Blog | Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Twitter within academic medicine

I have had the opportunity to do several presentations about Social Media in Medicine and Medical Education. I've given a Grand Rounds for Neurosciences at the IU School of Medicine using the hashtag #IUNeuroscienceGR, with audience members in neurology, neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatry. There was a live Twitter feed broadcast to the audience. I was excited to provide information about this topic to this multidisciplinary audience, but even more interested in learning from the audience about how Twitter is perceived within the neurosciences sphere of academic medicine.

A recent article about the use of Twitter at medical conferences highlights this phenomenon. In addition, it was great to present at the Med2.0 conference back in September 2012 about our experience with Twitter at Grand Rounds within pediatrics at the IUSM. I am aware of others beginning to delve into this area, including Eastern Carolina University within their Department of Medicine residency program. Recently, one of our graduates, Joel Topf, MD, now a nephrologist in the Detroit area, presented a similar grand rounds on the use of social media within health care.

In addition, I had the privilege of participating in a Tweet Chat on the topic of depression, to take place on 12/14/12, at 3 pm EST, under the hashtag #IUHedu , with Dr. Joanna Chambers from our Department of Psychiatry.

It is exciting to see Twitter being used as a tool to disseminate information to health care providers and also to patients, and also that others are seeing the impact of this on how physicians and other health care professionals learn. The more that we can get the word out about the power of sharing health care information in this venue, the better. Now we just need to demonstrate improved patient care outcomes from it--that's the hard part!

Alexander M. Djuricich, MD, FACP, is Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and a Program Director in Medicine-Pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. This post originally appeared at Mired in MedEd, where he blogs about medical education.