be taking a while to repay these loans without familial support. just seems like a way to make the public more skeptical of doctors too. plus i've seen screenshots of twitter fights on medtwit so idk. i'm glad it's not something i HAVE to do and can relax without a twitter.

Senators banking $170,000 while sending out cute tweets from their lofty DC apartments and preparing their lives for post-political book/Netflix deals (Bernie, Obama, etc), meanwhile we’re saving lives everyday after a decade of training

how bout they make 90 lul
 
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I de-anonymized and "professionalized" what was formerly my private Twitter account. Now I have institutional affiliations in the bio, the whole shebang. It's cool to network with MDs and other med students, but I pretty much regret doing this. I've become way more neurotic about what I post, so my tweets and even likes are far more infrequent. It makes the platform less fun in general.

Also, I agree with the others above. Some of the medtwitter drama is really next-level (See: Eugene Gu, Sarah Mojarad, ORbarbie). People doxing each other, reporting people to their institutions... Best to avoid it if you can.
 
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deleted804295

I de-anonymized and "professionalized" what was formerly my private Twitter account. Now I have institutional affiliations in the bio, the whole shebang. It's cool to network with MDs and other med students, but I pretty much regret doing this. I've become way more neurotic about what I post, so my tweets and even likes are far more infrequent. It makes the platform less fun in general.

Also, I agree with the others above. Some of the medtwitter drama is really next-level (See: Eugene Gu, Sarah Mojarad, ORbarbie). People doxing each other, reporting people to their institutions... Best to avoid it if you can.
Make a new account that is completely anonymous, fake location, fake name, no face pictures, and go crazy posting about what you enjoy.

For me, I like posting about films but for others they might like the sports side of Twitter.

No need to hate the platform, just make a separate account doing what you enjoy.
 
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Make a new account that is completely anonymous, fake location, fake name, no face pictures, and go crazy posting about what you enjoy.

For me, I like posting about films but for others they might like the sports side of Twitter.

No need to hate the platform, just make a separate account doing what you enjoy.
Agree! I love the platform and really valued it as a place to vent, speak my mind, joke with friends, et cetera. I will probably delete and re-make in the near future, once I'm able to download my tweet archive (they temporarily disabled that feature after the verified hacks this week).
 
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deleted804295

Agree! I love the platform and really valued it as a place to vent, speak my mind, joke with friends, et cetera. I will probably delete and re-make in the near future, once I'm able to download my tweet archive (they temporarily disabled that feature after the verified hacks this week).
Or make multiple accounts :) That way you can keep the professional one.

I have like 4-5 twitter accounts
 

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I de-anonymized and "professionalized" what was formerly my private Twitter account. Now I have institutional affiliations in the bio, the whole shebang. It's cool to network with MDs and other med students, but I pretty much regret doing this. I've become way more neurotic about what I post, so my tweets and even likes are far more infrequent. It makes the platform less fun in general.

Also, I agree with the others above. Some of the medtwitter drama is really next-level (See: Eugene Gu, Sarah Mojarad, ORbarbie). People doxing each other, reporting people to their institutions... Best to avoid it if you can.

Twitter is the new techno-id
 
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I have a non-anon public twitter account that I frequently post/retweet political tweets on. The way I see it, if an institution wants to fire/not hire me for posting against police brutality, caging children, severely restricting reproductive healthcare access, etc. then they are doing me a favor, as I would never be happy at a place that is okay with staying silent about such important issues. That being said, I stay out of drama as best I can (I didn't even know that med twitter was a thing until this post) and don't go around seeking fights.
 
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TelemarketingEnigma

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I think there's a difference between "med twitter" as a more broad section of twitter that has interesting research and medical information and like, people who brand their whole twitter identity around the social aspects of "MedTwitter". That second part can be fun on the good days, but as mentioned by others the drama is not worth engaging in.
 
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readmypostsMD

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I have a non-anon public twitter account that I frequently post/retweet political tweets on. The way I see it, if an institution wants to fire/not hire me for posting against police brutality, caging children, severely restricting reproductive healthcare access, etc. then they are doing me a favor, as I would never be happy at a place that is okay with staying silent about such important issues. That being said, I stay out of drama as best I can (I didn't even know that med twitter was a thing until this post) and don't go around seeking fights.

lol similar mentality that ruined Eugene Gu‘s promising career
 
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How to profit from a public twitter account

1. Get a pet
2. Post pet pics daily
3. Get rewarded with hearts and retweets
4. Have admins and PDs love you

Or also:

1. Make cooking or baking a hobby
2. Post food pics daily
3. Get rewarded with hearts and retweets
4. Have admins and PDs love you
 
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Are there any parts of Twitter that are NOT "toxic?"

