Using Twitter to Microblog a CME Meeting

Theresa Chan is family physician turned rural hospitalist with a widely popular blog and prolific Twitter posting. Her style of writing is no-nonsense, insightful and witty. Dr. Chan holds the dubious distinction of the doctor with the most Twitter posts (5,400 as of today, running head-to-head with @scanman) and in her case the quantity does not rule out quality.

Always a brave soul, Dr. Chan does not shy away from trying new gadgets -- from a portable scanner, to MacBook Pro, to Acrobat Pro to annotate presentation PDFs and save trees. She has colleagues turned informal Twitter advisers from around world to help her in the process.

Now, Dr. Chan is the author of another first (or close second, if somebody keeps track) -- she is live tweeting a CME meeting. The meeting is the 12th Annual Management of the Hospitalized Patient (in San Francisco, October 23-25th), arguably the most popular hospital medicine CME course, founded and chaired by the nation's top academic hospitalist Bob Wachter.

A few excerpts from the Twitter coverage are shown below and you can see all the posts here.

Bob Wachter is among the readers of my blog (honored to be listed in his favorite links) and he should definetly make a note of Dr. Chan's coverage which offers immediate feedback of this CME event.

I will be attending the NEJM Horizons Conference to push the boundaries of traditional medical publishing this weekend and was planning to live tweet from the meeting a few interesting observations if time permits. However, I do not expect the reach the level or volume of coverage of the meeting demonstrated by Dr. Chan.

See below Dr. Chan's coverage of the hospitalist CME meeting and a few comments from her "followers," the oldest posts are at the bottom, the newest at the top:

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring Because, in Rural, I think the neurologists do maybe 2 inpatient EEGs at my hospital a year. OK, maybe 5.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Discussing need for urgent EEG, even if this requires transfer to another hospital. Trying not to laugh.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: "When the EEG begins to look like the EKG, things are not normal."
ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: "We don't think about [encephalitis] often enough." I do! Or at least I think I do.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: "Delirium: A Stress Test for the Brain." I like it.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Now we're talking about my favorite hospitalist problem: Delirium.
ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Discussing reasons for readmit after pneumonia hospitalization:

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Ah, the UCSF physician's demeanor. The brisk confidence, the articulate and slightly self-mocking humor. I'd forgotten.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Now talking about CA-MRSA pneumonia. Yes I've seen it, even in Rural.
ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Oh, and btw, I *am* using Acrobat Pro to annotate PowerPoint PDFs provided by speakers. It works.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: I will say they choose excellent speakers for this meeting. Good thing, otherwise I'd be sitting with 700 other bored hospitalists.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Post-stroke management must include permissive HTN--up to at least 220/120 unless tPA is planned. I knew this but the struggle!
ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: tPA decisions will probably be made on basis of perfusion patterns in near future, after identifying areas of salvagable tissue.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: "A lot of you work at these stroke referral centers." Ah, not.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: UCSF Stroke CT protocol: 1)noncon brain + 2)CT Angio from Ao arch to Circle of Willis, 3)CT perfusion study, 4)Post-contrast CT.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: European SITS-MOST study suggests tPA can be effectively implemented in non-referral hospital settings safely. Gotta read it myself.

sandnsurf
sandnsurf Twittepathical interjection...we have many strange beasts and venomous creatures down under - but a neurohospitalist - woke me from my sleep

Vijay
scanman @ruraldoctoring No such animal in the entire Indian subcontinent. May never have been seen outside the US :)

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: We now move on to talk by "neurohospitalist" S. Andrew Jacobson. No such animal has ever been sighted in Rural.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: We now move on to talk by "neurohospitalist" S. Andrew Jacobson. No such animal has ever been sighted in Rural.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring #SHM: Talking about orthopods disliking conventional post-op anticoag guidelines. They have their own guidelines, I didn't know this.

Ves Dimov, M.D.
AllergyNotes @ruraldoctoring @sandnsurf Re: "SHM live tweeting, I feel so cutting-edge now" Yes, you are. And you have followers :-)

Vijay
scanman @ruraldoctoring YOU ARE cutting-edge material, Theresa. The #1 tweeting Rural Doctor :)

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring @sandnsurf @AllergyNotes Gee, I feel so cutting-edge now.

sandnsurf
sandnsurf @AllergyNotes @ruraldoctoring - this is really exciting - I have watched cricket on teletext (UK) but livetweeting is the real deal

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring @AllergyNotes Yup, tweeting LIVE from the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco.

Ves Dimov, M.D.
AllergyNotes LiveTwitting - a new/easy way to cover conference sessions! Readers can follow your session coverages in real time: http://livetwitting.com/

Ves Dimov, M.D.
AllergyNotes @ruraldoctoring Re: "Finally arrived at SHM meeting" Are you live twitting from the meeting?

Ves Dimov, M.D.
AllergyNotes @ruraldoctoring Re: "Finally arrived at SHM meeting after sweaty sprint up 16% grade San Francisco hills." Good job!

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring Talk is about thromboembolic disease. Discussing thromboembolic therapy, which we don't use in Rural for PE.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring Think I've passed my stress test--no chest pain. Near-syncope a few times, but no chest pain.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring Finally arrived at SHM meeting after sweaty sprint up 16% grade San Francisco hills.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring OK, now that I'm up before 6am, going to this CME seems like the dumbest idea in the world.

ruraldoctoring
ruraldoctoring Going to bed. CME meeting starts tomorrow.


I think Dr. Chan should summarize her experience live blogging the CME meeting and getting immediate feedback from her followers in an abstract. This simple method of sharing public notes and professional interaction needs to be popularized beyond a niche product and deserves a wider adoption by physicians:

Ves Dimov, M.D.
AllergyNotes You have to love the term the Twitter team pioneered for social network buddies -- "followers." It makes you sound almost prophetic.

Ves Dimov, M.D.
AllergyNotes Easy and useful: Twitter can be used to take public notes and have you colleagues and followers comment on them in real time.

And the grand finale of this post is (drumroll)... a formal proposal to list Dr. Chan among the 50 Most Powerful and Influential Women in Medical Social Media:

Ves Dimov, M.D.
AllergyNotes 50 of the Most Powerful and Influential Women in Social Media http://tinyurl.com/3rh6fy


References:
I will be attending NEJM Horizons Conference to push the boundaries of traditional medical publishing, suggestions welcomed
A Doctor's Opinion: Why I Started Microblogging on Twitter
Selection of My Twitter Favorites

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