Symplur in the Media

What’s Your Doctor Reading? How Social Media is Disrupting Medical Education

National Post, March 30, 2018

Like thousands of other doctors around the world, Argintaru, 30, uses Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM) to teach residents and to keep his own medical knowledge up to date. “I never carry a book with me,” he says. “All of this stuff is available for free, and it’s in the palm of my hands.” FOAM is not a single website, nor is it just a podium for broadcasting anecdotes or opinions. It is a community for sharing medical knowledge openly, and distilling peer-reviewed research into digestible, bite-sized points. The information is shared freely on Twitter, podcasts, blogs and other platforms under the hashtag #FOAMed.

(…) “The word ‘social media’ turns people off,” says Dr. Mike Cadogan, an Australian emergency physician considered by many to be the father of FOAM. “Everybody thinks we’re a bunch of internet geeks who want to know what Snoop Dogg had for breakfast…(so) what we’ve tried to do is come up with an alternative name to social media… we’ve come up with the FOAM project.” Cadogan coined the term in 2012, and since then the community has thrived. Symplur, a healthcare social media analytics company, reports that between 2012 and 2016, tweets with #FOAMed increased from 40 million to 725 million.

— National Post
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