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Name: Devika Kapuria, MD

Institution: National Institutes of Health

Find me on: Twitter — @KapuriaMd | LinkedIn: Devika Kapuria | Doximity: Devika Kapuria

How do you use social media in your professional life?
Social media has brought about a huge change in the way I approach new medical information. Every major journal (including HEPATOLOGY) now has multiple social media accounts. Instead of waiting for a new edition of a journal to be published, I now subscribe to the Twitter feed of the journal I am interested in, and get real-time updates on what is fresh-off-the press. Not only this, lots of people now participate in what I can only describe as “mini-impromptu journal clubs,” wherein a new study and/or trial is discussed by a wide variety of health care professionals from all over the world. It is great to read what great minds all over the world think about a practice-changing clinical trial and compare and air your thoughts alongside.

What platforms bring you the most value and why?
I really like Twitter. The word limit caters to limited time and attention spans, and the easy multimedia integration really helps while posting short clinical case scenarios or quick synopses of clinical studies. I prefer not to use social media for my private life and I feel it is easy to separate the two on Twitter.

Why is it important for hepatologists and hepatology health care professionals to be on social media?
Hepatology, like every other field in medicine, is rapidly evolving. While it is relatively easy for hepatologists and hepatology health care professionals in academic settings to keep up with clinical and scientific updates, the same may not be said for busy private practice professionals. I feel that social media provides an important platform for everyone to learn as well as share their thoughts. I have learned extremely valuable clinical pearls from Twitter users in the private practice setting, as well as participated in stimulating debates over different studies, with people who I would have only had the brief opportunity to talk to in Annual Scientific Meetings.

A large number of medical specialties are demonstrating increasing social media presence, and it is important for hepatologists to join the party!

What tips do you have for your colleagues who want to get started on social media?
It’s never too late! Make an account, give a succinct introduction to your interests and areas of expertise, follow like-minded users, subscribe to society social media and journal accounts. Don’t hesitate to participate in debates. Create polls; answer polls! Take snapshots of interesting clinical scenarios, (keeping protected health information in mind, of course!) and post them online. Post your confusing clinical quandaries for opinions. Talk about non-medical experiences and their value in medicine. Mentor learners. Take a few minutes a day to maintain your account and keep it current and interesting.