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Social Media Dos and Don’ts for Premeds and Post-Bacc Students


As a premedical student who’s looking to apply to medical school (or a competitive post-bacc program), it’s natural for you to be concerned about your MCAT score, GPA, and extracurriculars. But have you also considered what your online presence says about you? According to reporting from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), medical school admissions committees increasingly scrutinize applicants’ social media profiles to gain insight into their character, professionalism, and judgment. 

Strategic management of your social media presence is an important factor for presenting yourself in the best possible light. Here’s a list of dos and don’ts for managing your social media as you prepare for the next phase of your journey toward medical school.

Do Understand What Isn’t Acceptable and Audit Your Profiles

Medical school admissions committees want to be sure you’re going to act with discretion when you are working with patients. The number one thing you must not do on your social media account is post personal details about patients you’ve dealt with during your clinical experience or volunteering. Take those posts down if you have them on your feed, even if your profile is private.

Other problematic posts are probably not hard for you to imagine: risqué photos, photos of excessive partying, underage partying, or any illicit drug use; bigoted, abusive, or harsh comments—pull all of those if you can. Don’t forget to check the list of posts you’ve “liked” on X (formerly Twitter), too—those are public and may be reviewed by admissions committee members.

Don’t Remove All Evidence of You Having Fun

Medical school admissions committees do understand that you’re a young person and you’re going to enjoy your college years. If you’re over 21 and you toasted the new year with champagne, you don’t need to take that photo down. If you went to a big football game and painted your face, that’s probably also fine (unless you’re applying to a program at your undergrad college’s rival). 

Don’t delete every post that shows you doing something other than pre-medical activities. You are a person, and admissions committees want to know what kind of person you are.

Do Google Yourself Regularly

Conduct a Google search of your name periodically to see what information about you is publicly available. If you come across any content that could be detrimental to your professional image, take steps to address it. If the questionable content is on a profile you control, take it down. If it’s on a friend’s profile, ask them to take it down. If it’s on a totally different website you don’t control, it’s worth writing to the webmaster to ask if you can have that post removed. It may not happen, but it never hurts to try.

Don’t Assume a “Private” Profile is Completely Private

While you may want to consider making your personal profiles private to ensure that only approved individuals can view your content, bear in mind that search engines may have been indexing your profiles for years, and that any content they’ve pulled from your feed before you made it private may wind up in search results. 

Even with strict privacy settings, nothing is entirely private on the internet. Exercise caution with what you post no matter what.

Do Show Off Your Achievements

Use your social media platforms to showcase your interests, accomplishments, and extracurricular activities related to your pursuit of a career in medicine. Share articles, volunteer experiences, research projects, or medical-related events that you’re involved in. Highlighting your passion for medicine and your commitment to personal and professional development on your social profiles can strengthen your application.

Don’t Brag About Anything You Haven’t Actually Done

Make sure anything you post on your profiles is an accurate reflection of what you’ve accomplished. Your posts should corroborate any clinical experiences, volunteering activities, or premedical clubs and organizations you’ve listed in your application (with respect for patient privacy, obviously). They should not exaggerate your achievements or experiences.

Do Take Advantage of Self-Branding Opportunities

If you’re not already on LinkedIn, now is a good time to build your profile. Use a professional headshot as your profile photo and enter all the information you’ve used for your post-bacc or medical school application. On LinkedIn and on other sites, you can also follow the medical schools you’re interested in applying to and subscribe to premedical interest groups. 

You can even follow individual doctors on sites like X and Bluesky – it’s a great way to stay up to date with new developments in the field, as well as burnishing your social media presence.

Take Care When Interacting with Others

Remember that your interactions online reflect your communication skills and professionalism. Engage thoughtfully with others, especially if you’re having online conversations with doctors, medical schools, or medical school alumni. Ask thoughtful questions, thank people for their answers, and don’t dominate the discussion. 

By proactively managing your social media presence, you can enhance and reinforce the portrait you painted of yourself in your admissions materials. Curate your online image thoughtfully and use your platforms to showcase your passion for medicine and your commitment to excellence. With careful attention to detail and professionalism, you can make social media work for you, not against you.

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