Should we CHANGE our FACEBOOK NAME before Medical Job INTERVIEWS?

Hey guys. I’m Dr Ishtiaq, I wrote this article when I was a first-year Radiology Trainee / resident.

Today I’m answering a critical question. Should you change your name on Facebook before applying for a training program or job interview?

So to answer this question, I’ll tell you what I did before residency interviews, but I’ve also brought some doctor friends along to give you different opinions as well. So let me know in the comments below, would you change your Facebook name?

Should we CHANGE our FACEBOOK NAME before Medical Job INTERVIEWS?

This may seem like a really little detail, but when you’re finishing up medical college / school and you’re applying for training / residency, the whole application process feels like you don’t have a lot of control. It’s like your future is in someone else’s hands. So I think when there are little things that we can do something about and have a choice about, it feels like an important decision. So it really comes down to what’s on your Facebook profile and would you be okay if someone in the interview panel saw your pictures or comments that have been made or things that have been left on your wall. Is there that one party you went to or that picture that can be taken out of context if they didn’t know the full story?! Or a story you were telling that may not come across well if someone doesn’t understand that inside joke?!

Should we CHANGE our FACEBOOK NAME before Medical Job INTERVIEWS?

Honestly I think the chances of them looking you up on Facebook is pretty slim, but they’ve definitely been rumors of it happening in the past. Anyway, I was super indecisive about what to do. But before I tell you what I decided to do, check out what some of my classmates did and then it’ll give you more of a balanced opinion on this controversial issue.

  • ·         Did you change your name on Facebook before residency applications, and why? So I did change my name on Facebook. I changed it to the name of my pet cat. Her name is “cato” and in addition I didn’t just stop with the name. I actually also changed my profile picture to a picture of her. Yes, I did it. I just felt like your personal and your professional life sometimes you wanna keep them separate.
  • ·         I honestly just didn’t think of it. I didn’t think of it and luckily I hadn’t had too much R-rated things on my Facebook feed leading up to that. But looking back on that, I really would have thought about changing it beforehand. I did not, because I have my grand-mother on Facebook. And I figure if she’s okay with my Facebook content, it’s probably okay to leave it as it is. Yeah, it did actually. There’s no real reason for it.
  • ·         I don’t have anything on my Facebook, but I just kind of did it because everyone else is doing it. I did not, I wanted to be transparent and also, I don’t really have anything to hide. Yeah I did, so they can’t find me. Hahaha.
  • ·         I remember when this happened last year. And I’d say about half of our class actually changed their name on Facebook, so when you wanted to try to find someone or send them a message, you didn’t know their names and all my contacts… Like I didn’t know who people were, so it kind of defeated the purpose of Facebook, so what did I do? Drum roll please! I did not change my name on Facebook in the end. And honestly I debated it a whole bunch, especially because some of my close friends did. And there are two main reasons that that was the case. First of all, I figured that I could use Facebook to my advantage. You know you don’t get that much time on interviews and that much time where people are really listening to you. So I figured if they happen to look me up, then maybe it would be good that they can see that I play the violin and see pictures of me traveling or they see that I have groups of friends and I’ve been involved in things. But I’m an active person, so I figured keeping pictures that would benefit me is probably not a bad thing. So the second reason was because you know, in a few months from then I was gonna become a doctor. I knew that you know you have to have certain amount of professionalism and you know… The public holds doctors to a pretty high standard and it’s not worth having something up on Facebook that’s gonna get you in trouble in the future. So you know, I didn’t really have anything all that bad on there. But I have pictures going back a really long time and I figured people I added now in a professional capacity. Do they really have to see pictures of me when I was like 12 years old running around? Like I don’t think so. And a piece of advice that I got was that if a statement or a picture on the internet can’t stand on its own, like if you felt like you have to give an explanation for it to be okay, then you probably shouldn’t have it out there.

Trust me, if you decide to go through your Facebook, you will be shocked to see how much is on there, like it’s a ton, so there’s definitely no right answer. You can tell lots of people do different things. But in the world that we live in where we’re constantly uploading, updating everyone about what’s going on in our lives, I think it’s worthwhile taking a step back and just wondering: Do I want to keep my personal and professional life separate? Are there things, I don’t want to be circulating on the internet? And maybe that’s how you guide what you want to do and what you want to have out there.

 Thanks for reading  guys. I want to give an extra special thank you to all our friends who participated in this article writing. And comment below to let me know if you were this situation, what would you do? Would you change your Facebook name?


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