Last month EPM published an article that expounded on the benefits of Twitter in the realm of medical education. In this new, ongoing series, we’ll explore pearls of medical wisdom that have come through the Twitterverse, in the hopes of fleshing out this under-utilized tool.
Not too long ago Dr. Michelle Lin posed a question on Twitter regarding the use of the Pulmonary Embolism Severity Index (PESI) score to discharge patients with low risk for pulmonary embolism (PE). What resulted was an engaged and spontaneous conversation by physicians from around the world. The URL link in Dr. Lin’s post below directed Twitter followers to her blog summary of the landmark Lancet article. By following this conversation, I was not only able to reviewing the specifics of the PESI score, but I also learned how EPs around the globe manage low-risk PE patients.
It started with a tweet by Dr. Lin:
In Canada (@TheSGEM) and UK (@EMManchester), outpatient management seems an accepted practice. In contrast in the United States, the management of such patients varies from physician to physician.
The conversation naturally shifted towards a discussion of the D-dimer test, which is not part of the PESI score, but still tightly related in the management of pulmonary embolism.
Learning from a global EM community encourages us to challenge our current perceptions and local practices so that we collectively improve our clinical care of patients from our colleagues and using data-driven literature. Twitter can be the arena to have that healthy, diverse, and rich discussion, especially because one can learn from the conversations without even posting a single tweet. Twitter seems to be the digital watercooler in medicine. Check back in coming issues for more installments of meducation on the Twitterverse. Join the conversation and share your own pearls @epmonthly or @jvrbntz.