I'm three years into my demanding yet rewarding practice as a PT. I come home every day to my beautiful wife and spry 1-year-old. I have a life, just like all of you. Truth is, the busyness of home and work significantly limits my time spent with the ever-changing medical literature. Luckily a $50 billion company and a growing number of inspired users are doing most of the work for you. I’m not suggesting abandoning all critical reading of your favorite journal or evening PubMed browsing. I’m just suggesting supplementing your professional advancement with the use of social media.
Twitter is an amazing tool that is embraced by many but dismissed by more. With a little commitment and some trial and error a PT can really learn a lot about a specific aspect of the profession.
I’m not going to lecture you about what Twitter is. You can learn everything you need to know here. If you’re interested in learning more from people who share your interests, Twitter can connect you globally. Many passionate health and business professionals utilize Twitter to do what we’re all here to do—help people get better.
Here’s how I use it: the list of users I follow on Twitter evolved dramatically over the years. In the beginning it was celebrities, athletes, comedians and parody accounts. Today it consists of a number of PTs, politicians, news sites and a little entertainment to break up the serious stuff. I’m able to check it probably ~2-3x/day and every single time there is an interesting link to a blog post or research abstract that I can peruse at my leisure. For now I’ve found my sweet spot with the 81 people I follow. I don’t check it constantly throughout the day so I know I miss a lot but the things I do catch are priceless. I’ve grown so much as a clinician by the current & relevant information I routinely implement in my daily interaction with my patients and colleagues.
Create an account, then explore. Use the search feature to search for tweets and users relevant to your interests. Here’s a few places to start:
- @JerryDurhamPT for TONS of motivation and private practice nuggets
- @PranaPT for more motivation, cash-based private practice, orthopedics
- @DavidBrowder_PT for business and customer service specific to PT
- @APTAtweets , @APTAcsm , @APTASA (APTA’s Student Assembly; I actually created that one years ago, no big deal), @pps_apta , @acutecarept and many other section-specific accounts to cater to you
- Hashtags (the pound sign “#”) are used in a tweet to link common words or phrases by all the people using them. It’s an easy way to connect even more! Search or click on hashtags like #PT #solvePT #bizPT #acutePT #dptstudent
Most importantly, follow @PTHaven to help guide you along your way. A great group of us will be contributing to the Haven account. Our mission is to serve you by informing, motivating and connecting. See you in the Twitterverse!
Shane is a Physical Therapist who lives in Fort Smith, Arkansas, which has a population of about 90,000, making it the 2nd largest city in the state. Shane graduated with his DPT in 2010 from the University of Central Arkansas and promplty moved to Chicago, IL. While there he worked in the outpatient Orthopedic and Long-term care settings. Now, in Arkansas, he enjoys the challenge of working in a 160 bed hospital and strives to improve outcomes in this acute setting. Shane loves the time he can spend with his wife and son as they positively impact the community.