Navy Medicine Embraces Power of Social Media for Navy Medical Officer Applicants

By Lt. Kevin Bernstein, M.D., M.M.S., Family Medicine Resident at Naval Hospital Pensacola

As the Graduate Medical Education (GME) application cycle for future Navy physicians comes to a close Sept. 30, those continuing in or entering the program now have a useful tool to aid in communcation. 

In response to the growing use of social media by many future Navy physicians, Navy Medicine has created a GME Facebook group  for GME-1, Flight, Undersea, GMO and GME-2 applicants .

A little over a year ago, I was going through the same process as these applicants. I was filled with various emotions — excitement in ranking residency programs, nervousness in not knowing where I could end up, anxiety while waiting for the results, and panic when certain materials were not received by the residency with only a few days left before the deadline. To compound the issue, most medical students rotate on sub-internships in the specialty they are most interested in applying for and many rotate in programs that they are potentially trying to match into. It is very difficult to try to maintain communication with various points of contact via email and telephone while they are trying to work as hard as possible to prove themselves during these rotations. 

Fortunately, Navy Medicine has caught on to the barriers that medical students face in regards to available modes of communication while they are running around the hospital/clinic and the time-sensitive nature of the GME application process. The Facebook group is a user-friendly resource that applicants can use during this process. It is also mobile-friendly as there are Facebook applications for many popular mobile devices making it possible for applicants to easily access this information.

Applicants are able to utilize two-way communication with the Navy GME staff as well as communicate with other current, past, and future Navy GME applicants to ask questions and/or offer advice and personal experiences. I encourage all those involved with the application process to use the Facebook site. I also encourage all those who have gone through the application and selection board process to contribute your experiences to help those involved as well as to potentially network with those who are expressing interest in your past or present program.

The Navy Medicine GME Facebook site is available at: http://www.facebook.com/NavyGME