#FOAM4GP – The Power of Social Media

Obviously, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of social media, and becoming more so each day. I use it as a news service, as a way to follow the Pro Cycling circuit (my current sport of choice), but increasingly, as a professional tool.

I use Twitter to follow issues to relevant to my work as a GP, particularly in:-

  • Rural Health (#gorural)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (#Indigenoushealth)
  • And perhaps most of all, Medical Education.

Our Emergency and Critical Care colleagues have been ahead of GPs in terms of online, asynchronous, collaborative learning - #FOAMed - Free, Open Access Medical Education. If you’re keen to check it out, Mike Cadogan’s great site, Life in the Fast Lane is a good starting place. However, we won’t dwell on the ED stuff, because if you’re here, then what you really want to hear about is General Practice! A specific site for FOAM in General Practice started earlier this year, and can be found at foam4gp.com. It is the baby of some experienced GP bloggers, and some of my GP Reg colleagues with real social media pedigree.

A particular thread on Twitter that started over the weekend (and is still ongoing now!) has really driven home to me how powerful a tool social media can be, enough to want to share it with you all on this blog…

It all started when good real-world friend (I was his best man), and brand-new Tweep, Dr Rob Park, tagged me in a tweet on Sunday morning. It was only his second ever tweet!

It would be great for my story if that was Rob’s first ever tweet, but the sad fact that his real first tweet was used to make a bad joke, and at the same time, insult me. I’d love to go back and delete it, but try as I might, I just CAN’T hack his Twitter profile ;) I know you’re all itching to know what it was he said, but to do that you’ll have to check out Rob’s profile on Twitter!

I responded in a great noncommittal way, by modifying the tweets and dropping a couple of hashtags on them! (I had a learning opportunity here too…)

From this, there’s been a conversation online over the last 36 hours or so about the best way for us GPs to manage that patient who has had chest pain, but is low risk for ACS. We’ve had contributions all over the place – rural and urban GPs, RACGP and ACRRM Registrars, experienced Medical Educators, academics, and even our ED cousins both in Australia and Overseas (perhaps the only other career path I don’t brand ‘partialist’!). There’s been fantastic debate and some great resources and perspectives shared. To check it out, have a look at April 14/15 tweets from @robapark, @rfdsdoc, @vitualis, as a start. We’ve even heard about upcoming research regarding classification of ACS risk, straight from the investigator. What journal or grand rounds can offer you that?

How has social media changed the way you do things? 24/7 updates from The Biebs? A tailored news service? Or the much more rewarding asynchronous GP learning you can get with #FOAM4GP?

P.S. If you’re wanting the answers on that low-risk CP patient, then I’m afraid I’ve disappointed you! Perhaps one of the great content-based blogs of my GP colleagues might cover it in the near future :)

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5 responses to “#FOAM4GP – The Power of Social Media

  1. There’ll be a discussion up on @broomedocs blog in a few days about low risk CP. Not sure how the algorithim or thoughts change if the CP belongs to ‘The Biebs’…..

  2. I’d ask you what I should wear tomorrow but you’d modify it and tweet everyone! I just wanted you to tell me the answer. 36hrs in and I’m still confused! :)

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