Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Live tweeting from #ACSCC15

As many of you know, I have not been a fan of live tweeting conferences. I blogged about the issue last year (here and here) and received a lot of feedback about the posts, most of it strongly opposing my views.

Vigorous live tweeting from the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress (#ACSCC15) in Chicago is underway. Here are a couple of examples of tweets from that meeting. Twitter handles are blocked to protect the innocent (or guilty).

First, the good. Here is a nice montage showing what surgical program directors are looking for in residency applicants.

The photos are in focus and well-positioned. Anyone not in the audience for the talk can get something useful from this tweet. My one complaint -- we do not know who the speaker is. That information may have been provided in an earlier tweet, but this retweet is the only one I saw.

Now, the bad. The slide below probably contained some valuable information. Only the live audience knows for sure.

Since I haven't seen all of the live tweets from #ACSCC15, I can't say which type is prevalent.

I can only hope it's the former.


Anonymous said...

What does OBGYN rotation have to do with surgery?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

That's a good question.

According to someone who replied to that tweet, he thought the speaker said that Ob/Gyn grades are better determinants of performance in those specific sections (the nebulous areas of practice-based learning, system-based practice, and professionalism) vs Gen Surg grades.

I have no idea on what that was based. The reference is to a paper by Tolan in the Journal of Surgical Education. If you are interested, you could possibly get a copy of the paper. Here's a link to the reference: It's a study of only 77 residents - possibly not enough subjects to make a definitive statement about the value of honors in Ob/Gyn in selecting surgery residents.

I'm glad you asked your question. It allowed me to think about and amplify the post. It shows the possible pitfalls of basing a conclusion on a tweeted photograph of a slide taken out of context.

artiger said...

The surgeon with whom I share call is at that meeting...someone send a tweet and tell him to get his rear end back home.

Only problem is, he doesn't have a clue what Twitter is.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

I will send him a telegram.

Sean Rogers said...

The last slide indicates that an older student may have an advantage in being seen as more professional. I know you've mentioned in other articles/comment sections that being older may be seen negatively. Do you think that's something that just varies program to program? I ask as a 31 y/o MSII.

And thank you for the excellent blog. I've really enjoyed digging through the archives.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Yes, I think it varies from program to program. I obtained a copy of the paper that the slide was based on (Tolan AM et al. J Surg Ed 2010;67:444-448).

It involved only 77 residents from two programs in California. I do not think its results can be generalized to all programs in the US.

Please do not let me deter you from applying for a surgical residency. Many programs select applicants from varied backgrounds.

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