What to Expect in December's News & Breakthroughs Section of Contagion&reg

In the December issue of Contagion®, Carlos del Rio, MD, Debra Goff, PharmD, and Paul Sax, MD, discuss the benefit of infectious disease clinicians using Twitter.

Segment Description: In the December issue of Contagion®, Carlos del Rio, MD, Debra Goff, PharmD, and Paul Sax, MD, discuss the benefit of infectious disease clinicians using Twitter. Del Rio, the co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research, explains the idea behind the joint article and how social media is a useful tool for those practicing in infectious disease.

Interview transcript (modified slightly for readability):

Del Rio: It's an idea that Debbie had and I think it's great, so she invited me and Paul. I love the title, "How to Teach an Old Dog New Tricks." You know, I'm 60 [and] I got into Twitter not too long ago. I think I wrote in the article, I got into Twitter after the presidential election when I realized that this was a powerful way to get your message out. And I said, "Well, using it in politics, we've got to be able to also use it in science and in education about what we do." And I have really taken it on as a way to really communicate and really educate people and tweet from the meetings and tweet articles and tweet ideas and it's been a just a great way to [connect]—tweet during rounds. So when you see a patient, talk about the case and be able to educate others. So I think Twitter is the educational platform of 2019. It is a great way to communicate. I tell my trainees, I tell my medical students, my house staff, "I'll educate you, but I'll educate you even more if you follow me on Twitter because then, even when I'm not rounding on you, you can still learn from me." So I think that we who are passionate about education have to embrace Twitter. If we don't, I think we're missing what I think is a fantastic [tool]. It's almost like, 20 years ago whenever it was, somebody could have said, "Well, I'm just not going to do PowerPoints; I'm going to continue lecturing with a blackboard." Well, you know, I mean, I think you can still do it, but PowerPoint eventually became the way everybody communicated, right? So you have to evolve and you have to embrace new tools and new strategies in order to to reach your audience. As I think about young people, as I think about how learners are following us. We need to get where they are, we don't need we need to meet them where they are. We cannot pretend that they're going to come to where we are.