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Twitter Dispatches from the New England Journal of Medicine's Horizons Conference

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This weekend the New England Journal of Medicine's Horizons conference brought together the editors of the journal with a group of medical students and trainees, including two prominent medical bloggers, Dr. Ves Dimov from Clinical Cases and Images and Dr. Graham Walker from Over My Med Body. Via the website:
The New England Journal of Medicine is seeking to bring together a group of visionary medical students and trainees to help NEJM push the boundaries of traditional medical publishing. We are looking for creative minds to join the editors for a weekend to explore what's possible. We anticipate a vigorous dialogue around the ideas that invited participants and other speakers share with the group.
We can be thankful for a new trend that's emerged among medical bloggers: twittering useful dispatches from the conferences they attend. (For an introduction to Twitter, a microblogging tool, see this post.) In order to make their Twitter postings (or "tweets") easily searchable, many bloggers are now including "hash marks" or tags with their tweets. For example, Twitter users who wrote about the recent Health 2.0 conference including the tag #health2con. Dr. Theresa Chan from the excellent Rural Doctoring blog recently reported from the Society for Hospital Medicine conference in San Francisco with the tag #SHM. And Drs. Dimov and Walker both twittered from the NEJM's Horizons conference with the tag #NEJM. (You can search Twitter at search.twitter.com, the site previously known as summize.com, which Twitter acquired.)

Here are some selections from Ves and Graham's dispatches from the conference. (Thanks again to both of them for sharing their thoughts.)
  • grahamwalker: Off to Boston on 1.5 hours sleep for NEJM-sponsored super mega nerd medical computer tech conference. Woot.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM The typical medical resident relies heavily on UpToDate and Google, even checks Wikipedia, whether you like it or not.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM I was surprised how many of the conference attendees and NEJM staff read my blog. Feel humbled.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM We talked about why blogging is difficult. If you set the bar too high for your posts, you may not blog at all.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM Typical resident does not do much for fun in their free time because they have so little of it.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM Typical resident only listens to medical podcasts when driving or exercising. Note to podcast editors: don't put us to sleep.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM My suggestion: all NEJM articles should have comments open and authors should be able to reply if they wish to do so.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM It looks like I will be on NEJM student/resident advisory board, at least until the editors read my Twitter updates... :-)
  • allergynotes: #NEJM Many conference attendees have iPhones (and love them). Not many Palm/Treo users.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM 3-4 conference participants (out of 20) told me they heard about the
    conference from my blog. Nice. Smart readership, not the writer.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM Typical resident has a Facebook profile. Note to conference/course organizers - use Facebook in your programs.
  • grahamwalker: #NEJM Choose your own adventure for clinical cases online. 81M p/w cough and chest pain: do you want a cxr, cbc, d-dimer, and why?
  • grahamwalker: #NEJM No surgeons, OBs, Peds here, overwhelmingly Medicine focused.
  • grahamwalker: I feel like a super lazy computer nerd compared to the people at this #NEJM conference.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM Suggestion: Add video summary be the editor on the front page - 5 minute long, make it available on YouTube.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM The grand number of Twitter users? 3, Graham and I included.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM Note to teaching attendings - you can be great without being intimidating, take example from NEJM editors.
  • allergynotes: #NEJM All discussions are taped with digital recorders for full transcriptions later. NEJM really wants to know what we think :-)
  • allergynotes: #NEJM Discussions about the future of medical education with NEJM editors
    continued in the lobby bar until midnight. That's dedication!



(Also posted on The Efficient MD.)

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About the Author


MD, FACP, FASN

Dr. Schwimmer's blog explores the intersection of medicine, new technologies, and the Internet.

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