There has been a surge of interest in Social Media and how it might be used in Emergency Medicine and EM Education here at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Kendall Ho, an EM Physician and Head of the UBC eHealth Strategy Office (Facebook, Twitter)is kicking off a big push to explore SoMe with a few events:
With the growing interest in SoMe in EM and Medical Education, I think a short primer on the space is warranted.
This is a list, with some commentary, of (I think) excellent KT and MedEd resources in the Social Media space so that people can explore. This is NOT by any stretch a comprehensive list, but is meant as a Primer for the upcoming discussion for those unfamiliar with the myriad faces of SoMe.
Social Media, in my opinion, is primarily a Knowledge Translation tool rather than a primary source of medical information. It is a vast and useful filter for the ‘firehose of information’ that spews from the mainstream medical literature.
Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM)
FOAM is a movement, based in Social Media, that has blossomed in the last few years. FOAM was coined/created by Australian EM physician Mike Cadogan
, creator of Life in the Fastlane one of the pre-eminent EM blogs in the world.
FOAM should not be seen as a teaching philosophy or strategy, but rather as a globally accessible crowd-sourced educational adjunct providing inline (contextual) and offline (asynchronous) content to augment traditional educational principles.
– a dynamically updated list of the latest blogposts and podcasts
– a Google Custom Search Engine for FOAM Content (Disclaimer: I am the creator of FOAMSearch)
Blogs are the mainstay of SoMe. They allow long form text, images, audio, and video. Almost all allow comments and replies to posts that, in the best cases, allow for interaction between the authors and other members of the community [hence ‘Social’ media]. Below is a list of just some of the best blogs out there:
– new but fantastically detailed Lit examinations
– less frequent posts, but high quality
– EM Intensivist Scot Weingart’s blog to ‘bring upstairs care, downstairs’
– Presentations with supplementary material
– Not Free, but likely the pre-eminent source of online CPD in EM.
– another great mix of EM and Critical Care
– a great group blog from the Manchester EM group
The Short Coat
– one example of what a motivated learner (Lauren began the blog as a Med Student and is now an R1 in EM) can do
– from LitFLthis is the most comprehensive list of active EMCC blogs
Podcasts are primarily audio, but increasingly video based, resources. Some are published on a regular schedule, others only as the creators have topics or information to share. Many, but not all, offer blog posts with related or supplementary material.
from EM Intensivist Scot Weingart (iTunes Link)
EM in the trenches from Rob Orman (iTunes Link)
– LitFL this is the most comprehensive list of active EMCC podcasts
Knowledge Translation tools
These online resources are not typical blogs, but are very useful, and often are very EBM =
– created and run by some of the NNT team.
Journal Clubs are a subset of the KT-tool-but-not-a-blog category
Twitter is, currently, the forum for most of the day-to-day discussion and interaction in the EM SoMe space. If you want to keep abreast of all the goings on, then you need to be on Twitter. Lurking (following and consuming the content without interacting) is a very valid and perfectly acceptable way to use Twitter. Many, but not all, may transition from lurking to actively engaging. The only UNacceptable use of Twitter (and SoMe in general) is Trolling
, so feel free to take a peek inside.
– New to Twitter? Follow the folks listed here as a starting point.
– My personal list of high impact EM Twitterfolk. Includes the clinical best as well as a smattering of the lighter side of EM on Twitter
– My growing list of MedEd Twitter accounts, leaning heavily but not exclusively on EM Educators
Facebook is a bit of a hydra – many folks (myself included) keep their personal FB pages strictly personal, minimizing it’s use in the professional realm. For many however FB is THE central focus of many people’s Social Media interaction, including medical professionals. These folks are often unaware of the other SoMe channels, so new SoMe initiatives having a FB presence that points to resources outside FB can be very useful for building an engaged audience. I will list a couple FB pages of sites listed above:
Wikipedia & the WikiProject Medicine
Wikipedia is one of the first, and most successful, crowd-sourced repositories on the web. The reliability of the information on Wikipedia has been questioned by many! but none can question the popularity of the site. As often as not, Wikipedia is the first result in any Google (or other search engine) search. There are thousands of medical articles on Wikipedia, but only a handful of physicians and other health care professionals who try to ensure their accuracy. The WikiProject Medicine
is an official Wikimedia project attempting to guide and correct medical info on the site. This is also a new frontier for Medical Education, with UCSF’s recently created elective
that has students collaborate on the project. UBC Dept of Emergency Medicine’s Dr James Heilman
is centrally involved in the Project, and those interested in this facet of SoMe should contact him.
Google+ and Google Hangouts
Google+ is one of the newest SoMe platforms, and integrates with the whole Google-verse. Why do you need yet another place to put your face, and probably waste time? Well, it has some unique features that make it particularly attractive to the EMCC and MedEd communities. It allows long form articles, unlike Twitter, allows you to share your own and others’ blog posts and other things, and has a robust Community builder. Check out the new, but already highly interactive discussions on the FOAMcc (FOAM Critical Care) Community
Google+ also introduced a new tool, Google Hangouts
. Hangouts are a kind of video conferencing tool – it allows up to 10 people to join in a group video/audio chat. Participants can be added and removed on the fly. This alone would be useful for small group sessions or for connecting different sites, but there is a rather brilliant addition. Any Google Hangout can be broadcast *LIVE* to YouTube. If you choose, anyone can watch/follow your Hangout session, enabling you to reach a much larger audience. Add in Twitter as a realtime feedback/question channel, and you have a ready made, open, online conferencing tool.
This is far from an exhaustive look at SoMe in Emergency Medicine and Medical Education. This should be a jumping off point for any exploration. If you have questions or comments, leave them on this post, or chat with me over at Twitter