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EDITORIAL


(25) 3 Jun 2018

Importance of Social Media for Urologist Networking – International Resident’s Perspective

When I began my residency in urology 4 years ago, I was anxious to incorporate as much knowledge as short a time as possible.

The last decade has witnessed a revolution in the way we share medical knowledge. In recent years, social media was the main driver in these changes. In 2017, I had the opportunity to attend an international meeting where I observed the unmistakable impact of social media.

I found it extraordinary that, even though I met many residents and young urologists for the first time, we recognized each other and connected immediately because of our virtual relationships via the social media networks used.

Thanks to the fact that we already knew each other through social media, I and some of these residents quickly became good friends, and we planned to work together on a multicentric research project—a prospective study on which we are currently working.

Another experience astonished me: Though I could not physically attend two other major urology meetings, I was able to join them virtually on Twitter! I managed to get a general understanding of the current hot topics in urology. Thanks to links, photos of slides, videos, and posters, I felt I was able to meaningfully participate in both congresses. I also had the opportunity to comment, ask, and hear opinions from colleagues around the world as if we were in the same room.

The opportunity of sharing unique images, challenging cases, and receiving the opinion of experts from around the globe in a few minutes makes social media nearly indispensable. Anyone can participate in these virtual workshops. Social media is gaining ground in all medicine and urology is no exception.

Social media has a tremendous role to play in urological teaching and learning. Imagine you can attend a 5-minute, daily meeting about the current issues in your field with urologists from around the world. Good things happen when healthcare providers are able to connect: improved networking and collaboration, ideas shared from different fields; and, hopefully, improved surgical outcomes, research, and patient care.

Everyday, more journals, societies, hospitals, and urologists join in social networks. Today, we have a great opportunity. This is an exciting moment for the medical community, particularly for those in training. We have many tools to use throughout this journey—including social media. However, there are many urologists who have yet to get on this ever-advancing technological train that continues to “gather steam”.

If you are not already on, what are you waiting for?

José Ignacio Nolazco, MD / Twitter: @Nolazco_JI Department of Urology
Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires, Argentina



Editorial Comment

For this month’s guest editorials two urology residents, one in the US and the other from Argentina were invited to comment on how social media is impacting their learning experience. One common theme is how this relatively new platform allows individuals to navigate scientific conferences either in person or virtually. As providers of healthcare and educators of both patients and the next generation of urologists, those of us engaged in training programs must have a greater understanding of the impact social media is having on healthcare as a whole and our urology trainees in particular.

Leonard G. Gomella, MD
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Editor-in-Chief

© The Canadian Journal of Urology™; 25(3); June 2018

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