My very first tweet was made in May 2008. I was invited to join Twitter by a friend who works in IT. It just happens that at the time I was still at work thinking about a teaching session so my first tweet has quite a strong medical education flavour. Like many people I wasn't sure what to actually make of Twitter after this and I left it for several months until I went to two medical education conferences and decided that social media could serve a purpose for me.
But the barriers to sharing this kind of local practical information are not only technical, they are more likely to be social. After all email has been around for years. If we were truly happy sharing about our practice then we would have been doing this already. Some of the reasons that we don’t share our practice are concerns about who we are talking to- who is in control? Who has power? What will be the implications of sharing for how we see ourselves and how others see us?
We’re balancing the risks of sharing and learning through openness against the safety and privacy (to maintain more fixed identities) of a closed environment.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevegarfield/6426905021/And lastly, you can inspire others. Do you know this amazingly busy, and productive man? It's AtulGawande- surgeon, author and researcher. The eloquent AtulGawande can teach you about how to use Twitter.
Last year, I spotted this tweet one Sunday afternoon. Two minutes later I had made my reply to him.
. I invited him to participate in a discussion of his paper in the Twitter Journal Club, a twice monthly discussion of a paper on Twitter, started by a medical student, Fi Douglas, and Natalie Silvey, a junior doctor. This was too good an opportunity to miss. What do you think happened?
Well- the discussion started and there was no sign of AtulGawande. People were making some of the usual complaints about the original surgical checklist paper. It didn't apply to the developed world etc etc. But then he joined in. He started commenting on the discussion. And if you have any doubt about how 140 characters can be used to communicate anything useful watch and learn from this master. So what was the reaction? People were thrilled and informed. AtulGawande was on vacation with his family but he was able to share his expertise with students and others who asked him questions about his work. He was inspiring. Do you want to inspire others?
How can social media make you a better medical educator?
How can social media and networks
help you to develop as a medical
Anne Marie Cunningham
Natalie Lafferty @nlafferty
Intros from Natalie and
Meet a student!
Social media surgery
and Social Media
Dr Anne Marie Cunningham
Academic Lead for eLearning
School of Medicine, Cardiff University