#KeyLIMEPodcast 314: KT or Ed or both: What is SoMe in HPE?

Lara presents a scoping review that looks at trends in how health professions educators use social media to engage physicians. Based on their review, the authors developed a model describing how educational innovations diffuse through scholarly systems.

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KeyLIME Session 314

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Chan et. al., Social media in knowledge translation and education for physicians and trainees: a scoping review Perspect Med Educ. 2020 Feb;9(1):20-30


Lara Varpio (@LaraVarpio)


  • The use of social media is changing how educational content is delivered and knowledge is translated in HPE.


  • Scoping review: “aggregate and report trends on how health professions educators harness the power of social media to engage physicians for the purposes of knowledge translation and education”

Key Points on the Methods

  • This is a beautiful example of a really well conducted scoping review
  • They follow Arksey and O’Malley’s framework including the optional final step

Key Outcomes

  • Social media is used by HPE scholars and educators
    • Via the platforms of Twitter, Facebook, blogs, podcasts and video archives
    • To push out information, or to foster community engagement, or to both push and engage
    • That work is reported predominantly in descriptive studies, narrative reviews, or innovation reports
    • And those manuscripts are currently reporting reaction and learning levels of outcomes
    • The authors suggest that more recent papers are aiming higher in the Kirkpatrick scale to investigate impact on behavior

Key Conclusions

  • The authors developed a model describing how educational innovations diffuse through scholarly systems. They suggest that the work begins with simple description of the phenomenon (here, it is social media use) and then moves to narrative commentaries proposing how the phenomenon might be used best. Then the work moves to innovation reports of single center implementations, and then on to justification that certain types of innovations are effective. Then they suggest the field splits to either engage in clarification work that studies WHY something works well or into critical appraisal work that set standards for scholarship within this type of innovation
  • Once you do the innovation, we need to investigate WHY something work or didn’t work. What are the foundational principles that underpinned the innovation – and which ones worked for us and which ones didn’t.
  • I think it is only THEN that we can do into justification work and the creation of standards. I would like to suggest we move the research into WHY something works much earlier in the process because that should shape our justifications and standards

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