The internet has revolutionized medical education. Going through medical school– the resources are endless! It’s fun trying to figure out what’s best for your learning style but given the sheer volume of all the great content it can also be overwhelming.
Podcasts became one of my favorite ways to learn while in medical school. The internist in me craves the part of the day when I can listen to the attending think out loud. It’s all about understanding an expert’s thought process so you can begin to develop your own when it comes to cool and complex pathophysiology. Podcasts allow accessibility on demand. What a gift – and there are so many fantastic medical podcasts in production today. I couldn’t be more thankful to the doctors and educators who put their time and energy into providing free and fantastic education for so many of us.
As my career develops and I focus my interests, CardioNerds has become one of my of favorites. They take this concept of listening to experts think out loud to another level. I recently listened to a “CardioNerds Rounds” episode which involved an expert, Dr. Kittleson, sharing her thoughts on challenging hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cases. It was riveting in the way that she laid out a wonderful foundation for those still learning and at the same time discussed nuanced management that doesn’t always follow a script. Now that is cool.
Another aspect of the CardioNerds platform that has been admittedly less approachable for me is the Twitter Journal Club. As a resident, learning about cutting edge research and practice changing guidelines is not only rewarding because it delights my academic curiosity but its crucial in improving patient care. With an unending repository of gigantic new trials that continues to grow every single day, it is difficult to decipher these alone. That it where #CardsJC1 (the CardioNerds Twitter journal club) is magic.
I strongly believe the power of medicine specialties lies within the team aspect. I know our reputation has humorously involved discussing hyponatremia for an hour on rounds, but truly when the whole team is invested in discussing something new or controversial it is so much fun! That is what #CardsJC can provide, experts dissecting and explaining the meaning of a trial so it’s not just taken at face value but what it means for advancing patient care. This is how you learn in medicine, not just by memorizing, but by deepening your understanding; wrapping your head around how something came to be and where it is going. As a second year resident, I found the best teachers are usually masters of their content. This is especially highlighted when your own interns and med students want to learn more about a topic – I’m usually most successful when I take the time to prepare and be intentional.
#CardsJC gives us access to this. CardioNerds is a multimodality digital education platform with a mission to democratize cardiovascular education1,2. They held their first Twitter journal club about a year ago in February 2021. They are thoughtful in involving leading experts, trial authors, guidelines authors, and society leaders in the conversation2. Twitter’s unique platform allows for this innovative new approach to journal club. Additionally, for young learners it can be intimidating to speak up in traditional journal club settings where you barely grasp the basics much less feel comfortable challenging methodology or ideas. Twitter once again allows for anyone to engage on their own terms without the terror of having to raise your hand in a room full of highly accomplished people – we’ve all been there!
In addition to the nuanced conversations, #CardsJC comes with detailed trail summaries, infographics, and carefully crafted tweets1. This is an effective, practical, and revolutionary way for busy participants in all stages of their careers to engage with new data and integrate this into their practice. It’s a way for us to engage in rich discussion with those who may not have been accessible to us in the past. It’s also a way to create great archives of information you can refer to later, especially the trial summaries.
If you were like me and hesitant to engage with this platform in the past because it was unfamiliar – there’s even a video tutorial1! I really enjoyed this because it makes the process simple and approachable. This main #CardsJC page also includes trial summaries from past journal club discussions. Overall, I highly recommend joining the next #CardsJC on March 29th to get your feet wet! It’s sure to be a fantastic discussion about an important upcoming topic – but I won’t give away any clues just yet.
- Cardionerds Journal Club – join the conversation on #cardiotwitter! Cardionerds. (2022, January 18). https://www.cardionerds.com/cardsjc/
- Dugan, E., Ferraro, R., Hamo, C., Ambinder, D., & Goyal, A. (2021). The cardionerds #cardsjc: How twitter journal clubs elevate the scientific discourse. Journal of Cardiac Failure, 27(9), 1034–1036. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cardfail.2021.04.012
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Bhavya Varma is a resident physician in the Osler Medical Residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and is interested in women’s heart disease and cardio-obstetrics. She is also interested in medical education and hopes to combine these interests moving forward in her career. She loves traveling, writing, and spending time with her co-residents. You can follow her on Twitter @BhavyaVarma12