Tweetorials: An Open Forum for Medical Education


An intensive care physician offers some insights looking at fluoroquinolone-associated tendinopathy and using this social media platform to provide education and an open discussion around it.

For the uninitiated, a tweetorial is using Twitter to provide education and information for mass consumption of any followers to the person providing the tweetorial. Essentially, it is the ability of someone to offer their expertise on certain topics that might be of interest to a greater audience.

Even in spite of the misinformation that permeates the social media platform today, Twitter can still be a place for medical education as well as the individual Twitter communities to come together to help each other in finding information and camaraderie.

Avraham Z. Cooper, MD, is a pulmonologist and intensive care physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and he recently did a tweetorial looking at fluoroquinolone-associated tendinopathy. Although this class of antibiotics had a black box put on it many years ago to prevent tendon rupture, and there have been other issues associated with this class of antibiotics, it is still the only FDA approved oral pill option to treat pseudomonas, Cooper points out. Yet, there’s been a move away from using these medications as a first-line therapy because of the potential side effects.

In his tweetorial, Cooper mainly focused on understanding the mechanisms associated with fluoroquinolone-associated tendinopathy, but also touched upon the increased risk of aortic aneurysm and dissection.

Cooper sees this as an opportunity to not only educate others but also learn himself. “It was a known, unknown,” Cooper said of his tweetorial’s topic. “The FDA has this black box warning and I counsel patients on it, but I didn’t actual understand the mechanisms as to how an antibiotic could injury a tendon.” What he found most interesting was not only the number of patients who had been affected by this, but also the “wide swath” of different medical specialties who participated in the tweetorial.

Listed below in the slideshow are some screenshots of his tweetorial. And here is the link to the tweetorial thread.

Contagion spoke to Cooper about counseling patients who are prescribed fluoroquinolones, insights into his tweetorial, and the significance of using this forum for education.

For those who might be interested in creating a tweetorial but don’t know where to begin, check out this article from the American College of Cardiology on how to do so.

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