Twitter for ophthalmology education; a primer and a link to glaucoma case presentations

Most readers have probably come across this article because of twitter since I tweeted a link to it. However, if you could please share this via email to others not on Twitter, it may help to show them how Twitter can be useful in medical education. Another related article from 27Aug2009 is the Ophthalmology Twitter experiment along with Cary Silverman in conjunction with Ocular Surgery News.


Always in search of use of new technology for learning, I have been actively tweeting as well as blogging in recent months using a philosophy of throwing everything against the wall to see what will stick. For those not familiar with Twitter, it is basically micro-blogging in 140 character intervals. Although most people think of this is being used for nothing more than a way for people to say some inane or mundane comment, it has actually caught on in the business world as a way of getting brief messages out to all those who choose to follow that company. The AAO is actually actively 'tweeting' although most members may not realize this as it seems that there are more 'followers' who are equipment, practice management, and pharmaceutical companies than there are ophthalmologists.

Here is an example of a tweet that I sent out within the past couple of days. The '#' in front of a work makes that word easily searchable within Twitter as a 'trend.' The abbreviated url, in this case using service, allows for what would normally use up about 40 of the precious 140 character limit.

#Glaucoma #Consults Sep 14-18, 2009 ( w/ more details not provided in original tweets.

The url above, connects to the corresponding article on this site, where I have started posting a weekly round up of glaucoma consults and glaucoma surgery tweets. I have also taken advantage of no longer being limited to the 140 character limit on my blog, to provide some additional information about these this case, the glaucoma consults I saw last week in my practice. By posting these on a blog, my colleagues can now click on the comments button beneath the posting in order to add their opinions or ask questions so that anyone else can contribute to the dialog, conveniently keeping all the information in one place for all of us to see.

I would appreciate your feedback on this use of technology or on the cases on my blog as comments.