Why Should Plastic Surgeons Use Twitter?

Recently, I was named in an Aesthetic Surgery Journal article as one of the “Top 100 Social Media Influencers in Plastic Surgery on Twitter”.   –

https://academic.oup.com/asj/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/asj/sjy024/4923566?redirectedFrom=fulltext

It’s a big honor, and I’m glad I tweet and retweet and spend possibly too much time on Twitter!

I did get some questions from a couple of plastic surgeons-  they are not on Twitter, and they are asking me why they should start using it.  Here are my reasons- feel free to chime in with any comments or questions.

Great for Plastic Surgery Articles

The main  plastic surgery journals on Twitter will often post their latest articles on Twitter-  and will occasionally offer them for a free read, not behind a paywall. I love reading about plastic surgery, and to comment in an intelligent fashion-  well duh, you have to actually READ the article!

This semi-enforced reading via Twitter has exponentially increased my frequency and understanding of plastic surgery.  For me, it’s fun to read and think about the intricacies of breast augmentation, facial aesthetics, facelift surgery, cleft lip surgery, dermal fillers, and other topics.  

Research is more interesting because it’s new and fresh.  I have a big interest in AI- and reading articles on Twitter has definitely helped my understanding of AI and how it applies to plastic surgery.

I am quite positive that if you using Twitter, your understanding of plastic surgery will only increase.

Great for Networking

There are “real” plastic surgeons and thought leaders and experts on Twitter.  There is less of a filter on Twitter, so often you will be talking to the actual author or KOL/ Key Opinion Leader-  not just a secretary or Teaching Assistant. This direct link to other plastic surgeons is what makes Twitter so much fun!

I have met plastic surgeons from around the world by accident at a plastic surgery conference-  because I recognize them from their Twitter profile. It is a great way to meet people, since you already sort of “know” them via Twitter.

I have learned so much from other doctors-  radiologists, orthopaedic surgeons, stem cell researchers-  about their fields, and I can apply their knowledge to plastic surgery and my interests.  

PRS Journal Club and other journal clubs use Twitter and Facebook to have a great video presentation with live interactive Q & A sessions with the authors of the actual papers.  This would have been impossible a couple of years ago. Now anyone online can directly ask questions and comment with the authors about various groundbreaking topics.

Very Useful Adjunct to Websites, Blog Articles, and other Social Media Feeds

By design, Twitter has very small amounts of text.  It has forced everyone to be more concise and to grab attention immediately in a “clickbait” headline.  However, it’s very easy to set up a link to a much longer article, a video, a blog post, a web page, even another social media account.  

The ability of Twitter to link out of Twitter is what makes your Twitter feed a great central hub for your dose of plastic surgery news and knowledge.

Great for Altetric Scores

In the past, if your career relied on academic papers, you would be forced to rely on how often your paper is cited in the literature and what the promotions committee at your university felt about you for future job promotions.  

Today, Altmetric has taken over.  Roughly, Altmetric measures hits on your article, and this click popularity drives up your Altmetric score, resulting in your published article to be more meaningful in your niche field of research.  

So, we don’t think of academic papers in this way –  but yes, the more clicks your original peer reviewed research article has, the higher your Altmetric score is, and the happier your promotions committee and your academic institution will be.  

Yup, the number of “likes” you get on your paper determines your future.  Sort of sounds like a “Black Mirror” episode, doesn’t it?

Conclusion

All kidding aside, Twitter has revitalized my interest and passion for Plastic Surgery, allowed me to meet fantastic surgeons and peeps throughout the world, and increased the number of selfies I take with my new Twitter friends at every plastic surgery conference I go to!  

I encourage you to try out Twitter as a plastic surgeon, and see where it takes you!

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