Doctors are turning to YouTube to learn how to do surgical procedures

9 December, 2019

Doctors are turning to YouTube to learn how to do surgical procedures, but there’s no quality control

Extracts below. Full text here:


- Tens of thousands of surgery-related videos are on YouTube, and the number keeps climbing every year.

- Some doctors say that medical students and residents rely on YouTube to fill in gaps in their training.

- For that reason, some medical experts are calling for better vetting and curation of the content.

When Dr. Justin Barad was a medical resident, he would often encounter a problem he’d never managed or be asked to use a device without much training. So he’d turn to YouTube.

Barad, who completed his surgical training at UCLA in 2015, said YouTube has become a fixture of medical education. He’d often get prepped by watching a video before a procedure. Sometimes he’d even open a YouTube video in the operating theater when confronted with a particularly challenging surgery or unexpected complication...

How can doctors tell which videos are valid and which contain bogus information?...

YouTube did not return a request for comment about its surgical content. Google Health declined to comment...

Medical experts say they’re more than willing to work with YouTube to help curate medical content...

In the interim, some doctors, like Jefferson Health’s chief medical social media officer, Dr. Austin Chiang, who works for Klasko, recommend that their peers check whether a video is associated with a well-regarded hospital or medical society before they watch it or recommend it to others.

In the long run, he said, YouTube should promote this content over others...


Best wishes, Neil

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