@silv24 needs your help…

As anyone who knows me or follows my twitter account will know I am currently applying for my specialist training post – hopefully to start in August of this year. My interview is coming up soon (as are those for many F2s) and we are all arranging our portfolios and preparing for the challenge ahead.

I have loved running #twitjc – I have learnt so much over the past few weeks and I want to thank everyone for their support and for joining in with the discussions and to Fi for being so brilliant as the other half of the team. The journal club is a lot of work, choosing a paper is only half the battle. By the time a Sunday discussion comes round I will have read the paper, written a summary, written discussion points and made sure I have done some wider reading in order that I can successfully facilitate the discussion. It has been a very steep learning curve but an enjoyable one.

Now I need your help. I have written about #twitjc on my application form & have all the blog posts and transcripts to show at interview. What I really need is your feedback on the journal club to take to interview to support my view that this is a valid form of CBD and to show how social media can be of real use in medicine.

I would really appreciate it if you could take a minute or so to leave a comment about the journal club on this blog post, if you could leave your profession & level of training that would be amazing. I want to show how wide the variety of participants is and how we try to be as inclusive as possible.

Thank you all in advance – the date of the next journal club which will have a sepsis theme will be announced very shortly….

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22 Responses to @silv24 needs your help…

  1. Nicola Botting says:

    Twitter journal club has been an excellent source of information and discussion outside of my regular working environment which is psychology and language (and speech-language therapy). It has enhanced my reading and knowledge of issues that affect my research in a way difficult to achieve in any other way.

  2. Roy Madden says:

    A valuable online resource for the dissemination of ideas and practice. An excellent resource that all medical professionals should be aware of and participate in.

  3. Debbie jeffrey says:

    I am quite new to @twitjournalclub but have found it really informative and helpful to my daily practice. It is a place where people can share knowledge and keep up to date as well as providing a vessel for discussion about varied topics. It is good because you can be as involved as you want to be, no pressure.
    @silv24 has done a fantastic job from what I have seen so far of running the club and enabling a diversity of people to engage in discussion about relevant topics. She should be commended on her hardwork and commitment.

  4. Paul Morgan (@drpaulmorgan) says:

    The #twitjc is an excellent demonstration of the power of social networking in engaging clinicians and other scientists in a wide-ranging discussion of the merits or otherwise of journal articles in a way that traditional journal clubs simply cannot manage. Whilst largely UK -based, it has already reached a global audience and set of contributors.

  5. I am a medical student, and I don’t have access to a journal club at my university – I imagine that even if I did have it wouldn’t have such a cross-section of doctors and other health professionals involved. Twitter is a brilliant environment for this as it goes some way to level some of the boundaries that might exist between students, juniors, consultants etc, which makes for very interesting conversations. The format / pace also makes it a lot less dull and stuffy than other journal clubs I have been a part of. I learn a lot both about the topic under discussion and more general skills for reading and evaluating research.

  6. Mark Garside says:

    The creation of a Twitter Journal Club (#twitjc) has not only been an innovative and successful way of using social media to encourage CPD amongst clinicians, but has also brought together different groups of professionals from around the UK (and even internationally) to generate structured debate and discussion. I am an ST4 in Elderly Medicine, and find that #twitjc is at least as useful and stimulating as the educational opportunities that are available in my own hospital. Much credit should go to the creators, Natalie Silvey and Fi Douglas, for their continued enthusiasm and hard work in developing the format, planning the sessions, as well as choosing and reviewing papers to discuss.

  7. Aidan Cullen says:

    I am an St6 anaesthetic trainee in Belfast. I am currently writing an article on the educational application of smartphones. There is no doubt that @twitjournalclub has demonstrated the potential to move education and learning from more traditional forums. Professionally run, the organisers are always courteous and looking for ways to oblige those taking part. Ingenious! Good luck!

  8. Patricia Elliott says:

    Twitjc has been an eye opener to me as a way of meeting other medics over the Internet and learning about new and old controversies! It is a brilliant use of modern media to improve med education and ultimately patient care.

    It is a demonstration of the good value that can come from appropriate use of modern technology. I especially like the egalitarian nature of it. Specialists and generalists, students and professors can all contribute on an equal basis.

    This is potentially a valuable addition to other ongoing CPD activities in the diary.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Fatima Jaffer (@fatima_jaffer) says:

    As a clinical research fellow/ST3 in Neurology with a very specialised area of research and practice at present, @twitjc is an invaluable resource in keeping up to date with other areas of general medicine and clinical practice through structured and stimulating discussion with other specialty doctors, scientists, undergraduates and other healthcare professionals which I would not normally have the opportunity to do so.

    The journal club is highly organised with articles carefully selected to be applicable to all branches of medicine and a very good example of interprofessional education using social media in medicine.

    Overall, highly recommended. Very well done to Natalie Silvey and Fi Douglas on this project.

  10. David Watkin says:

    Twitter Journal Club has grown into an excellent forum for sharing ideas between professionals. It has also become a valuable resource for introducing concepts of critical appraisal and evidence-based medicine to undergraduate medical students; as shown by Birmingham Medical School listing it as a recommended resource for its students. Twit JC is a fine example of social media in medicine; simple, innovative and very effective.

  11. Meredith Maxwell says:

    Twit J C is an excellent forum.. You would never normally get such a diverse range of clinicians contributing to the discussion of a professional paper, and if you don’t want to discuss the paper you can follow what’s being said. Professional development-in your own house whilst doing the ironing – what’s not to like? (I’m an audit nurse)

  12. David Little says:

    I have read more journal articles in the last few months because of TwitJC than I have in my first 3 years of being a doctor.

