Dr. Dan Rosenbush talks about #Students_Against_COVID’s database of clinical resources for medical students and the infodemic resulting from COVID-19.
- [01:13] The Purpose of #Students_Against_COVID
- [03:02] How to Curate and Assess Research and Information
- [10:22] The Infodemic & The Limitations of Knowledge
- [16:05] The Mistrust of Professional Health Organizations
- [18:30] Physicians as Effective Information Disseminators
- [20:47] Categories in #Students_Against_COVID’s Clinical Resource Database
- [22:49] The Safe Hands Challenge
Chase DiMarco talks to Dr. Dan Rosenbush, a D.O., a PH, and a first-year family medicine resident at St Margaret’s in Pittsburgh, PA. He is also a team lead for #Students_Against_COVID. Chase and Dan talk about #Students_Against_COVID’s database of clinical resources for medical students, the infodemic resulting from COVID-19, and tips for curating and assessing the research that you read.
What is #Students_Against_COVID?
#Students_Against_COVID began earlier this year as the result of a Twitter post by a medical student in Michigan, asking how people were using their time to combat COVID. Dr. Rosenbush communicated that he had been working on clinical education and information dissemination at his medical school. As a result of this interaction, #Students_Against_COVID was formed.
What Does #Students_Against_COVID Do?
One of the resources that #Students_Against_COVID provides is a single-page coronavirus clinical resources database for medical students. The coronavirus database includes recommended COVID resources, links to relevant professional organizations, clinical guides, research collections, volunteer opportunities, guides for special populations such as the homeless, and more. The members of #Students_Against_COVID curate and update the information on the page.
During the curation process for the COVID database, the students use several rules of thumb:
- Look for articles from well-respected authors, journals, or organizations.
- Look at how well an article fits with the trend of prior research.
- Familiarize themselves with statistical reporting to allow more accurate interpretation of the results.
- Think about how the study fits into the bigger picture and how it influences patient treatment.
Overall, Dr. Rosenbush recommends that medical students cultivate the skill of accurately interpreting research, and delve more into fields like epidemiology and statistics.
The COVID-19 Infodemic
For the public more generally, there has recently been an “infodemic” – lots of information is being transmitted, especially due to social media, but not all the information is of high quality. Dr. Rosenbush emphasizes that the public must understand that every piece of information or research has its limitations. This is built into scientific studies, where almost every paper has a section detailing limitations. However, information shared on social media is often shared with disproportionate confidence.
Although all information is limited, Dr. Rosenbush encourages people to look to professional organizations. These organizations have a track record of and a strong background in providing quality information, and for interpreting quick-moving data, like COVID dat. It is unlikely that these organizations have nefarious aims. Chase and Dr. Rosenbush also agree that physicians are in a unique position to provide clinical education about coronavirus to their patients, who have a relationship with them and trust them.
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Additionally, check out http://www.sacov19.com/ for access to the clinical resource database mentioned in this podcast, and for other student initiatives. You can also access the American College of Physicians (ACP) Physician’s Guide to COVID-19. For resources on interpreting COVID news, check out The COVID Tracking Project. For information on scientific research regarding COVID, check out the NIH page on coronavirus.