Honestly, Twitter seems like a reasonable place to follow breaking news. Otherwise, I'm not sure what one gains by engaging with trolls and bots. Literally nobody has ever changed their mind based on a tweet, as everyone has curated their account to be a perfect echo chamber that re-affirms his or her own preconceived perceptions.
 
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Frogger27

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Do you think PDs that are active on social media would count it as a benefit that an applicant is active and has a good social media presence/following? I could see it being a benefit if they care about promoting their program, etc
 

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Do you think PDs that are active on social media would count it as a benefit that an applicant is active and has a good social media presence/following? I could see it being a benefit if they care about promoting their program, etc
Literally. Does. Not. Matter.
 
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Do you think PDs that are active on social media would count it as a benefit that an applicant is active and has a good social media presence/following? I could see it being a benefit if they care about promoting their program, etc

I can only speak from being on the med school admissions committee at my med school. But honestly, applicants putting their YouTube info on their app never boosted them in my eyes. This stuff is so hard to do well and not come across as cringe. Plus by giving me the link to their channel, they basically invited me to look at their whole social media ecosystem, which again, never made me go “wow what a leader”. Side project? Go for it. But think long and hard before putting it on your ap and opening that door. I could see how it could be construed as a liability to have a trainee discussing the program/hospital online. In general it seems like the procedural fields are more about having forward facing social media presences so there are probably some exceptions. Just thinking about it though - how do you really measure success in social media? It’s so subjective.
 
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kb1900

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Do you think PDs that are active on social media would count it as a benefit that an applicant is active and has a good social media presence/following? I could see it being a benefit if they care about promoting their program, etc
Literally. Does. Not. Matter.
During my IR elective happy hour all the residents were teasing the resident who ended his stuck with running the programs med Twitter and IG and tiktok because she put her social media skills on ERAS


so ask yourself...wanna be that person?
 
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lol similar mentality that ruined Eugene Gu‘s promising career
Who is that?

Edit: Just did some quick googling and it looks like this dude had a lot of issues going on behind the scenes as well so I don't really think that's a super valid comparison
 
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<L>

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Hi! Incoming M1 here. I'm a big time lurker on med twitter. While most of the --non-resident-- docs on there are non-anon, the majority of the med students seem to be. This allows them to more freely critique their (unnamed) institutions.

So what exactly do you think they're achieving with this? Why do you feel the need to do the same?

FYI: The MedTwitter accounts I most admire and wish to emulate are forceful on racial justice and political issues affecting healthcare.
If I or other med students were to make our identities on twitter known while tweeting about these issues, would that get us in hot water with our institutions (or potential residency programs)? Does it come off as unprofessional? If so that's wrong, but I want to know.

Again, why do you have the desire to emulate these accounts? What exactly are your goals in doing so?
 
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So what exactly do you think they're achieving with this? Why do you feel the need to do the same?



Again, why do you have the desire to emulate these accounts? What exactly are your goals in doing so?
FWIW, students at my institution have prompted administration to make policy changes due to advocacy efforts that were driven in part by social media campaigns. Some of those changes had long been requested, but weren't taken seriously until outside awareness was raised on Twitter.

There's certainly a question of whether it's worth developing a reputation as a malcontent—that being said, I think it's obvious why a medical student would want access to platforms for institutional critique and political activism.
 
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Who is that?

Edit: Just did some quick googling and it looks like this dude had a lot of issues going on behind the scenes as well so I don't really think that's a super valid comparison
Issues or no, it was his Twitter usage that got him canned.

It's generally not a bright idea to trash your institution on social media especially if you've been told by HR to knock it off.
 
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Twitter is narcissistic cancer. The fact that you are asking this tells me that you shouldn't do it because you will risk your career to be so brave online. Not a smart move. Resist the temptation.
 
