UAMS professor using Snapchat to help teach pathology class

Snapchat teaching students about skin cancer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- One UAMS professor is teaching cool new ways to learn about cancers all with the help from social media.

Dr. Jerad Gardner, a pathologist for UAMS, takes pictures from his phone of skin specimens and then adds them to his social media accounts.

"I really want to be able to educate and communicate to all of my students on whatever level they are at," said Dr. Gardner.

And nowadays that way is social media. Dr. Gardner is taking classroom lectures to another level by turning them into online Snapchats.

"I'll share them, I'll tweet them, I will put them on Facebook,” Gardner said. “And it explains, 'Hey here's how to tell this is melanoma rather than some other kind of skin cancer.'"

Those pictures are now getting a lot of attention from other students, patients and even other doctors from all across the world. Using different filters and titles as a way to create conversations about cancer while helping others understand science all with the push of a button.

"From all over the world they say, we are learning from this, this actually helps us help our patients in real life,” Gardner said. “So know, I feel kind of obligated to do it if it’s helping real people then, why not?"

Dr. Gardner hopes to reach people beyond the normal classroom setting and he said that social media is the perfect way to do it. Medical student, Bethany Verkamp, said it all started from their class Facebook page. When she decided to take one of Dr. Gardner's pictures and add a little humor.

"It's just fun to kind of get away from the books for a little while and get more personal with our professors,” Verkamp said.

She said it’s a way for students to understand the material and their professor, using a platform that targets younger generations.

"We are not required to go to lectures for the most part,” Verkamp said. “So that's really nice because we can kind of study the best way that we know how."

Dr. Gardner also gives lectures to other doctors on how to use different social media platforms. He hopes more professors jump on board using social media as a way to help people.

"Using social media can really help my student to amplify their career, to enhance their cover letter,” Gardner said. “So that when they apply for residency, when they apply for jobs down the road they will have something extra they can add to the conversation."

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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