    TwitJC breaks down hierarchical boundaries and allows people from all backgrounds to come together and discuss a paper. When in real life would you get medical students and consultants discussing a paper on an even level?

  13. Pat Lockley says:

    I work in the open education field, and something like #twitjc has such potential as an idea. I’ve found it really inspirational.

  14. I am a GP working in the Yorkshire area and a proud participant of twitjc. Although most of the papers are based on hospital medicine I have still found them to be educational and applicable. It is an excellent forum to discuss ideas on papers, but in the comfort of my home and in my way. I can have intellectual discourse with people from all over the country and even international persons, particularly specialists in a field which I think is the true power of twitjc. The discussions are well structured and facilitated by @silv24, with clear and accurate pre-event reading, real-time facilitation/chairing, and excellent summary posts to encapsulate the learning.
    A true innovation and one that I hope will continue, and also be extended further. This concept also was publicised by myself at my technology talk at the Royal College of GPs annual conference in Liverpool in October 2011.

  15. Dermot O'Riordan says:

    I am a consultant surgeon and medical director.

    I think TwitJC is a great idea. In particular I would commend the week that it was looking at the WHO surgical safety checklist. Getting the authour, Atul Gawande to contribute was inspired and invaluable.

    Keep it up


  16. David Lewis says:

    Great resource to assist my CME

  17. I am a GP and clinical lecturer in Cardiff University. I’m also academic lead for eLearning in the School of Medicine. In the past few years I’ve been exploring the use of new technologies and media within medical education. I think that Twitter Journal Club is one of the best examples yet.
    Dermot is correct that getting Atul Gawande to join in with a discussion on the surgical checklist was great. I have pulled the tweets together around this so that you can see how useful the discussion was. http://wishfulthinkinginmedicaleducation.blogspot.com/2011/07/study-author-joins-twitjc-discussion.html

    Organising anything on an ongoing basis takes a lot of effort and I think that Nat and Fi have been doing a fantastic job at this. We discussed a medical education paper one week and I was very glad to be able to help them out and lead that discussion.

    This is a fantastic idea and it has opened many people’s eyes to a new world of possibilities. The most striking thing is that this initiative was not started by a university or a big organisation or a journal. It was started by two young medics who decided to show the rest of us what could be done.

    Thank you,

    Anne Marie

  18. Craig says:


    I am a third year Operating Department Practitioner. My main interests are around Perioperative care, Intensive Care and Pre-hospital Care.

    I think that the twitter journal club is a brilliant idea. Where else can healthcare professionals of any background get together and talk about a journal on an equal footing. It is a great use of modern technology to people can access it and take part but if they are not able there is lots of work the Nat and Fi put in so that if the discussion is missed the key points are made available so people can refer back to them.

    As part of my course covers Inter Professional Learning the twitter journal club is a great example of this. We all work together a professionals we should learn together. The journal club has developed my knowledge and understand of topics I would not gone out myself to read about. I hope it continues to do this.

    Twitter journal club provides both educational and CPD for everybody, the use of the technology is great in providing information in manageable chunks that helps me both as a student and as a person with dyslexia. It does support my learning needs and has covered topics relevant to my area of practice. This is a spin off that Nat and Fi may not of thought of when conceiving this brilliant idea. Flexible learning to suit the needs of the learner, the use of twitter and other social media I feel is the next step in supporting learners offering them information that they can use that is not necessarily done in the traditional way. Education and CPD of all health care staff should take a leaf out of what twitter journal club are doing.


  19. I have followed #twitjc from quite early on. There is nothing else like it, anywhere.

    I am an NHS scientist, I have more than 10 years post registration experience and am currently pursuing a professional doctorate. I am active in research and diagnostic pathology and regularly discuss papers and current research with my colleagues. Like most people, there is a limited group of people with whom I can have these discussion – and it tends to be the same people, it is certainly the same pool of people. It is not a particularly diverse group and tends to follow much the same format each time.

    #twitjc is so very, very different. Each time I am able to see yet another perspective. I think I have considered all the viewpoints, and then I see a comment which I would *never* have thought. The contributions from the patients I think are wonderful, as a lab based person I have no contact with patients and can lose sight of them. The insight into the working and needs of the medics is also very helpful – a better understanding of the decision process and pressures on clinicians helps scientific and technical staff meet their needs better.

    The equality that is an integral part of #twitjc is also fantastic. There is no hierarchy, no ego – everyone is taken on their contributions, it is very inclusive and both Nat and Fi are excellent at encouraging people to join in. I have gained an enormous amount of knowledge and developed tremendously as a result of #twitjc

    The amount of work that has been put into #twitjc should not be underestimated, Natalie and Fi have given tremendously to the wider community, we have benefited greatly from their hard work.

  20. Isla Kuhn says:

    as a medical librarian I’ve been promoting Twitter Journal Club to medical students as an great way of keeping/improving critical appraisal skills (often seen as a very dry topic). Think it’s a hugely innovative (yet really simple) way of practising CA, and a great way of networking too.


  21. Dr Andy Buck says:

    I am an Emergency Physician and web educator from Melbourne, Australia (I run a blog dedicated to the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine Fellowship Examination), and I believe TwitJC is an outstanding idea, well executed, and a fantastic example of the utility of social media in the future of medical education and evidence based medicine.
    Well done, & keep up the good work.

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