Here are a few great reasons:
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 32 – No 09 – September 2013
- Ever experienced Phantom Vibration Syndrome? Phantom Vibration is the name given to the phenomenon of mistakenly thinking your phone just buzzed in your pocket, causing you to pull the phone out only to discover it did not buzz. Utilize this. Instead of reading email or texts, catch up on what is happening right now in emergency medicine. Reading #FOAMed or #ACEP13 Tweets is a much better use of downtime than playing Angry Birds.
- Tweet from conferences or talks so that others who are not there can benefit from what you are learning. This is called Live-Tweeting. If you’ve ever dreamt of being a play-by-play announcer or being a reporter, this is the next best thing. Tagging your Tweets with the relevant hashtag ensures that interested readers all over the world will read what you Tweet. A well-written Tweet can quickly go viral and be re-Tweeted to tens or hundreds of thousands of people with an interest in medicine.
- Use Twitter to augment or even replace your Journal Watch. Many bright doctors share links to articles and then use the platform for informed debate. The third International Stroke Trial (IST-3) alone has been hotly discussed on Twitter for well over a year now.
- Tweet back-and-forth with other emergency medicine physicians about what is happening at #ACEP13 or other conferences, including your weekly resident conference (#EMConf). Rather than waiting until after a talk, many of us share and debate what is being presented and discussed in real time. This allows active participation both within the audience and from interested doctors around the world. Sitting in a lecture hall is passive. Tweeting allows active participation.
- Use Twitter to keep up with non-emergency medicine science, medicine, and intellectual press. The New York Times (in particular the Science Times account) has links to free articles. Atul Gawande Tweets about whatever is on his mind. Scientific American posts links to many of their articles. Virtually every media outlet from The Economist to CNN has a Twitter feed, some better curated than others.
- Network. Meet doctors from around the planet. Find new mentors and mentees so that you can gain expertise or share yours.
What do you need to do to get started? Download Twitter to your smartphone or find Twitter online. It’s all free. Make a username. Two hints on username selection: 1) use your real name, or use a handle you won’t be embarrassed about later. 2) The fewer characters in your username the better. This way people are more likely to tag you in their Tweets and engage you in conversations. Finally, follow @FOAMstarter and follow the 26 accounts that this account follows – a great list of brilliant emergency medicine minds, many of whom will be speaking at #ACEP13. You can also follow me @jeremyfaust. (I’m not on the list, but no hard feelings!)