The Development and Utilization of a Virtual Twitter Onboarding Curriculum for Neurologists, Trainees, and Students: A Prospective Study

TitleThe Development and Utilization of a Virtual Twitter Onboarding Curriculum for Neurologists, Trainees, and Students: A Prospective Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsZelikovich AS, Safdieh JE, Robbins MS
JournalNeurology Education

Background and Objectives Social media has increased in popularity among neurologists in the past few years without a parallel increase in training opportunities to learn how to use social media effectively. This study tests the feasibility of an asynchronous, virtual onboarding curriculum using Twitter as a tool for professional development for neurologists and neurology trainees.

Methods Neurologists and neurology trainees were recruited virtually through email, Twitter, and a listserv of the American Academy of Neurology (Synapse). Participants were excluded if they had a professional Twitter account or lived outside the United States. Participants performed all study procedures virtually, including a baseline survey followed by three 30-minute modules: introduction to NeuroTwitter, peer learning, and academic scholarship on Twitter. A postmodule survey was completed to provide postprogram curriculum feedback. Newly created Twitter accounts were followed for 3 months to track Twitter engagement.

Results Sixty-one participants were screened, and 50 were eligible to enroll. Forty-five (90%) participants completed a consent form and baseline survey. Twenty-seven participants completed all 3 modules, and 26 (52%) completed the postmodule survey. Participants indicated that there was a role for social media in neurology but had minimal to no training on how to use it effectively. Twitter knowledge postmodule completion increased by a median of 2 of 15 questions, with a range of −1 to +5. There were no technical barriers with a virtual-based curriculum, and participants were able to access the modules and surveys successfully. Ninety-six percent of participants would recommend the modules to colleagues. Thirty new Twitter accounts were created with an average of 33 followers, 59 following, 16 tweets, and 61 likes at 4 months.

Discussion This study highlights the feasibility of virtual asynchronous content leading to an increase in Twitter knowledge among neurologists who completed our modules, though limited by a high dropout rate. Recruitment for virtual asynchronous modules was an effective approach to deliver informative and interactive content for neurologists. Further studies are needed to determine optimal content and length to promote long-term engagement with Twitter.


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