Active on Twitter? Put your time to good use and claim MOC credits
Admit it or not, we spend a lot of time online staring at our phones and computers. Why not add value by bringing educational events into these spaces?
Harness social media as a vehicle for your Maintenance of Certification (MOC), no matter where you live or what you practice. All you need is an Internet connection and a like-minded group online!
Anyone can start (or join) an online Twitter chat
As Vice President of Communications for the Canadian Urological Association (CUA), I moderate our Journal Club Twitter Chat to bring Canadian urologists into conversation. Part of my role is to develop questions and discussion points with the chosen paper’s author(s) and tweet them out periodically to facilitate the conversation. I use the hashtag #cuajc and we compile each conversation into a Twitter Moment to keep them searchable long after the event is over.
You don’t need a national specialty society position to start an online journal club, you only need to poke around and make connections online. This is an especially great option for smaller or more subspecialized disciplines or specialized skillsets (surgical assisting comes to mind) for which there may be no established home for continuing professional development (CPD). Alternatively, you can join an existing online community. If you participate with a growth mindset, you’ll be able to engage in MOC from the comfort of your favourite chair!
The CUA Journal Club Twitter Chat is accredited for Section 1 Group Learning credits (one credit per hour), which is a win for everyone. It has also inspired Personal Learning Projects (PLP) under Section 2 (two credits per hour).
Here’s an example of how a recent chat inspired a shift in my thinking and became a PLP for me.
How I claimed MOC Section 1 and 2 credits from a recent Twitter chat
The #cuajc Journal Club Twitter Chat recently discussed a paper about the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada’s upcoming decision to restrict the number of electives that medical students may take in a certain discipline. There are benefits to this move, including students having more exposure to a larger diversity of electives, but there are challenges as well, particularly for small disciplines like Urology.
At first, Twitter chat participants articulated their worries about recruitment competition and less exposure to students. Historically, Urology has been competitive and perhaps a “seller’s market”; but with more options to explore, the ability for programs to meet and come to know many students will decrease.
The journal club discussion turned from an articulation of these threats to an acceptance of reality and then a rallying cry around new opportunities. As program director of Urology at Queen’s University, I knew I could play a role. I have started to scribble notes and brainstorm how we can differentiate Urology and its value, and continue to attract the interest of outstanding medical students.
From this journal club chat and subsequent work, I was able to claim MOC credits in both Section 1 (accredited journal club for one credit per hour) and Section 2 (Personal Learning Project for two credits per hour).
Find or build a community online
I strongly encourage you to take advantage of online connectivity to deepen your thinking, challenge your views and find support among a community of practitioners. It’s one of the best things I’ve done for my CPD.