Thursday, 12 December 2013

Reflections from #DotMed13

The last year has been very good for meeting great people. I first met Irish rheumatologist Ronan Kavanagh in Dublin in this year. That was in February when Shane O'Hanlon got us both to take part in a pre-conference workshop on social media at INMED (the annual scientific meeting of the Irish Network of Medical Educators). Next we met as a rheumatology conference in the UK- this time brought together by Philip Gardiner.

We Banjo 3 at #dotmed13
Last week I was back in Dublin for #dotmed13 - a conference curated by Ronan and Muiris Houston, a GP and medical journalist. It was a fascinating event. I ruminated this morning that it was like #med2 ( a tech driven conference) meets #mu13voice (medicine unboxed- a conference that seeks to explore ' a view of medicine that exceeds the technical' - Alexa Miller had similar thoughts in her blog post about the day and I think she explains it a lot better than me.

So at #dotmed13 we had banjo music and some of the most powerful storytelling I have ever heard- Jordan Grumet told some of the stories he tells in his blog of how medicine broke him and how he got back together again. Architect Ed Gavagan told us how life had broke him but how he got life back together again - helped in no small part by the bartender who took the time too listen when others didn't - and who eventually became his wife. I see many patients who have not been through exactly what Ed experienced but they have been unlucky and experienced hard and tragic lives. I must find the time to listen to them.

And after watching Alexa Miller speak at the Millenium Medicine conference in Texas earlier this year (it was live-streamed- I was at home in Cardiff- and it's well worth catching the video here) I was really excited about taking part in her workshop on how exploring art works could expand our creative approaches to medicine. She couldn't really stop us talking about Picasso's 'Girl before a mirror'!

Of course we had the techy stuff too. Lucian Engelen could not fly to Dublin because of bad weather but wowed us all by taking a picture of the audience through Google Glass from the Netherlands!  It was a great pleasure to finally meet Berci Mesko and Bryan Vartebedian who I have known for years through their blogs and twitter. They were both talking about their visions of the future of healthcare and the part that doctors would play in it. Medical student Mahmood Mirza and recent graduate Alan Corbett talked about social media and medical education- and presented a very balanced view of what students see as the pros and cons.

My own presentation revisited an idea about 10 reasons for a social media presence. In the past my orientation had been medical education alone- but I was able to share some great examples which I think make it reasonable for me to say that any doctor should explore social media. You can find the slides below.

Why does a twittering doctor tweet? - 10 reasons for a social media presence from Anne Marie Cunningham

If you get a chance to go to a conference like #dotmed13 then go. 

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