UNMC doctors discuss social media principles and pitfalls

(Left to Right) Dr. Howard Liu, Dr. Linda Love, Dr. Lindsey Smith and Dr. Donald Hilty presented a workshop on Twitter and social media.

UNMC leaders answered questions about Twitter’s place in medical education.

Dr. Howard Liu, Dr. Linda Love, Dr. Lindsey Smith of the UNMC Department of Psychiatry and Dr. Donald Hilty of the University of California-Davis presented, “Tweeting Your Way to the Top: Navigating Social Media Principles & Pitfalls in Medical Education.”

The presentation was set up for everyone, whether you didn’t have an account or tweet every day. Dr. Smith said the group was broken into novice, intermediate, and advanced users.

“There was a lot of variation among the group in the use of social media,” Dr. Smith said. “Some had skepticism about why they should use it. They consider it one more thing to do during their busy day. Others were interested in and wanted to get started.”

The objectives of the workshop were to describe how Twitter differs from other social media platforms; apply social media principles to case scenarios of common online dilemmas for educators; and participants were asked to share one useful resource to build an online community.

After an introduction, participates joined small groups stratified by expertise. The largest group (15-20 people) was Dr. Smith’s novice group.

Smith, who joined Twitter last fall, shared her experiences with the group.

“It’s a great resource to network with other people in the medical field,” she said. “I think social media has a role in medical education. When you tweet or follow others on Twitter, you gain perspective from others in the industry. You speak with a lot of people you wouldn’t know otherwise.”

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