Sunday, 29 April 2012

Facebook and educators- "There be dragons!"

Do students use Facebook for social learning? YES! 

Yesterday was interesting. I listened to an interview with Jon Scott, a researcher/educator in Cardiff University about the need for social academic platforms- that would support collaborative learning, for example students working on group projects together, annotating documents, question and answer forums. Theoretically VLEs like Blackboard can support this. But either they aren't used this way or attempts to use them this way fail. The discussion that followed on Twitter considered that whatever platform was developed should be like Facebook. It should seem as easy to use. It should be somewhere that students wants to be and were anyway. Afterall as a student your social and academic life do often collide in any case. But then it was suggested that Facebook wasn't that easy to use. Most people didn't understand the privacy settings. They probably were not using it for academic work.

So I wrote a blog post asking students if they 'used' Facebook for learning and lo and behold they do!
The uses cover:
1. Private messages (as an email replacement?)- to ask close friends questions and to work on projects in a groups as documents can be attached.
2. The use of peer-led academic content groups where students can ask each other questions particularly in the run-up to exams.
3. Following pages from BMJ learning, eMedicine, medrevise to help with revision
4.The use of private (even secret) groups to work on group collaborative tasks by sharing documents. The notifications side-bar is particularly useful for letting students know when something new has happened.
5. For sharing information from face-to-face small group activities. There is no additional task to be shared but the content is useful to others.
6. Instant messaging! If VLEs were set up with instant messaging this would be a big win. It is one of the features that students like most about Facebook.

And why are people using Facebook?
-Privacy - this is a space that does not belong to the university so the chances that what is being said will be seen by a member of staff are reduced
-Accessibility- there is a lot less clicking on Facebook than in the VLE and it is faster than the VLE
-People are there- most people go in to Facebook every day. There is every likelihood that you will get a fast response to a query. This is in contrast to asking a question in a discussion forum to support learning on the VLE. As one student said; " if I asked a question on there, it would be as useful as talking to a brick wall as there's no one else on there!"

I also asked students if they felt pressure to be on Facebook in order to be able to keep up with peers. Would students miss out if they didn't have a Facebook account?
One student described how a colleague stopped using Facebook whilst they were in the middle of working on a project. That meant a lot more to-ing and fro-ing for the others in the group. Another student said that they weren't aware of anyone objecting to Facebook but if they did then they could manage as long as someone else kept them in the loop by sharing what was on Facebook.

There was also an interesting point made that some students thought that there university might not approve of the sharing of notes within these communities. The same might go for the sharing of exam questions. This reminded me of a post by Dave White on the Learning Black Market. 

Did students worry about their privacy using Facebook? Some did mention disliking the fact that they had to use Facebook but it worked. It was a trade-off they were prepared to make. 

If students use Facebook for social learning then should educators be there too?

Remember yesterday's blog post had emerged out of a discussion about whether an additional social academic platform was necessary and whether Facebook was already acting as that platform. It appeared that to a certain extent it is. The next question is should educators be there too in order to support the social learning that is taking place?

That conversation had been progressing rapidly in tandem! Alan Cann had started a discussion on google + about my post. His opinion " Allow Facebook to be a student owned space. if you want to set up groups to support learning, do it elsewhere". Now in ways this is a little surprising from Alan. His general mantra is "Build networks, not destinations." In Facebook the network is there! The students are there! Trying to take them to another destination that isn't about their network seems slightly doomed.

I'd come across a post by Cristina Costa titled "Why Facebook and teaching don't go together". She makes a few points here. Her strongest contention is that Facebook is not a pleasant organisation and that we don't know how or can not understand how they are using our data. If students wish to organise themselves there then that is up to them, but if educators have a presence on Facebook then they could be seen as giving tacit approval to Facebook. They might also be seen as encouraging students to set up a Facebook account. 

On the other hand, Natalie Lafferty shared a post that Donald Clark had written earlier this year giving 7 reasons why Facebook was posed to become THE social learning platform. But as Natalie pointed out, in a survey in Dundee University, there was a 50:50 split when students were asked if they wanted an institutional presence on Facebook. So the university held back.

At this stage I'd like to state that my attitude to Facebook is pragmatic. I have an account. It is personal. Nearly everyone that I am friends with are people who I have went to school with, worked with, met on holiday, met at university. Oh and family! We have a secret group where we can share pictures and videos and updates that we don't wan't to share with others.

But I have also used Facebook as an academic. I have been involved in using a Facebook group to help recruitment to a student research project. I've set up a Facebook page in the past to share content that I was already posting to Blackboard. A few hundred students liked the page. No one asked to become by Facebook friend and I didn't ask them to become mine. These uses of Facebook did not seem to present any kind of boundary confusion. It didn't stop students using Facebook to support their learning in the ways that they had already been doing.

"There be dragons!"

