kanda1o

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I personally, don't feel as if I have anything to hide on my FB, Twitter, Insta. But a lot of my friends who applied last cycle changed their last names on these, to hide from adcoms.

Is this normal? Necessary? Do adcoms actually use social media searches?

I have a hard time believing adcoms use social media as a factor for admissions, when they are looking at a stack of 5k+ applicants.
 

The Knife & Gun Club

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I've often wondered if adcoms do this as well.

I made my Facebook uber private just I case, even though the worst thing I had was a few pictures of me drunk at weddings and such.
 
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EaglesontheWarpath

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I think adcoms definitely look to see if they can find people on social media. Honestly if you have something on there that's super bad, maybe think about hiding it, but I don't think it matters too too much (unless you're vocally racist/homophobic/just a terrible human person).
 

piii

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1) Make sure all of your accounts are private and only accessible to friends
2) Make sure you don't have inappropriate pictures
3) Be professional

That's all.
 
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gonnif

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A better approach is to make sure your all your presences on social media are professional.
I strongly occur with above
Assume all social media may be searched and seen by Adcoms so always be professional. One of the admission directors at a particular school is doing her doctorate in social media and medical student selection.

There was a lengthy thread recently on this
forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/has-social-media-ever-doomed-a-strong-applicant-in-your-experiences.1134926/

This is a much larger issue for medical residents in applicant selection with many medical specialty academies and GME (residency) programs issue guidelines and, in some cases, strict agreements on social media use while in a program. The reason for this has been patients and families have started to look up doctors who are treating them. A case then was a 3rd year peds residents was treating a young girl and the next day the parents came in screaming to take that doctor away from my daughter or I will sue. Turned out the parents were freaked about a photo from a drunken frat party taken some 10 years earlier was posted on a social media site with this doctor tagged. (I will find the original case report and add it).

In the meanwhile there have been a slew of studies done on this to the point that AAMC has guidelines for applicants (first in list)
https://www.aamc.org/students/aspiring/324178/socialmediadoesnthurt.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758042/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23139411
http://www.amednews.com/article/20121127/profession/311279999/8/
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/731175
http://www.ojphi.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2161/2026
http://jepm.seahq.net/VolXVI_IssueV_McHugh.pdf

Some medical schools have added an internet background search step usually post-interview, per-selection as due diligence to find any obvious issue. With automation and some software this is easy to do

Lastly, I personally know of 3 cases where comments made on here on SDN about a school post-interview were identified by the school and the applicant was not accepted. In many cases it isnt too hard for a medical school to identify with their comments.
 

EaglesontheWarpath

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Kind of unrelated, but my buddies and I have a running joke that as a doctor they would never let me near them or their kids after living with me for 4 years in college. It is weird to think of doctors as real people who underwent similar college experiences to non-medical people who now have great control over peoples lives. Like no one cares if your accountant got a drunk and disorderly in college, but if your doctor did you'd be mortified.
 
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Espressso

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I strongly occur with above
Assume all social media may be searched and seen by Adcoms so always be professional. One of the admission directors at a particular school is doing her doctorate in social media and medical student selection.

There was a lengthy thread recently on this
forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/has-social-media-ever-doomed-a-strong-applicant-in-your-experiences.1134926/

This is a much larger issue for medical residents in applicant selection with many medical specialty academies and GME (residency) programs issue guidelines and, in some cases, strict agreements on social media use while in a program. The reason for this has been patients and families have started to look up doctors who are treating them. A case then was a 3rd year peds residents was treating a young girl and the next day the parents came in screaming to take that doctor away from my daughter or I will sue. Turned out the parents were freaked about a photo from a drunken frat party taken some 10 years earlier was posted on a social media site with this doctor tagged. (I will find the original case report and add it).

In the meanwhile there have been a slew of studies done on this to the point that AAMC has guidelines for applicants (first in list)
https://www.aamc.org/students/aspiring/324178/socialmediadoesnthurt.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758042/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23139411
http://www.amednews.com/article/20121127/profession/311279999/8/
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/731175
http://www.ojphi.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2161/2026
http://jepm.seahq.net/VolXVI_IssueV_McHugh.pdf

Some medical schools have added an internet background search step usually post-interview, per-selection as due diligence to find any obvious issue. With automation and some software this is easy to do

Lastly, I personally know of 3 cases where comments made on here on SDN about a school post-interview were identified by the school and the applicant was not accepted. In many cases it isnt too hard for a medical school to identify with their comments.
Very interesting.. I always wondered if SDN forums could hinder one's acceptance chances.
 

mimelim

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Very interesting.. I always wondered if SDN forums could hinder one's acceptance chances.
I don't know of any specific examples of it harming, but I know of several pre-meds that ended up working in labs/publishing because of SDN and I worked with someone from SDN on their residency application and he is going to be one of our incoming interns...
 

Lannister

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I'm pretty sure changing your name is not a very effective way of hiding your Facebook. Most people who do that probably don't realize that their account can also be found using their phone number and e-mail address.
 

Espressso

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I don't know of any specific examples of it harming, but I know of several pre-meds that ended up working in labs/publishing because of SDN and I worked with someone from SDN on their residency application and he is going to be one of our incoming interns...
Oh wow. That's actually awesome to hear! I've always thought too, about how often SDNer's find themselves linking up with each other after starting med school. You can't hide behind your SDN account forever, I suppose!


