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Residents & Fellows Corner | Nov/Dec '14


Exploring the role of Twitter at an innovative ophthalmic meeting.

Several months ago, I was looking through my Twitter feed and came across a tweet from @MillennialEYE, encouraging millennial ophthalmologists to attend the inaugural MillennialEYE Live meeting, designed for the “future leaders in ophthalmology.” As a current ophthalmology resident, I figured what better way to understand the future of ophthalmology than to engage with and listen to its millennial leaders.

I enthusiastically registered for the meeting and soon found myself in Austin, Texas, at ME Live. As a physician blogger (eyesteve.com), Twitter aficionado (@eyesteve), and advocate for greater social media involvement by physicians, you can imagine my excitement when MillennialEYE Chief Medical Editor and ME Live Program Chair George O. Waring IV, MD, FACS, welcomed attendees by encouraging the use of the designated Twitter hashtag, #MELiveAustin. Dr. Waring then proceeded to take and tweet a selfie with the other ME Live Program Chairs on stage; display the live Twitter feed housed within the ME Live meeting app; and state that, unlike at other meetings, the use of smartphones during ME Live was highly encouraged and that the Twitter feed would be a primary forum for interactive engagement among attendees.

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Tweets featuring the hashtag #MELiveAustin were showcased throughout the meeting.

During the 3 days of ME Live, the Twitter feed was displayed on large screens between presentations, throughout lunch breaks, and during expert panel Q&A sessions.

Here are a few of the #MELiveAustin Twitter feed highlights, comprising tweets posted during the 3 days of the meeting and the 2 days before and after the meeting:

728 tweets from 104 individuals

Eight ophthalmologists sent their first tweet

254 retweets (35% of total tweets), also known as RTs, wherein one Twitter user resends an already-published tweet to all of his or her respective followers

44% of tweets sent from five users (@MillennialEYE, @cat_refract, @eyesteve, @cathyeye, and @tbogetti), demonstrating the majority of Twitter content generated by a small number of users

337,466 potential Twitter impressions, indicating the number of tweets that were delivered to Twitter users’ streams, exposing Twitter users worldwide to content shared at the meeting


Dr. Waring’s on-stage ME Live selfie.

From the engaging use of social media to the interactive discussion on innovations and developments within ophthalmology, I encourage all millennial residents and fellows to join us both on Twitter and in person next September at ME Live in Hollywood!

Steven M. Christiansen, MD

Steven M. Christiansen, MD, is an ophthalmology resident
at the University of Iowa, Department of Ophthalmology
and Visual Sciences. Dr. Christiansen may be reached at
christiansen.steve@gmail.com or on Twitter @eyesteve.