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Why We Tweet
Neurologists Tell All

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Place of work and city: University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Department of Neurology

Subspecialty: Clinical Neurophysiology

Years on Twitter: Less than one year (Joined February 2019)

Why did you join Twitter?

I joined Twitter while I was participating in the Diversity Leadership Program in 2019. Part of our project was to address the value of neurologists. While conducting research, I became intrigued by the power of social media in promoting medicine. I realized quickly that by creating professional social media profiles—namely Twitter—I would increase my visibility and help promote myself, my employer (UK Healthcare), and any other organizations that I am affiliated with (such as the AAN). I found that this was particularly important for me as a Black woman physician. By increasing my social media footprint, I am contributing to the representation of underrepresented groups in medicine. In the short period of time I have been on Twitter, I have gained mentees (pre-medical students and medical students), new colleagues, and potential collaborators and one patient who reached out to me via Twitter to establish care.

How do you help spread the word about neurology?

Every time I tweet, I ensure that I include handles of accounts primarily focused on neurology. I also include hashtags (#) of neurology topics. I participate in Twitter journal clubs, answer surveys, discuss journal articles and promote conferences. Finally, I encourage colleagues to join Twitter so that they, too, can help spread the word about neurology.

Who do you follow? (Name 5 that are related to neurology with full names and their @designations)

What has been your proudest moment on Twitter?

My proudest moment on Twitter occurred in my “DMs” (direct messages). A young woman who had been following me on Twitter reached out to me because she was moving to Lexington, KY, and wished to establish care for epilepsy. She became my first patient to self-refer through Twitter.

Any Tweets you regretted?

None. My Twitter handle is for professional purposes only. Every time I tweet, I remember that I represent not only myself, but University of Kentucky, American Academy of Neurology, and any other professional organization I am affiliated with.

What has been your most unexpected moment in 140 characters or less?

I was retweeted by one of my favorite celebrity's account (@awkwardblkgrl). It belongs to Issa Rae. In turn, I gained many new followers! (137 characters with spaces!)

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Please link here to your favorite neurology post/Tweet:

—As told to @OrlyA, Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA, FAAN