Social Media in Continuing Medical Education: Prevalence and Strategic Planning

There has been much discussion lately on why social media is not more broadly used within continuing medical education (CME).  I have included two presentations below that I gave at the 2010 and 2011 Annual Meetings of the Alliance of CME respectively.  The first reveals the data from a brief survey that Alicia Sutton, CCMEP, EVP of Omnia Education, and I conducted examining the professional and personal use of social media by people and organizations working in CME.  The second presentation provides a step-wise approach to developing a strategic plan for using social media in CME using the Forrester’s POST Methodology.

Here are some of the key findings we found from the 141 survey respondents

  • 79% use social media (SM) in their personal life.
  • 76% rate themselves as “intermediate” or “advanced” in their SM knowledge.
  • 64% reported their organization uses SM.
  • 54% rate companies as SM “beginner” or “novice.”
  • Only 24% have a formal strategic plan for SM.

As with any initiative, organizations need to conduct thorough planning in order to be successful.  Given that only 24% of people reported that their CME organization had a formal strategic plan, it is not surprising that social media is not more effectively used in our community.  The below presentation recommends using the POST Methodology for developing a strategic plan and a starter kit for the implementation of social media.