There are approximately 4.2 billion active social media users worldwide. This figure represents over half of the global population and is steadily rising . There are currently over 217 million active Twitter users and given the platform’s versatility and ability to reach billions of people, Twitter has grown from being a display of jokes and social media marketing to now an emergent trend of its powerful use as an educational platform.
Social media plays a major role for today’s generation. The power of online learning amongst medical students and postgraduate trainees is indisputable. Previously, the library was a key source of knowledge. However, with the internet and availability of free and open access materials at the click of a button, this has all changed .
Twitter is also known for the strong presence of ‘healthcare professional’ users and their robust engagement with target audiences. This has resulted in numerous educational opportunities for medical trainees and specialists in various fields of medicine and surgery. Opportunities such as virtual case conferences, Twitter-based journal clubs, and “tweetorials” provide doctors with the ability to communicate with and learn from experts in their field whom they otherwise would not be able to access .
So, in no order, My Top Five recommended Twitter accounts for all things ophthalmology.
AAO - @aao_ophth
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world’s largest association of eye consultants, with their primary focus to protect sight and empower lives by serving as an advocate for patients and the public, leading ophthalmic education, and advancing the profession of ophthalmology. From sharing the most recent advances within the specialty, to information about upcoming conferences, this is a brilliant resource for medical students, specialty trainees, fellows, and consultants. What I particularly like is their ‘weekly round-up’ of ophthalmic news from the internet, which brings everything together in an ‘all you need to know’ format.
Dr Glaucomflecken - @DGlaucomflecken
William Flanary, better known as Dr Glaucomflecken across social media, is a popular consultant ophthalmologist in the U.S with over 2.5 million subscribers across Twitter, YouTube and TikTok. Dr Glaucomflecken’s humour has been a bright spot for his followers looking for a bit of levity amid the stress and gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sweet spot for his comedy is presenting medical students’ and residents’ experiences and the relationships between specialists. The content sheds light on the hierarchy and power dynamics within medicine. A must-follow, even for non-ophthalmologists.
Matt Hirabayashi - @EyeFlyMD
Matt Hirabayashi is a current ophthalmology resident in the U.S who maintains a keen interest in aviation. He shares a variety of remarkable content, ranging from cases in his clinical practice and useful mnemonics on complex diagnoses, to ophthalmology interview tips. His ‘cheat sheets’, providing concise summaries towards all things eye related, are absolute gold dust for medical students and doctors within the speciality.
Ophthalmology Times - @OphthTimes
Ophthalmology Times is a physician-driven journal that communicates clinical knowledge, insights, and discoveries; the account provides management information that allows ophthalmologists to improve and expand their practices, and addresses political and socio-economic issues as they affect this community. Through their Twitter presence, they highlight interesting articles relevant to clinicians in their daily practice.
Eyetube - @eyetubenet
Eyetube run the largest surgical video archive containing ophthalmology-related cases. Their Twitter platform showcases various techniques in cataract, glaucoma and vitreo-retinal surgeries that can provide invaluable knowledge to anyone interested in these topics. They also showcase upcoming symposiums and webinars to educate ophthalmologists on the diagnoses and management of various conditions. These provide a good platform to network and associate with colleagues from all around the globe.
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[All links last accessed July 2022]
Declaration of competing interests: None declared.
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