HealthMay 19, 2023

The dangers of YouTube for medical training

Ensure standardized, core medical procedure training so students and trainees can perform the most commonly encountered medical procedures correctly and safely.

As a platform for user-generated content, YouTube is great for watching concert clips, funny pet antics, or home repair how-tos. But consider how your patients and their families might react if they learned that medical students and residents also use YouTube videos to learn how to perform medical procedures. As a residency program director, how do you ensure your students have access to educational videos and resources that are comprehensive, accurate, and up-to-date?

We asked medical residents at the UMass Chan Medical School (ranked top 10 in the U.S. for primary care education) to review and compare four of the most highly viewed instructional medical procedure YouTube videos against the multimedia modules produced by Lippincott® Medical Procedures. They found that the YouTube videos, with a combined 11M+ views, didn’t adequately describe:

  • Important and complete procedure details
  • Proper sequence for procedure preparation
  • The tools or personnel required for procedures
  • Correct transfer techniques
  • Aftercare requirements

“It feels more like a demonstration rather than an instructional video for learning purposes,” one resident explained when discussing the comparison of videos on abdominal paracentesis. Another medical resident described the YouTube video on thoracentesis as “incredibly simplified, lacking any mention of equipment, pre-procedure workup, patient positioning, indications for the procedure, or aftercare.”

The benefits of comprehensive, standardized training resources

Medical training programs can take advantage of the fact that residents want to learn from video content that presents evidence-based, expertly developed digital content in a single solution. This helps ensure students are equipped with standardized and up-to-date information in their preferred format. Residents at UMass Chan Medical School who were surveyed want medical training options to include:

  • Details on equipment, pre-procedure workup, patient positioning, and aftercare
  • Clear, comprehensive instructions customized to the viewer’s experience level
  • Best practices to minimize pain and discomfort
  • Clarification on how to course correct at different stages.

“I would strongly caution students against using this video for learning how to perform incision and drainage of an abscess,” offered one medical resident about one of the YouTube videos. “This video is incredibly simplified, lacks any mention of equipment, pre-procedure workup, patient positioning, indications for the procedure, aftercare – all of those are necessary elements,” described another resident about the YouTube video on thoracentesis.

With Lippincott Medical Procedures, residency programs can streamline education and training for clinical rotations with technical videos, multimedia, and expert insights, through a single point of access. The Lippincott® materials demonstrate step-by-step techniques for more than 70 core medical procedures performed in hospitals or ambulatory settings. Students also benefit from guidance on instruments and equipment, multimedia images, illustrations, and indications and contraindications.

Immersing residents in this content prepared by clinical and educational experts, residents will gain technical expertise, conceptual understanding, and the confidence needed to safely set foot in a simulation lab, ICU, or patient environment. Unlike many YouTube videos, Lippincott Medical Procedures provides:

  • Standardized procedural techniques developed by experts at leading medical institutions
  • Individualized pacing that supports active, self-directed, point-of-care learning
  • Easy-to-access skill-building and multimedia modules on how to perform core procedures safely and with confidence.

Lippincott Medical Procedures is more than just a video library. It’s a comprehensive, crucial component of any residency program that strives to provide students with the education they need to confidently treat patients.

Learn more about Lippincott Medical Procedures and how it can help your institution.

Lippincott® Medical Procedures
A comprehensive resident and trainee solution with easy-to-access skill-building and multimedia modules on how to perform core procedures safely and with confidence.
Back To Top