Can your online presence affect the way an adcom will see you?
According to many admissions professionals, the answer is yes. The AAMC factsheet on social media cites Scott M. Rodgers, M.D., associate dean for medical student affairs at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, who says that “Every student should assume that admissions committees DO look up applicants online and sometimes come across information about people that can either hurt or help a candidate.”
How to make sure that your online presence doesn’t hurt your chances?
• Do web searches to see what is out there under your name. Some might be positive, some might be troubling, and some might not even be about you (but relate to someone with the same or a similar name)
• Be careful of your privacy settings on social networks. Approve tags from friends (so that a regrettable photo doesn’t end up public on someone else’s wall)
• Keep your own activity clean.
AAMC provides some other straightforward, good advice: always log out of public/shared computers, and keep your passwords private.