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Publication Date

4-30-2015

Keywords

Twitter, social media, cardiovascular disease, fellow education

Abstract

Purpose

Clinical developments continue to grow at an accelerated rate, challenging the existing paradigm of information access, dissemination and learning by trainees. The aim of this study was to deliver relevant, concise and newly emerging information on cardiovascular disease using Twitter, and assess its impact.

Methods

A Twitter account for our institution’s cardiovascular disease fellowship program was established. All fellows and faculty were encouraged to follow tweets for clinical developments. To assess Twitter use, participation rates and the number of tweets by topics and followers were tracked longitudinally. Impact on fellows was assessed through a brief evaluation survey and an emailed clinical vignette quiz that required the application of evidence to clinical questions.

Results

Since project onset in September 2013, there have been 458 tweets, including 21 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant photos and videos, available to 48 followers, including 7 faculty and 20 current or former fellows. More than 60% of fellows achieved perfect quiz performance scores. Evaluations were completed by 94% of fellows (15/16), 25% of whom report checking for information at least every other day, 50% once a week and 25% once a month. Trainees report more frequent literature-based deliberations with faculty since Twitter inception.

Conclusions

Twitter can deliver relevant, concise and newly emerging clinical information to trainees, impacting their ability to apply evidence to clinical problems. Trainee and faculty engagement with Twitter increases over time.

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