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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 253-254  

In Response to ‘Anaesthesiologist and social media: Walking the fine line’

1 Department of Anaesthesiology, Royal Liverpool University Hospitals, Prescot Streets, Liverpool, UK
2 Department of Anaesthesiology, Ganga Medical Centre and Hospitals Pvt Ltd, Coimbatore, India

Date of Web Publication7-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Tuhin Mistry
First Floor, 51/14, Periyasubbanan 3rd Street, Opposite Shri Hari Hospital, Coimbatore - 641 011, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ija.IJA_708_18

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How to cite this article:
Singh SK, Mistry T. In Response to ‘Anaesthesiologist and social media: Walking the fine line’. Indian J Anaesth 2019;63:253-4

How to cite this URL:
Singh SK, Mistry T. In Response to ‘Anaesthesiologist and social media: Walking the fine line’. Indian J Anaesth [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 May 14];63:253-4. Available from: https://www.ijaweb.org/text.asp?2019/63/3/253/253689

We read the recently published special article ‘Anaesthesiologist and social media: Walking the fine line’ by Kiran et al.[1] with great interest. We congratulate the authors for an elaborate description on the advantages of social media for anaesthesiologists in present digital world.

In the present times, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube, Google plus, Research Gate, Tumblr, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Podcasts, etc., are integrated into personal as well as professional lives of many anaesthesiologists.[2] Facebook is the most popular social networking site in the current digital world where specific domain-based online groups can be created.[3] Facebook groups provide online learning environment without any restrictions of borders or boundaries.

We would like to discuss about our highly successful social media in learning environment (SMILE) venture, ‘The Anaesthetist’ Facebook group and a survey we conducted on this group.[4] ‘The Anaesthetist’ is a closed group on the Facebook, contents of which are accessible only to the members. The group was created in 2012, with the aim of creating an online Continuing Medical Education (CME) platform to discuss topics related to anaesthesia, intensive care, and pain medicine.[5] At present, there are >19,000 members from 101 countries across the globe. Real-time case scenario, clinical queries, educational videos and images, recent updates, guidelines, and publications are discussed on regular basis on the group. It is also used as a platform to organize face-to-face educational activities, such as low-cost workshops and conferences. A snapshot of the engagement over 4 weeks (17 September through 14 October 2018) and the number of active members on any day are shown in [Figure 1]a and [Figure 1]b respectively.
Figure 1: (a) Engagement over 28 days, nearly 16 posts per day with >500 comments per day. (b) Active members’ graph over 28 days

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All the posts need to be approved by the admins before they become live on Facebook. We as a group believe in ‘Safe Anaesthesia, Safe Surgery, Safe Patient’, which states that safe anaesthesia ensures safe surgery and a safe patient. To assess the utility of the group in medical education, we have conducted online, anonymous, cross-sectional survey in the past using 38 questions including multiple choice, Likert scale self-ranking questions, yes/no, and short answer style questions. Nearly 90% of the respondents thought that Facebook was an effective method of delivering learning content and agreed that it is a good platform for medical debate and discussion. Majority of the respondents said that the discussions had led to positive changes and improvements in the way they practiced anaesthesia on a day-to-day basis. Even though more than two-thirds thought that, CME delivered through the Facebook group was more effective and relevant in learning new practices than face-to-face conference meetings; there was a small percentage that still felt that face-to-face interaction and hands-on training in conventional CME programmes were superior to online CME.

To conclude, keeping aside some of the negative aspects, we can positively say that use of a structured and a well-moderated Facebook group can be an effective tool for international collaboration and ongoing medical education in Anaesthesia. It is the ease of use, anytime availability with near real-time interaction and the ability to deliver both structured and unstructured learning that makes it a versatile adjunct to other formal channels of CME.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Kiran S, Sethi N. Anaesthesiologist and social media: Walking the fine line. Indian J Anaesth 2018;62:743-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Duffy CC, Bass GA, Linton KN, Honan DM. Social media and anaesthesia journals. Br J Anaesth 2015;115:940-1.  Back to cited text no. 2
Haldar R, Kaushal A, Samanta S, Ambesh P, Srivastava S, Singh PK. Contemporary social network sites: Relevance in anesthesiology teaching, training, and research. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2016;32:382-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Singh SK. Social media in learning environment (SMILE). J Anaesth Crit Care Case Rep 2016;2:3-4.  Back to cited text no. 4
Singh SK. ‘The Anaesthetist’ group on facebook; offering 24 X 7 CME through social media. Anaesth Pain Intensive Care 2015;19:427-9.  Back to cited text no. 5


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