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Why #IDTwitter?


Segment Description: Jason Gallagher, PharmD, FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS, clinical professor at Temple University College of Pharmacy and editor-in-chief of Contagion®, discusses his journey from social media skeptic to “Twitter convert.”

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

Gallagher: Every time I talk about Twitter, I kind of get a little sheepish like I would if I was talking about Star Trek, it's seen as geeky, and then you get into it and you're like, wow, this is this is pretty neat.

My own Twitter journey started when I was trying to find a way to engage the back-channel, it’s called in education, and give a way for the students in my class who didn't want to raise their hand a way of asking questions. And the first question that was asked, as I had this broadcast on the screen behind me, was, we'll just say, a joke of a sensitive situation where they asked me to inspect them for a rash.

So that was the beginning, it sort of fell apart in that lecture. And I didn't follow up on Twitter for that use for a while, but it did lead to me learning what it was and how to use it. And then people started following me and then I started following other people and eventually this social network, hence the name obviously, starts to appear almost by default around you and I have found a lot of value in it.

I have gone from being kind of a skeptic, I don't use Facebook, to a believer in social media for medical education and for infectious diseases. And I think the greatest benefit of it is how it flattens hierarchies, you know, because a student can send a tweet to a professor who can send a tweet to an investigator on a study, all of whom can be in the same string of tweets, conversing with each other. And actually, some major clinical trials have done a pretty good job with this. I'll point out the Marino trial is a great one, where after it came out, people started tweeting questions to the investigators, and they replied, where else can you really do that but only through an electronic media. I’ve become a Twitter convert, sort of to my own surprise.
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