November 6th, 2012

Using the Internet to Learn from Leaders in Cardiology

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending AHA.12 in LA this week are blogging together for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Tariq AhmadReva Balakrishnan, Megan Coylewright, Eiman Jahangir, Amit Shah, and John Ryan (moderator). Read the previous post here. Find the next one here. For related CardioExchange content, go to our AHA 2012 Headquarters page.

Prior to coming to the AHA, I spent quite some time playing with the AHA iPhone app, making a list of the talks I would be interested in attending, and linking up speakers with some of their recent publications. This way, when I listened to the speaker, I would be an “intelligent” consumer of information.

This method of learning is quite new: previously text books, journals, and lecture halls were the major method by which information was distributed. At this year’s AHA, the Internet seems to be playing as much of a role (if not more) in the dissemination of information as the physical location of the meeting. Lectures can be watched online, and many of the attendees read about the trials being presented on cardiology news websites and blogs.

However, the contextualization of presented data and discussions by world experts in the field are, for me, the major draw of the AHA.  My co-fellows and I have been trying to use social media to capture some of the wisdom provided by leaders in the field of cardiology and share it with our colleagues. We try to ask key faculty members a few questions about their area of expertise, and post it on our fellows’ blog for others to watch.

Major meetings like AHA have been particularly good for this purpose because they provide us with access (for a few days) to cardiologists from all over the world, with a wide variety of interests. Hopefully, in the future, the Internet will make access to the wisdom and advice of the cardiology “greats” accessible to everyone, not just those attending these meetings.

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