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Name: Karn Wijarnpreecha, MD

Institution: Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Jacksonville, Florida

Find me on: Twitter — @KarnJUVE | Facebook – Karn Wijarnpreecha | ResearchGate – Karn Wijarnpreecha | Google Scholar – Karn Wijarnpreecha | Publons – Karn Wijarnpreecha | LinkedIn – Karn Wijarnpreecha | Doximity – Karn Wijarnpreecha

How do you use social media in your professional life?
There are many social media platforms that I use in my professional life: Twitter, Facebook, ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Publons, LinkedIn, and Doximity. I usually spend about 20-30 minutes a day on social media. I use social media for few reasons, including education, staying connected with people, getting new ideas for research, and ensuring my professional public profile is up-to-date. I follow many physicians and official journals on Twitter because they usually post updates on clinical guidelines and new exciting research articles, as well as critiques of recent published articles. I also use social media as a source to get new research ideas, from seeing the tweets of recently published articles (that I may have missed) and critiques from physicians about the limitations and plausibility of room for future studies. In addition, social media helps me stay connected with my colleagues, friends, people who are interested in gastroenterology / hepatology, and AASLD. Finally, I use social media to maintain my professional public profile (e.g. LinkedIn, Doximity). Since some patients may Google your name before coming to see you in the clinic, I think it is best to keep my professional public profile up-to-date.

What platforms bring you the most value and why?
All platforms have different benefits, purposes, and limitations. I mainly use Twitter and ResearchGate to follow researchers, physicians, and the journals that are of interest to me. I found that Twitter is very easy to use. With the limitation of the number of characters when you tweet, you can see a succinct summary of an idea or research finding (shorter than the conclusion part of the abstract), and I found that these abbreviated main points are easier to remember.

Why is it important for hepatologists and hepatology health care professionals to be on social media?
Social media will help hepatologists and hepatology health care professionals to stay up-to-date on clinical practice. Since hepatology is a rapidly evolving field and new guidelines or studies are published every month, it is difficult to digest all of the information. Social media is a good source for learning because people debate and summarize newly published studies for you, and share their thoughts. I have learned and found many interesting articles from Twitter; I would have missed them if I did not use Twitter. Moreover, I found many interesting programs through social media, such as the AASLD Emerging Liver Scholars and Ambassador Programs, the AASLD-EASL Masterclass, and awards or grants from gastroenterology and hepatology organizations that you can apply for. Social media can help spread the word to hepatologists who are looking for grants or programs that will support them in their respective academic fields.

What tips do you have for your colleagues who want to get started on social media?
Set your goals and purposes to join the social media (e.g. education, connection, collaboration, research etc.). It is not difficult, never too late to start, and not as time consuming as you might fear. Create a Twitter account and follow your official society’s social media or journals. You should limit your time for social media, since some people may use it for many hours, and find that it distracts from their work. Do not be shy to share your thoughts, participate in debates, and connect with new people to broaden your connections and increase opportunities for collaboration. However, my advice is to think carefully before you share your thoughts or post information, and verify the validity and accuracy of the information you share.