Monday, August 20, 2012

Faculty Learning in Social Media

It has been a great last week for me.  I have successfully returned from vacation and have come out of “email jail” relatively unscathed.  I begin a short two-week stint on the inpatient medicine service in a few weeks, and am using this week to get caught up on some important activities soon to come.
First, I am excited to be giving a Grand Rounds presentation at Columbus Regional Hospital in Columbus, IN, in a few days on social media in medicine and medical education.  It has provided me with an opportunity to reflect on all of the information I have collected on the topic over the past year or so.  We will be live tweeting the event at the hashtag #CRHGrandRounds, at 12 noon EST on 8/22/12, and I look forward to the discussions both in person and online from that.
Second, I am pleased to report that we are rolling out a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) in Social Media for IUSM faculty members.  I had the privilege of belonging to a similar FLC in the use of iPads in medical education for the past two years, and it was widely successful.  With this new project in Social Media just starting, the hope is to learn from others, and move forward scholarship with regards to using social media within medicine and medical education.  We are starting it off with a presentation on how to use Twitter in medicine, followed by applications from faculty members who want to join this FLC, starting the actual group out in October.  I am extremely honored to be leading this FLC, and hope that we can determine some real areas for research around social media and follow through on that research in the coming year.  For example, how do we best teach students and trainees about using social media without compromising professionalism?  How can physician use of social media impact direct patient care in a positive manner?
For my fellow faculty at the IUSM: please send in an application if you are interested in how social media impacts your teaching and learning!  I am curious for those faculty out there at other institutions: have you done a similar thing to these learning communities, and what were your successes and failures?  What worked well and what didn’t work so well?  Please comment so others may learn from what you have accomplished.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Transition Care

Yesterday I read an interesting blog piece about a patient struggling with the transition to adult care.  As a Med-Peds physician, I am acutely aware of this issue and attempts to improve such processes.  Our institution has a team that specifically addresses transition patients, and helps ease the move to adult care.  Here at the Indiana University School of Medicine, it is called the CYACC clinic, or the Center for Youth and Adults with Conditions of Childhood.  CYACC’s mission is to steer youth with special health care needs towards a successful adult life.  Some of my Med-Peds colleagues at Indiana University care for patients in this clinic, specifically Mary Ciccarelli, Katie Weber and Jason Woodward.  Although I personally am not involved in this clinic, I have worked with many of the people there, and feel that our institution is lucky to have health care personnel dedicated to this particular patient population.
There are other institutions which have similar clinics; a few examples include Baylor and Christiana Care in Delaware, to name just a few.  I do believe that Med-Peds physicians are a natural fit for helping manage such patients in their transition journey (and are the main drivers who direct these clinics).  Specific teams (which include other disciplines besides physicians) such as CYACC are wonderful for guiding transition patients through the health care maze that clearly exists.  By highlighting these services and serving patients, patient care can be optimized, and patients can be prepared for next steps towards independent adult life.
I am curious how many patients are aware of clinics like CYACC, and whether such a clinic exists where they live.  Please comment.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Vacation and Getting Time Away

I realize that it has been a while since my last post.  Work has certainly been very busy with many projects and deadlines.  However, currently, I just returned from a vacation in the Caribbean, in the Dominican Republic.  This is such a beautiful country, and my family and I had  a wonderful time in this paradise.  We enjoyed some quality family time, and I really only looked at email and work-related activities a few times while there.  It was actually a challenge to be “unplugged” from the world of medical education and technology.  However, I do believe that it was good to do this, and to be away from work.  I certainly know that it is healthy to do so.  Years ago, there was no option to do anything but, but nowadays, with wireless access, people can be connected 24/7, including on vacation.  I promised myself that I would try hard to check email only a few times during the vacation, and was true to my word. 
I planned for an international connection via a wireless hotspot, but apparently it did not work.   There was wireless access at our resort, but not in the actual unit where we stayed.  It was an eye-opening experience to not have it, not just for work-related things, but for social media and for keeping up on the news.  I now realize how I get my information, in “bite-size chunks” via Twitter and other social media channels such as Zite.
I felt a stronger connection to my family this past week.  My oldest daughter learned how to dive, and is getting quite good at it.  My youngest can swim without having to watch her like a hawk. Sit down meals have been great!  Earlier this week, at the beach, we met a delightful couple from New York, and had some stimulating adult conversation.
So my question for all is this: when you go on vacation, do you “unplug”, or do you continue to stay connected to work through email and other methods?  What do you enjoy doing when you do get away, and how hard is it to come back to your real world after an extended period away (for example, for one week)?
I hope that you make sure to find time for yourself to have a vacation, as it is healthy to take time off for oneself to recharge.  I certainly did so this past week!