Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fear of Twitter

A fellow resident recently wrote an article for the Emergency Medicine Resident Association (EMRA) periodical called "Emergency Medicine Education 2.0: A Brief Overview."  The article is a synopsis of uses of technology in EM medical education today.  But, it also is a call to arms, attempting to encourage educators and physicians to get on board with technology.    

My liberal arts education told me that prejudice stems from fear of the unknown.  In medical school, a fellow student led a movement to video-capture all of our lectures and to post them on I-tunes-U.  Some faculty and administration were threatened by this initiative and would make public comments letting the school know their objections.  But change occurred, and now I-tunes-U is wildly popular.  Technology like IBM's Watson scares doctors because they think it threatens the way they will practice in the future.  They are right, we will practice differently in the future.  But we must not be resistant to change simply because we are fearful of change.  

The EMRA article ends with a comment about tweeting.  It's not apparent to me why I should have a twitter account, because I admittedly don't understand it's utility.  This fact highlights why technology and education are linked, whether they like it or not.  Education is about pushing yourself into the parts of the world you don't understand; technology is the tool that we can use to accomplish this goal.

I don't know how to use it yet, but here is my new twitter account: @TimothyCPeckMD

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