Name: Adam L. Booth, MD
Institution: University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas
How do you use social media in your professional life?
I use social media (#SoMe) for education and connecting with colleagues. From the perspective of a pathology resident, social media provides a powerful avenue for learning. I am able to review microscopic images of rare cases I may never see in training. Coupled with the ability to join in on discussion of those cases with the same experts writing my textbooks, you can imagine the educational value of social media. Networking with colleagues and leaders in the field through social media has boosted my career.
What platforms bring you the most value and why?
I use Twitter the most – it is the platform I got started on and am most comfortable using. I like the options for tagging, searching, and retweeting, as well as the succinctness required (280 characters). As a pathologist, the ability to share gross and microscopic images on a global scale cannot be overstated. More recently, I have established a professional Facebook page and Instagram account. Facebook allows for added content and detail where other platforms may be limited.
Why is it important for hepatologists and hepatology health care professionals to be on social media?
Social media provides a unique avenue for education, discussion, and collaboration. I have also learned about leadership and educational opportunities via social media. In fact, I first learned about the Emerging Liver Scholars program on Twitter. As a pathologist, social media gives me greater ability to learn from hepatologists and those researching liver disease. Many times, I have emailed my mentor papers, "hot off the press."
What tips do you have for your colleagues who want to get started on social media?
Review what each platform has to offer. AASLD has excellent tables on their social media page. Register, add a profile picture, and set up your bio so people know who you are and what you do. Start following those active in your field. Retweet/share/like posts you find valuable or interesting. Then engage in discussions and answer diagnostic questions shared by others. Know your goals of using social media, (i.e. networking, education, literature updates) then develop your own style of posting. If you post photos, use an image editing app to apply your watermark for credit and always be sure to credit others when necessary. Make sure you use the appropriate hashtags and mention others to amplify your message and promote engagement.