Lifestyle

How to Use LinkedIn Effectively in Medical School

Osmosis Team
Published on Nov 22, 2021. Updated on Nov 22, 2021.

LinkedIn is a social media platform dedicated to professional development and networking. Once considered a passive database of resumes, the site has grown into a powerful tool for medical students and has helped overcome some of the setbacks caused by the pandemic as well.

The past year has been challenging for students across the globe. As schools transitioned to digital learning, students have had fewer opportunities to connect with professors and each other. Medical conferences have also gone online, further undermining chances to network and meet potential professional connections.

Social media can be a great tool to combat this isolation. For medical students looking for professional contacts or mentors, LinkedIn offers a myriad of ways to connect and build your network. Whether you’re a social media maven or Facebook illiterate, LinkedIn can be a great tool for developing your school and long-term medical career. Read on for your total guide on how to use LinkedIn effectively in med school!

Should medical students use LinkedIn during medical school?

The short answer is, yes. LinkedIn provides various opportunities to connect with others and build your own profile before applying for jobs. Each individual will find the best uses for themselves. Here are just a few of the ways that medical students can use LinkedIn to their advantage.

Research and publication opportunities

Many medical journals maintain lively LinkedIn pages and blogs, and international medical student organizations are active on the site as well. If you’re looking for research opportunities or places to get your name in print, LinkedIn has got you covered. Keep up to date by reading the blogs and finding an opportunity that works for you.

Medical conferences

COVID made us move many conferences online, and many conferences now use the LinkedIn platform for the webinars, presentations, and panels that used to be in-person. Networking will become more and more important for you as your medical school years tick on, and now that digital conferences are here, they are likely here to stay in some form or other.

Sharing professional updates and growth

As your medical school career progresses, you will start to transition from student to professional. You can share the milestones that you pass with your peers and show potential bosses how you’re moving forward. LinkedIn is the perfect platform for this as it helps showcase your accomplishments while hooking you up with the people who need to know it.

Osmosis illustration of a computer screen, showing a LinkedIn post a med student would make, saying,

Become a thought leader

You might not think that branding has anything to do with your medical career, but the fact is that we each have a personal “brand” that can have a significant impact on our work and success. Build your brand early by contributing your thoughts and experiences through your LinkedIn pages. This content can not only create your brand capital but can also help guide others coming up after you with meaningful content as well.

Help people find you online

Looking for a summer job or to connect with mentors or other students? Many professors and medical offices maintain their LinkedIn profiles and check in on their messages frequently. Other important organizations provide job listings through their LinkedIn pages. Keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date can help others find and connect with you online.

Impact on your residency application

From how-to articles aimed at helping you interview successfully to understanding the matching process, LinkedIn can have an important impact on your residency application. The National Residency Matching Program posts frequently on LinkedIn about news and the matching calendar. Make sure you follow and connect with the organizations and institutions that will help you get the residency you desire.

Learning and development

LinkedIn Learning is an amazing tool for learning and development. They offer classes to supplement your medical school courses, including medical terminology and writing as well as mentorships. Many universities offer free subscriptions to this awesome service, so check to see if you already have access through your school.

How to set up your LinkedIn account

Setting up your LinkedIn account is easy and free; you just need a valid email address. However, there are definitely some do’s and don’ts to follow to set up a snazzy LinkedIn profile.

You definitely want to include a good profile picture, usually a headshot. A picture will help you get views and connections. Also, create a headline that says something about you or your skills instead of just the job you’re hoping to land. This is a spot where you can let some of your sparkling personality shine through.

Osmosis illustration of a LinkedIn profile of a medical student.

One cool section of LinkedIn is the skills area where you can list relevant skills that you’ve gathered over your education and experience. Ask connections who know you to endorse the skills they’ve witnessed, and you can even gather recommendations from your network as well.

It might sound annoying, but don’t be too casual or too dry. LinkedIn is a professional space, but having a little bit of your voice and shine will also set you apart. However, you’re not in a space with just your friends, so you do want to maintain that level of competence and seriousness that potential hirers would want to see in a medical professional.

And this one hopefully goes without saying, but avoid exaggerating your expertise or experience. You want to land that job or residency, but you want to get it on your merits—not fictional ones. Stay positive but honest about what you know and can do.

How to use LinkedIn in medical school

LinkedIn is different from many other social media platforms in that it does have a more professional and mature tone. To that end, there are a few guidelines you should follow in order to make your profile work for you.

  • Be professional - Keep your tone and word choice respectful. This means no memes!
  • Be active - Keep your profile up-to-date and post frequently
  • Be respectful - You can share your experiences, but never share patient information
  • Be outgoing - Reach out to others and respond to messages you receive
  • Be focused - Follow just the pages that you will need for your professional goals

Accounts to follow as a medical student—and beyond!

There are certain must-follow accounts for every medical student. Some will be particular to you and your specialty, and others are great general accounts for any healthcare student.

Your institution

Definitely follow your university or medical school’s LinkedIn page.

Medical student society at your school

Many institutions also have a society or organization of medical school students. This is a great page to follow for a way to keep informed on all the events and opportunities aimed directly at you.

Shiv Gaglani

Shiv Gaglani is the co-founder of Osmosis and a great person to follow on LinkedIn. His page is a great place to find posts about Osmosis content and other important medical education news.

Rishi Desai, MD, MPH

Dr. Desai currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Osmosis.

Patrice Harris

Dr. Harris became the first African American woman to be elected as president of the American Medical Association in 2019.

Osmosis

Need we say more?

Arianna Huffington

Prolific author and co-founder of the Huffington Post, Ms. Huffington’s LinkedIn page is lively and well-informed.

Vivian Lee

Dr. Lee is a radiologist, author, and healthcare executive for Verily Health Platforms, Google’s sibling company focused on science.

Eric Topol

Dr. Topol is an American professor, author, and cardiologist engaged in significant research projects.

Dan Kraft

Physician, inventor, and healthcare entrepreneur, Dr. Kraft is focused on the future of medicine and where its practice will go next.

Sachin Jain

Dr. Jain, currently the CEO of CareMore, has also served in leadership positions at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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