Program Director’s Corner – February 2019
David Lieb, MD
Program Director, Endocrine Fellowship Program
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Welcome everyone to the February 2019 APDEM Program Director’s Corner! I know everyone is getting excited about our upcoming APDEM meetings – first at the Endocrine Society in New Orleans on Sunday, March 24th, and then at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists meeting in Los Angeles on April 26th.
This month I wanted to make a plea to all of you. Starting last year I started using Twitter. Of course like everyone I had a Twitter account – with zero tweets, zero follows and zero followers, for the previous 10 years. I mean – I was a cool doctor, right? I enjoyed catching up with people on Facebook, and had posted some pictures of the kids on Instagram.
But Twitter…never really made sense to me. Why would anyone care what I had to say in 140 characters? And honestly I didn’t have time to see what others had to say – I was too busy ‘liking’ pictures of cats on Instagram. But then something changed. I remember the day I became a true Twitter user. I was chosen to moderate a wonderful session at the annual AACE meeting by Dr. Armand Krikorian (@ENDOUNO) entitled “#Medicine and #Socialmedia: Untapped Potential”. Armand is an endocrinologist and the Program Director for the internal medicine residency program at the University of Illinois at Chicago/Advocate Christ Medical Center. His talk was exciting, and I soon realized that Twitter was a great resource not just for politicians and celebrities, but also for medical educators.
I logged in, and was surprised and delighted by the wonderful medical education community that I found there. I found a rich medical education community – tagged #MedEd. I reconnected with my own residency program director. I saw journal clubs for nephrology #NephJC and weekly chats and book clubs for #womeninmedicine. I learned what a tweetorial was (thanks @tony_breu). Initially there wasn’t as much endocrinology – but then in October 2018, David Cohen, endocrinologist and Vice Chair of Education at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (@DavidACohen_MD) suggested that we start using #EndoTwitter to tag our posts and develop our community. Then Armand suggested we have our first #EndoTwitter journal club – which happened at the end of the month, when we discussed a recent publication by Vin Tangpricha (@vtangpricha) on transgender care. One of our EVMS fellows reviewed that same paper for our own journal club the next week, and was able to ask Vin specific questions through Twitter in real-time before her own presentation. Soon we hope to have our second #EndoTwitter journal club.
I found other uses for Twitter. When I couldn’t attend the annual American Thyroid Association meeting last fall, I was able to ‘follow’ the meeting through Twitter, and learned a great deal about exciting abstracts and important research. I’ve started to learn about endocrine care in other countries. I’ve networked. I have made friends with colleagues through Twitter – people that I have never met – but who I feel close to through our tweets and our ‘likes’, and our discussions. I’ve read and discussed pertinent articles tweeted out by endocrinologists across the globe. I see a future wherein endocrinology program directors use Twitter to share ideas, and to promote their fellowship programs to potential applicants.
So please consider using Twitter. I’m @dclieb and would be excited to gain you as a follower, and to follow you back. Use the hashtag #EndoTwitter. Share an interesting article, or an accomplishment. Send me a direct message letting me know you are a program director, associate program director, or coordinator. We can build a community online to share ideas, and our success stories. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll see #APDEM trending someday.
On a separate note, we would love for some of YOU to write a Program Director’s Corner post. It’s a great way to start a discussion, and to share your wisdom and experience. And please ask your Associate Program Directors and Program Coordinators as well. If you are interested in writing a post, or have a topic you’d like to suggest we cover, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me at @dclieb.