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Raryn

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Spill the tea.
He was a 3rd year gen surg resident at Vanderbilt who had his contract non-renewed and he never finished residency. He works for some kind of telehealth company now that he started on his own, but he is neither board eligible nor board certified in any specialty - and I highly doubt he will ever be accepted into another training program. If you ask him, it's because they're racist. If you ask the program, their public statements are about clinical concerns and unprofessional conduct.

At one point, while he still worked there, they sent him a request to please place a disclaimer on his profile that his views are his own and that he doesn't represent the institution (particularly when he would do things like post pictures of himself with his badge on...). He not only refused, he laughed at them *and posted the request publicly on his twitter feed*.

(There's also semi-questionable history of domestic violence and accusations of possible sexual assault, but the former happened before residency and the latter didn't come to light until after he was fired, and he fervently denies both. The social media stuff he's happy to tell people about).
 
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He was a 3rd year gen surg resident at Vanderbilt who had his contract non-renewed and he never finished residency. He works for some kind of telehealth company now that he started on his own, but he is neither board eligible nor board certified in any specialty - and I highly doubt he will ever be accepted into another training program. If you ask him, it's because they're racist. If you ask the program, their public statements are about clinical concerns and unprofessional conduct.

At one point, while he still worked there, they sent him a request to please place a disclaimer on his profile that his views are his own and that he doesn't represent the institution (particularly when he would do things like post pictures of himself with his badge on...). He not only refused, he laughed at them *and posted the request publicly on his twitter feed*.

(There's also semi-questionable history of domestic violence and accusations of possible sexual assault, but the former happened before residency and the latter didn't come to light until after he was fired, and he fervently denies both. The social media stuff he's happy to tell people about).

and now he lives on Twitter, sometimes posting highly reasoned, objective things, other times tweeting manically about how white people like milkshakes because racism
 
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kraskadva

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Hi! Incoming M1 here. I'm a big time lurker on med twitter. While most of the --non-resident-- docs on there are non-anon, the majority of the med students seem to be. This allows them to more freely critique their (unnamed) institutions. FYI: The MedTwitter accounts I most admire and wish to emulate are forceful on racial justice and political issues affecting healthcare. If I or other med students were to make our identities on twitter known while tweeting about these issues, would that get us in hot water with our institutions (or potential residency programs)? Does it come off as unprofessional? If so that's wrong, but I want to know.

Do you think PDs that are active on social media would count it as a benefit that an applicant is active and has a good social media presence/following? I could see it being a benefit if they care about promoting their program, etc

If you'd asked me 6mo ago, I would have said to stay the heck away from twitter for all the very valid reasons listed above. BUT there has been a huge shift in recent months - I got on very quietly back in March (not posting, just following and reading) to stay up to date on everything that was happening with the pandemic, because a lot of insider info was going up there that was either never posted to mainstream media or took months to get there. And now as a rising M4, it's kinda invaluable to a lot of folks in my year to be able to connect with PDs -> folks have gotten aways through Twitter when their vsas app languished for weeks, and it's a really good way to get to know something about folks at different residency programs when we will have 100% virtual interviews this year and can't go see the places in person.
So... carefully... in moderation... I would in fact recommend a non anon twitter now, since this seems to have rapidly become the new normal at a lot of places.
 
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anything you say publicly online you will be held accountable for forever. 15, 20, or 30 years down the road, in a court case, they will bring up the one thing you said that helps their case against you.
 
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Frogger27

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If you'd asked me 6mo ago, I would have said to stay the heck away from twitter for all the very valid reasons listed above. BUT there has been a huge shift in recent months - I got on very quietly back in March (not posting, just following and reading) to stay up to date on everything that was happening with the pandemic, because a lot of insider info was going up there that was either never posted to mainstream media or took months to get there. And now as a rising M4, it's kinda invaluable to a lot of folks in my year to be able to connect with PDs -> folks have gotten aways through Twitter when their vsas app languished for weeks, and it's a really good way to get to know something about folks at different residency programs when we will have 100% virtual interviews this year and can't go see the places in person.
So... carefully... in moderation... I would in fact recommend a non anon twitter now, since this seems to have rapidly become the new normal at a lot of places.

There is a person from my school applying peds and is pretty well known/active on Twitter.. all of the faculty and residents know who they are and always go “oh look it’s X from Twitter!”... not in a sarcastic way but in a “I know who you are a little better now because I follow you on a professional social media account”
 
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  7. This thread is locked.
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