Public health is a complex field where current information and evidence available to inform best practices are constantly changing. With the rise of social media influencing public health actions, it is becoming more important for those working in the sector to have a proficient understanding of this form of communication. Social media use amongst public health organizations is also on the rise. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have been used to disseminate timely information as well as for public health education. We argue that formally integrating social media as a pedagogical tool in public health graduate programs would benefit both, educators and students as well as the public health field in which students will work. Communication skills have been included in core competencies for public health professionals as an essential skill. Critical in that skill is the ability to work with new methods of communication, such as social media. We bring forward the idea that social media should both be used in teaching and taught as an essential skill. Using social media as an educational tool is an opportunity to ensure that graduate public health programs train students with the competencies to work in public health.
Patel P and Sibbald SL
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