Twitterverse can be valuable for healthcare professionals as a communication tool and an effective way to stay up to date. In 2009 only, there were 845,175 articles published and recorded in PubMed (http://www.quora.com/How-many-academic-papers-are-published-each-year),thus, it is not strange that health care professionals are struggling to stay in touch with the major advances in their respective fields of interest. Physicians are overall busy people and Twitter can bring news and research directly to their feed. As of today, 31% of health care professionals use social media for professional networking which is only going to grow as one of the many effective uses of Twitter for medical practitioners. In addition, all the major peer-reviewed journals have their own Twitter acounts, informing followers on published articles, important medical updates, meetings or moderating ongoing dialogue on important issues.
It is important to remember that in Twitter you can engage in a direct conversation with other health care professionals who share the same interests with you. You can use Twitter to ask questions and harvest knowledge from other medical practitioners.
You can also use Twitter as a pedagogic tool: it is of great importance to keep patients educated and dissiminate useful information by advicing them to visit reputable medical websites, dismiss myths and share helpful articles. Especially in Rheumatology, with the plethora of advance and complicated treatments, the patients more than ever need our guidance and help in order to understand the importance of treatment and possible side effects.
In our department after a poll that I performed between my collegues, I realized that very few of them had ever heard about Twitter and none was using it as a tool for medical education. In the meanwhile, all of them own smartphones and have a Facebook account with a more or less daily activity. Thus, I decided to make a demonstration of Twitter and advice them how to use it in order to stay up to date. In addition, I create for them a list with the most important Twitter accounts in Rheumatology, which I share with you below:
1. Annals of Rheumatic Diseases @
The official journal of the European League Agianst Rheumatism (EULAR) with the highest impact factor among the peer-reviewed journals in Rheumatology. Here you will find the latest articles, important news, congress updates, comments etc. A must for every rheumatologist!
2. American College of Rheumatology @
American College of Rheumatology tweets high quality research articles, news, events and important updates on ACR annual congresses. Many may find it somehow ”UScentric” with updates on advocacy and political actions/lobbying, however, we have to remember that ACR is primarly directed to US colleagues.
3. Nature Reviews Rheumatology @
Excellent reviews, which covering the most recent advances edited by the best medical professionals. And with the high quality of Nature!
4. Rheumatology Net @
All the important news in Rheumatology peer-reviewed by experts. Sweet and short, a site for the busy rheumatologist!
An excellent site dedicated to rheumatologic msk ultrasound. The latest updates and tons of useful articles. Are you an ultrasound enthusiast? Follow now!