Kidney Week 2014: Social Media Spotlight

Neph15Kidney Week 2014 featured a fantastic social media special session. Social media is emerging as great tool for kidney care specialists to exchange ideas and rapidly discuss emerging medical discoveries and pertinent issues related to nephrology and medicine. The session was entitled Tweets, Likes, and Blogs: How to Use Social Media for Your Patients and Your Benefit. This session was moderated my myself and eAJKD blog editor Kenar Jhaveri and featured leaders in the field of social media in health care.

The first speaker was Dr. Bryan Vartabedian (@doctor_V) who is a pediatric gastroenterologist from Baylor. The discussion was centered on the emergence of the public physician.

He also described how physicians have a moral obligation to set the tone of public discourse. An example he gave was the ongoing debate of childhood vaccinations.

The second speaker was Dr. Margaret Chisolm (@whole_patients) who is a psychiatrist from Johns Hopkins. She talked about professionalism in social media and gave us some practical advise on how to interact in the public domain using social media.

This was a well delivered talk and really dove deep into the core issue of professionalism in medicine. Her take home message was that the same principles of professionalism that exist in everyday life apply to social media in medicine. Bottom line is to think before you tweet.

We next turned to the patients perspective in social media in medicine and were delighted to have Sarah Kucharski (@afternoonnapper) address Kidney Week. She gave her story of how she struggled to find a diagnosis of a rare form of a rare disease in fibromuscular dysplasia. She described how she used social media to learn and share about her condition. She also discussed the use of social media from a patients perspective. An inspiring story.

Last up was Dr. Joel Topf (@kidney_boy). An advisory board member to eAJKD and prolific social media voice in nephrology. His talk was a nuts and bolts of how to get started using social media primarily by using twitter. You can go to and learn more about how to do this if you missed the talk. He also talked about social media events that are geared to foster community and discussion about nephrology topics. He discussed NephMadness and NephJC.

This was a great session that really encompassed many aspects of how social media can be a great tool. This session also provide some important do’s and don’ts about professionalism. The inclusion of the patients perspective made for a well rounded event. I hope to see more patients invited to Kidney Week in the future.

Post by Dr. Matt Sparks, eAJKD Advisory Board Member

Check out more of eAJKD’s coverage of Kidney Week 2014! Also, follow @eAJKD on Twitter for live updates!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: