Feature | ACC WIC Section Social Media Toolkit: Twitter For Cardiologists

Example of a Tweet using the #ACCWIC hashtag.

Social media, just like the internet and electronic medical records, is here to stay. For better or for worse, social media has become an integral part of medical conferences, specialty societies and scientific journals. All age groups use social media on a daily basis, with some people even logging in multiple times a day. The rapid growth of social media sites has attracted physicians to LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and ResearchGate, to name a few.

Clinicians and researchers, young and old, American and international, private practice and academic physicians, have all found multiple benefits to social media. Some institutions are even recognizing social media influence and reputation as a promotion credential. More than 700 million registered users are on Twitter and of those users, 40 percent never tweet. They simply use social media to stay current on science as more journals release their studies online long before the print journal arrives. Daily news releases and breaking news are also quickly found on Twitter before news stations can even report the event.

Another compelling reason to join social media is to see what our patients are reading online and share a voice with them. Seventy percent of adult patients are using social media to find medical physicians, review medical care and even determine medical treatments. There is so much bad information on the internet that we need more informed medical opinions and evidence-based medical material for our patients to counterbalance the volume of misinformation.

The ACC WIC Section has had excellent engagement at ACC.17 and ACC.18 with #ACCWIC being one of the most used hashtags. We want to share with all our members a simple toolkit we created – ACC’s Guide to Understanding and Using Twitter – to help you join Twitter and stay up-to-date on the latest science. Twitter allows you to connect, engage, inform, share, be challenged, be supported, lead, learn and even inspire! Stay informed with the College by following our sites, journals, leaders and advocacy Twitter sites. Don’t forget to add our hashtag #ACCWIC when you Tweet!

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This article was authored by Gina P. Lundberg, MD, FACC, clinical director of the Emory Women's Heart Center and associate professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Marietta, GA.