Dear Medical Students Not on Twitter

Welcome to what is, hopefully, the first of many posts.

I was graciously invited to contribute to SheMD by Her founding females, Dr. Melissa Parsons and Dr. Lexie Mannix. I’ve never met either in person. Both are Emergency Medicine physicians thousands of miles away, but distance has never mattered very much to me.

I’m what admissions committees classify as a “non-traditional” applicant. I completed my baccalaureate degree several years ago and am now applying to medical school. My first job out of college was in a Community Health research lab. We were paid eleven dollars an hour and expected to work 28 hours per week without benefits. I waited tables at the bar down the street from our building until I gained enough experience to apply to a Research Coordinator position with health insurance. Two years have passed since then, and I am now the Lead Research Coordinator in a Pediatric Division of Critical Care.

I’m a bit shy of twenty five and a half years of age right now. I was a tween when Myspace launched; my best friend and I taught each other HTML so we could reconfigure our profiles and embed images and music in the background. Facebook was rolled out while I was in middle school, but really hit its stride as I entered high school, and I created my first Twitter account my second week of university. You could say that social media raised me.

My generation is the next generation of physicians, nurses, PAs, and pharmacists. We were raised in a world where society expected us to document our entire existence online. We share our failures and successes with the world. We taught ourselves to navigate complex software systems and operationalize them to our advantage. Our problem-solving prowess is the progeny of our years of outsmarting the newest and latest technology until something more complex came along. I went from playing Rush Hour with plastic cars at age six to coding websites at age sixteen.

It is likely because of all of this, and my nontraditional trajectory, that I am often the youngest staff member in most medical spaces, which means I am the official/unofficial Youth Consultant of the office. When it was revealed (by me) in a staff meeting that many research labs and academic conferences were utilizing Twitter to disseminate their findings and pertinent information, it became my responsibility to garner an Internet presence. As a reasonably confident, caffeinated young woman, I felt up to this challenge and immediately created an account for our lab.

I do not remember exactly what