Tweet your way to a medical education

This workshop aims to encourage health professionals such as GPs to begin using social media as an educational tool. It was originally run at GP13, the RACGP Annual Scientific Convention in Darwin, Oct 2013.

The workshop has been written by:

Justin Coleman twitter

Dr Justin Coleman and

Tim Senior twitter

Dr Tim Senior.
Screenshots captured using

We are happy for others to share it.      Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

Ten-Step Program*

(* To reverse Twitter addiction, see next month’s 12-step program)

1. Set up a new twitter account

Later, you can get a twitter app or edit your profile.

2. Enter the hashtag #GPtweets in your ‘search’ box.

Introduce yourself and include #GPtweets somewhere in the message.

3. Retweet any introductions you find funny, curious or clever.

If there are none, sneak out to Nicole Allard’s workshop next door.

4. Reply to one of the introductions.

View the conversation.

5. Follow another blogger in this room.

If you’re a flamboyant follower like Tim, follow 15 of them. Justin is a grumpy conservative follower who probably won’t follow you.

6. Go to @ connect

Congratulations if someone has RTed you. This should give you a buzzing feeling.

If not, keep trying.

7. Social media is all about sharing, and it is polite to attribute.

If you want to modify someone else’s wording, type MT at the start.

If you want to alert someone to your tweet because they may be interested, add their username at the end. You could add cc or attribute using via.

8. Search for the #GP13 hashtag and see if anything better is happening elsewhere.

Use #GP13 to make outsiders wish they were in here.

But don’t SHOUT unless you are selling Viagra.

9. Post a link.

Choose something interesting or, if desperate, post the link to this workshop

All links are shortened (or lengthened) to 22 characters; that leaves you with just 118!

Twitter vs Science

“Nuh-Uh. Some guy on twitter just said you’re wrong!” By Macleod.

10. Congratulations! You are now a Geep Tweep and you are not alone:

@dchessor from @SoMeGP reckons tweeting from a conference is really useful.

@EdwinKruys keeps a list of Australian GP tweeps and bloggers

@croakeyblog by health journalist Melissa Sweet discusses health issues and policy


@bmj_latest @MedObserver @DoctorKarl @fly_texan @RichardLehman1


  • Assume that every tweet is public and permanent. Remember the Mayo Clinic’s 12-word social media policy:

Don’t Lie             Don’t Pry

Don’t Cheat       Can’t Delete

Don’t Steal         Don’t Reveal


  • Tweetdeck is useful for multiple usernames or separating out your interests.
Tweet and you'll be followed

Ben Sanders, Medical Observer

Happy tweeting!


About Dr Justin Coleman

Justin is a GP in Brisbane and Director of Education for GPs in the NT. He edits a medical journal and two medical textbooks, and is a medical writer and educator. Further details at
This entry was posted in medical writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Tweet your way to a medical education

  1. amcunningham says:

    Hi Justin
    Thanks for sharing my image. Could you embed the Flickr cc licensed version?
    I’ve updated by blog post too so that hopefully easier for others in the future!


    • Have done so, Anne Marie. Pleased to see your ’10 reasons’ pic did the rounds of twitter after the workshop, although a pity that in the retweeting chain your citation was lost.

      Ah well. Melbourne songwriter Judy Small once told me that she would know she’d achieved something if she walked past a busker playing one of her songs and she’d stop to ask him who wrote it. The ultimate reply would be ‘Dunno, it’s just some old folk song I guess!’


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