Saturday, November 17, 2012

Reflections on #AAMC12 - Social Media in Medical Education

It has been a very busy few weeks, but certainly one filled with learning, teaching, disseminating, and advocating.  The American Association of Medical Colleges meeting finished last week, and this blog is my attempt at some brief reflections after recovering from the onslaught of email after the meeting, followed by some great interviewing for the residency program.
Given my interest in social medicine within medicine and, specifically, medical education, it was a phenomenal opportunity to hear what others are doing, what others are thinking about, and how we can overcome challenges and turn them into opportunities.  During one of the plenary sessions, I had the privilege of meeting and tweeting with Dr. Bryan Vartabedian, who blogs and tweets about medicine and social media.
The plenary speakers were just wonderful, and provided provocative, stimulating ideas for the audiences.  I tweeted comments from a few of these during the meeting.
I attended great workshops on feedback and quality and safety within CME.  I facilitated a session on Research in Medical Education (RIME) session on Continuing Professional Development with some very eloquent speakers, and learned much of what others are doing to change behavior and improve learning.  I also heard from Dr. Kendall Ho from the University of British Columbia about his work in e-Health and m-Health, considering what is currently available in the current generation, as well as what may be the reality in the very near future. 
I had the great privilege of facilitating a workshop on Social Media in Medicine with my colleagues Dr. Ryan Madanick and Dr. Terry Kind.  Both of them were gracious enough to come to this meeting and provide their experiences to the audience.  Many faculty came to hear about this topic, and provided stimulating conversation about the challenges and opportunities.  We discussed professionalism, competencies, the meaningful use of social media for physicians, and specifically, for medical educators, and we had a challenging goal of teaching participants how to use Twitter.  Several of them were able to do so by the end of the session, and indeed sent out their first tweets.  This was great, and we felt that we accomplished our goal.  We also learned that it was hard to answer all of the questions while trying to get through the basics of Twitter, explaining hashtags, DMs, mentions, and the like.
In the very last session, I was able to hear faculty from Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Martha Grayson and Liz Kitsis) and Kathy Chretien from George Washington University speak about professionalism within social media, as well as a robust discussion on doing faculty development on social media.  Einstein received a Macy Foundation grant  to study this topic, and have embarked on a wonderful journey.
Also, I was able to meet Kelly Stazyk from the AAMC, who is integrally involved in the intersection of social media with career advising for medical students.  I also had a chance to spend a half day meeting with a group from the AAMC reviewing implementation science and how it links with medical education.   Despite the fact that very few of us knew each other, we came together to discuss, critique, and help each other in writings on implementation science.  What a collaborative group!
Since I have been back, it has been a time to reflect on what I learned, what I can take home and implement myself into my own work, and how we can optimize teaching of medical students, residents and faculty.
So how often do you really reflect on what you have learned and what you can do differently when you return from a conference?  I think it is an integral part of being a professional, even when many things await you upon return.  A time for a commitment to change has never been more important.


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