Twitter has become a popular platform for pathologists, where they share cases and educational content, arrange journal club meetings, network, and collaborate.
To determine if composing original tweets or retweeting existing content can be used as an educational and networking tool for medical students during pathology electives.
In this retrospective study, a survey was sent to assess if medical students who used Twitter during their pathology electives found the platform useful for the attainment of medical knowledge, and for networking and professional development. A similar survey was sent to rotating students who did not use Twitter, asking if they thought using the platform could be beneficial. Additionally, we used Twitter analytical software (Symplur Signals) to determine the potential for networking by analyzing the number of retweets and impressions.
Most respondents who used Twitter described using the platform as helpful in increasing their medical knowledge and useful for networking and professional development. From August 1, 2017, to January 2, 2019, thirty-seven elective medical students composed a total of 527 original tweets. The tweets were retweeted a total of 3399 times by 810 nonstudent users, and this engagement resulted in 6 360 731 impressions. Most of the retweeting was done by pathologists and pathology residents.
The responses from the survey suggest that Twitter can be an educational tool during pathology electives and be useful for networking purposes. The number of retweets and impressions, and the demographics of the users who retweeted the students confirm the networking potential of Twitter.
The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.