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Social media and CME: Friends or foes (or somewhere in between)?

There has been some feather-ruffling going on this week between those who believe social media can be a valuable tool for continuing medical education, and those who don't.

On the don't side is Stephen Lewis, MA, CCMEP, president of Global Education Group and a regular Medical Meetings columnist. Here's a video he posted to his company's video blog that outlines why he thinks we need to be careful not to fall too in love with the shiny new social media toys. (Watch for his column in the June issue for more.)

On the more pro-social-media-in-CME side we have Derek Warnick, who posted a response video outlining why he feels there is a valid role for social media in CME.

I'd guess it's no secret that I lean more toward Derek's line of thought than Stephen's, especially in that I don't think anyone is really saying that social media will replace other formats for CME, especially not face-to-face education, and that there are a lot of ways we can and likely should be taking advantage of the technology.

But, while I haven't seen it happen in the CME arena, I have seen other types of educational activities make the mistake of using social media just because they can, not because it provides another way to help their learners learn.

As with anything else, social media is only useful to the extent that it can be be used to meet the goals and objectives of the activity and achieve the outcomes you set out to achieve. As Stephen points out, it is just the medium, a tool, not the message.

So, what do you think? Leave a comment or drop me a line.

P.S. I'll be attending the Global Alliance for Medical Education annual conference and the CME Congress 2012, both in Toronto, later this month. I hope to see you there!

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