I'm pretty sure changing your name is not a very effective way of hiding your Facebook. Most people who do that probably don't realize that their account can also be found using their phone number and e-mail address.
That's how I always viewed it. I saw many of my friends change their last name to their middle name right before submitting apps and I'm over here like... :barf:how on earth would that hide your FB?!
 
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Oh wow. That's actually awesome to hear! I've always thought too, about how often SDNer's find themselves linking up with each other after starting med school. You can't hide behind your SDN account forever, I suppose!




That's how I always viewed it. I saw many of my friends change their last name to their middle name right before submitting apps and I'm over here like... :barf:how on earth would that hide your FB?!

I use a different email for my facebook and for SDN than I use otherwise. You can easily change it.
 
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gonnif

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I don't know of any specific examples of it harming, but I know of several pre-meds that ended up working in labs/publishing because of SDN and I worked with someone from SDN on their residency application and he is going to be one of our incoming interns...
Oh wow. That's actually awesome to hear! I've always thought too, about how often SDNer's find themselves linking up with each other after starting med school. You can't hide behind your SDN account forever, I suppose!
There have been a couple of examples of harm via SDN. The one I have personal knowledge of was someone quite crudely bashed a school he was just interviewed at and mentioned it by name. It was read by the adcom director and the applicant was easily identified. However, for the most part as @mimelim pointed out connections are made. It was similar with OldPreMeds including listing involvement with the organization or presenting at conferences was part of professional development.
 
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Espressso

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There have been a couple of examples of harm via SDN. The one I have personal knowledge of was someone quite crudely bashed a school he was just interviewed at and mentioned it by name. It was read by the adcom director and the applicant was easily identified. However, for the most part as @mimelim pointed out connections are made. It was similar with OldPreMeds including listing involvement with the organization or presenting at conferences was part of professional development.
You would think that insulting and bashing a school that just offered you an interview would be done in a way without actually naming the school..... Yikes.
 

gonnif

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You would think that insulting and bashing a school that just offered you an interview would be done in a way without actually naming the school..... Yikes.
The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has limits
 

Espressso

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The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has limits
And stupidity isn't excluded from medical school applications, I suppose.
 
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My social media accounts are public and can be viewed if you google my name. I didn't feel the need to make them private as I keep everything very professional. Yes, some schools will search for you on social media, but most likely this would be after you have been invited to interview or before being offered an acceptance.
 

gonnif

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My social media accounts are public and can be viewed if you google my name. I didn't feel the need to make them private as I keep everything very professional. Yes, some schools will search for you on social media, but most likely this would be after you have been invited to interview or before being offered an acceptance.
Far too many to do otherwise
 
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UnlikelyPreMed

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I'm pretty sure changing your name is not a very effective way of hiding your Facebook. Most people who do that probably don't realize that their account can also be found using their phone number and e-mail address.
Not if they go into their settings and turn off that search feature.
 
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Yes you should run a precursory Google search on your first and last name. There are actually reputation websites that are designed to spam unfavorable entries to the second page for a pretty high fee. IIRC it utilizes search bots to signal boost favorable entries in hopes of drowning out implicating links that you don't want people to see if they decide to search you.

On your social media you should take off unfavorable videos in your feed if they run something along the lines of something @NotASerialKiller wouldn't put on his social media feeds. Too much cross linking and public access to not do your due diligence and "clean" up your internet footprint.
 
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genericscreenname

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I never understood why people change their FB name when they could just change their privacy settings and not accept random friend requests...
 
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OchemOficionado

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I never understood why people change their FB name when they could just change their privacy settings and not accept random friend requests...
Just an extra precaution. Your comments ("likes", even) on any public page or post will still be accessible. I think the best advice was already said, make sure all of your social media presences are professional.
 
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Goro

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Admissions Deans and their staff do search social media. It's part of doing due diligence.

My rule of thumb is that if you have anything on social media that you would not want your mom to see, get it off of social media!



I personally, don't feel as if I have anything to hide on my FB, Twitter, Insta. But a lot of my friends who applied last cycle changed their last names on these, to hide from adcoms.

Is this normal? Necessary? Do adcoms actually use social media searches?

I have a hard time believing adcoms use social media as a factor for admissions, when they are looking at a stack of 5k+ applicants.
 

james11

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when people say "unprofessional" what does that mean exactly? Drinking? What if you're >21 and not visibly intoxicated, but have a beer in your hand as you're smiling for a picture?
 

freak7

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when people say "unprofessional" what does that mean exactly? Drinking? What if you're >21 and not visibly intoxicated, but have a beer in your hand as you're smiling for a picture?
Well that would depend on if your buddy who is praying to the porcelain god is also in the picture.
 

freak7

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???? why would i ever take a picture with someone puking in a toilet...?
It was a joke. The point was: just use your best judgement, it's not that hard. Does the picture look like something you wouldn't want an adcom to see? If yes then it's fine. If no then remove it. If it's questionable just remove it to be safe.
 

genericscreenname

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Just an extra precaution. Your comments ("likes", even) on any public page or post will still be accessible. I think the best advice was already said, make sure all of your social media presences are professional.
Fair enough. The safest way then would be to keep everything kosher like you said or deactivation. I just don't see the need for name changes/abbreviations. Only things that remain public on FB are your profile picture and cover photo if you have your settings right.
 
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