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From Twitter to the New York Times

I have many reasons to use Twitter. One of them is that it’s quite easy to get feedback from doctors who also use Twitter for communication. Now one of my stories was featured in the New York Times.

Some people are even using Twitter for more urgent questions. Bertalan Meskó, a medical student at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, wrote a post about a patient with mysterious symptoms: “Strange case today in internal medicine rotation. 16 years old boy with acute pancreatitis (for the 6th! time). Any ideas?”

Within hours, specialists worldwide had responded, suggesting gallstones, lupus or growths on the pancreas. One of the suggestions helped the doctors with a diagnosis.

“It would have been impossible to find that specialist through e-mail, because we had no idea who to contact,” Mr. Meskó said.

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20 Comments Post a comment
  1. Congratulations, Berci! It’s a great example of the power of the network – and now it’s in the “newspaper of record.”

    March 7, 2010
  2. Marília #

    That is awesome…! But I’m still curious about the case, did you find out what it was? So what is the diagnosis?

    March 7, 2010
  3. Li Xiaojun #

    Ah, the positives and negatives of Twitter. Have you considered any of the negatives in using Twitter for something like this?

    March 7, 2010
  4. Hi Berci. Congratulations! As Susannah implied, we still appreciate getting cited in old media, myself included. I wonder if the tables will reverse with today’s teens whose stars are on YouTube.

    March 7, 2010
  5. Congratulations, Berci! We’ll see you soon in Barcelona?

    March 8, 2010
  6. Thank you very much!

    The probable diagnosis was microlithiasis.

    Pilar, I’m afrad I won’t be able to make the Barcelona trip due to PhD duties.

    March 8, 2010
    • Tal Raviv MD #

      I missed your original post, but had a similar case in a 16 yr old girl who was diagnosed initially with idiopathic recurrent pancreatitis. Check Homocysteine level.
      As an ophthalmologist, I found barely visible lens degeneration on routine exam which led to the diagnosis of homocystinuria and treatment resolved the pancreatitis.

      March 20, 2011
      • Tal Raviv MD #

        Above post supposed to say lens ‘dislocation’ (meaning subluxation)- You know how iPhone autocorrect is.

        March 20, 2011
  7. János Pénzes #

    Kudos to you for the great practical example of professional Twitter use!

    March 9, 2010
  8. There are so many great ways to use social media in medicine. It is good that someone has finally placed the spotlight on one.

    March 20, 2011
  9. Thank you for the suggestions!

    March 20, 2011
  10. Stop Lew #

    Maybe someone can stop the doctor with the worst record for sexual assaults against patients in the USA, Lewis E. Braverman M.D., aka “Lew the Ham-Fisted Jew” as well. In your spare time, on twitter…

    March 20, 2011
  11. Anonymous #

    Congrats Berci!

    July 21, 2012

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 2010 on Scienceroll in Numbers and Posts « ScienceRoll
  2. Crowdsourcing in medicine via Twitter « ScienceRoll
  3. Crowdsourcing A Mom’s Medical Diagnosis: Help is needed! « ScienceRoll
  4. Crowdsourcing On the Rise: Featured in FastCompany « ScienceRoll
  5. Being Mentioned in TIME magazine « ScienceRoll
  6. Getting in trouble for mobile medical learning?! « ScienceRoll

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