Online Learning for Infectious Disease Fellows - A Needs Assessment

Miguel A. Chavez, Nathanial S. Nolan, Emily Gleason, Saman Nematollahi, Emily Abdoler, Gerome Escota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Online resources and social media have become increasingly ubiquitous in medical education. Little is known about the need for educational resources aimed at infectious disease (ID) fellows. Methods: We conducted an educational needs assessment through a survey that aimed to describe ID fellows' current use of online and social media tools, assess the value of online learning, and identify the educational content preferred by ID fellows. We subsequently convened focus groups with ID fellows to explore how digital tools contribute to fellow learning. Results: A total of 110 ID fellows responded to the survey. Over half were second-year fellows (61, 55%). Although many respondents were satisfied with the educational resources provided by their fellowship program (70, 64%), the majority were interested in an online collaborative educational resource (97, 88%). Twitter was the most popular social media platform for education and the most valued online resource for learning. Focus groups identified several themes regarding social medial learning: broadened community, low barrier to learning, technology-enhanced learning, and limitations of current tools. Overall, the focus groups suggest that fellows value social media and online learning. Conclusions: ID fellows are currently using online and social media resources, which they view as valuable educational tools. Fellowship programs should consider these resources as complementary to traditional teaching and as a means to augment ID fellow education.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberofac264
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022


  • Twitter
  • infectious disease fellows
  • medical education
  • online learning
  • social media


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