I often get asked the question about the value of social media, specifically Twitter, when it comes to medicine. As a physician-in-training, I find myself wearing many hats. After much contemplation and through personal experience, I think you are missing out if you don’t join the social media train.
I want to explain why I feel this way. Social media has become a huge part of our everyday lives. If you don’t realize that, then you’ve been living under a rock. That includes medicine. I have found that Twitter is a gold mine for online networking with many physicians across the country and sharing educational pieces and the most up-to-date research/best practices.
But I do believe the first step to access all of this is building the right network and following the right organizations and people. I recommend following top medical blogs, specialty organizations (for example—AMA, ACR, ASA, APA, or whatever specialty you plan to pursue), influential leaders in healthcare, etc. You can also search certain hashtags with topics you’re interested in—gives you more people to follow and more information to learn from.
Once you have built a small network to follow and start with, your feed will be customized with quality medicine-related information at your fingertips. It allows you to stay up-to-date on the latest events, news, and expand your knowledge base all in regards to medicine.
In addition, if there is a residency program that you’re interested in, follow them. It will aid you in terms of talking points for your interview, and it provides the program access to your professional profile to highlight you in a positive light.
Now I must disclose that I use my Twitter handle for professional purposes only. Every now and then, I’ll tweet a personal post regarding an accomplishment about a family member. But I want to tackle that professionalism on social media is extremely important. You must remember that as a physician-in-training, you are held to a higher standard.
If you find yourself creating a professional Twitter profile, then follow me @apatel327.