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A neighborhood analysis of Twitter communication in emergency medicine

Published:January 28, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2020.01.052
      Over the last decade, social media and free open access medical education (FOAM) has emerged as popular forms of education and information dissemination within Emergency Medicine. Many clinicians, from trainees to board-certified physicians, increasingly interact and share information on social media platforms such as Twitter [
      • Cadogan M.
      • Thoma B.
      • Chan T.M.
      • Lin M.
      Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM): the rise of emergency medicine and critical care blogs and podcasts (2002−2013).
      ]. Twitter has been popular among medical educators as a platform for disseminating information [
      • Neill A.
      • Cronin J.J.
      • Brannigan D.
      • O’Sullivan R.
      • Cadogan M.
      The impact of social media on a major international emergency medicine conference.
      ]. Within Twitter, it is common practice for users to “tweet at” or mention users when posting, in order to share information. Typically, this information contains brief summaries of recent publications, interesting cases, and medical opinions. With Twitter, users attract followers that interact with other users. These relationships create “neighborhoods” of communication and interaction. Despite the growing role of social media in medical education, less is known regarding the extent and type of communication. The objective of this study was to analyze existing Twitter interactions and relationships among influential EM Twitter users. Such information would provide a broad overview of the connections and relationships within these new educational media.

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