My fear is that as educators we have ended up demonising Facebook. And we've done this in a few different ways. 
Particularly in medicine, Facebook has been presented as a place where bad things happen and a challenge to professionalism. Have a look at the references on Pubmed. In the piece I wrote for the GMC in advance of the publication of their social media guidance I made the point that the reactions to Facebook seem to approach moral panic, when in fact most people are using it in very civilised ways.
All of this has meant that some, maybe many, students do not trust us to be anywhere near them on Facebook. Jon Hilton has left a great comment which illustrates that the very accessibility that makes Facebook great (2 clicks and you're there!) is also what makes it feel risky. What if a student posts a drunken photo to the wrong group? What if they say something about a lecturer that they wouldn't have said otherwise? Can educators be trusted to respond responsibly to those events? Can we? I would hope that we could. Mistakes are made. People learn. Students and educators both need to learn about digital literacy and digital professionalism, and I think it would be great if we started as we meant to go on and learnt together.

But what about the accusations that it is irresponsible to lead students to Facebook, or to give tacit approval to the organisation. This is a decision that educators need to make themselves. My instinct is that students have decided that they know they are the product. This is a free service and they are paying for it by handing over their information. But it is a trade-off that has value for them. They are prepared to put up with ads for topics they mention in passing. Being off the grid isn't really an option for them. Yes, we don't know how all this information will be tied together and made sense of in the future. 

I also sense that there is a fear amongst educators that their presence on Facebook will be desperately uncool. Private groups that an educator might set up in Facebook might be seen as 'creepy treehouses'. The concept of the creepy treehouse emerged in 2008 just as people were starting to explore the possibilities of social media for learning. But 4 years later how has our understanding shifted? Is it time to explore the opportunities of Facebook in a mature and confident way? Actually, Melanie McBride was arguing that we should do this back then:
"If we do not all venture into these spaces together – as a guided and pedagogically relevant tour – we will become even further disconnected from a student population who are being corporatized at every turn."

We have to be clear to not ask too much of any platform. Can Facebook work with the VLE? Could it be used to support specific pieces of work or just for a big private year group to answer student queries in the way that students are already using it? Any new uses of Facebook by educators shouldn't step on the toes of students who are already doing a great job. 

And because I like to put my money where my mouth is, I decided last night to start a Facebook group to try and learn together with Cardiff University students how we could use technology/elearning better in the course. This could have been done through the VLE. I could have set up different forums for each year group. The students would have been less certain about who was reading their posts. The first thing I posted was the YouTube above which gives quite a very negative view of Facebook. The next item I posted was this screencast about how to check how your timeline looks to members of the public.

Is it time that educators started making timid expeditions into the scary land that is Facebook? What do you think?

Ice, Ice baby- the hidden curriculum around communication skills

A few years ago I wrote a post about the challenges of teaching "communication skills". The YouTube video above is about the Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA)  that doctors training as GPs in the UK take. It emphasised the need to ask patients about their ideas, concerns and expectations (ICE) during a consultation. But it frames the need to do this as a requirement of an exam rather than something that will benefit patients. For example, the first clinical episode described is about a doctor feeling that they have to ask a patient who has symptoms very suggestive of a heart attack about their ideas and expectation of the consultations. This is something that the doctor seems to feel is delaying the patient's care and they may well be right about that.

So what is the take away message? What does this song tell us about how our assessments frame doctors understanding of communication skills?

Saturday, 28 April 2012

So students- how do you 'use' Facebook for learning?

facebook business
facebook business by Sean McEntee

I've been listening to a discussion about whether we need to get more social in learning in higher education. Cardiff University currently uses Blackboard as its VLE (virtual learning environment- we brand it as Learning Central- which is rather aspirational) and like every other VLE there is the potential to be social there. Staff and students can form their own groups and set up their own forums and blogs and wikis. But these social dimensions are not often used.

For staff the university is rolling out the use of an IBM product Connections to encourage us to work in more social ways. And there are some people wondering if there is a place for this to be rolled out to students as well to give them another place to collaborate.

In the past I have tried to integrate the use of web 2 tools into Blackboard- using screencasts social bookmarking - to enhance the functionality of the social tools in Blackboard. You can see a presentation I have about this here. Now, I no longer lead that part of the course and have moved on to thinking about how we can best use technology in the course in general.

But one thing we keep hearing is that students do most of their collaboration in Facebook. So I was wondering if you could tell me about how you use Facebook for learning? Does this really happen? Or is Facebook a place that you organise nights out, and then share the photos afterwards?

Do you feel pressure to participate in Facebook as a student? Or is it just something that is a natural part of your life- you don't even think about it.

Please do comment and share- it would help us all to learn from you.

EDIT: Initial comments are that the social aspects of Facebook, and the fact that it is somewhere that you are already, that make it a clear winner against the VLE. I know this is hypothetical but if the VLE could be like Facebook do you think that might catch on? Or is the fact that Facebook is 'your' space, and that your lecturers are not there, one of the big attractors?

EDIT 2: How would you feel if your lecturers set up a private Facebook group to support an aspect of your course? Would you think that was creepy? That your lecturers were trying to keep an eye on you? Or would you think it was useful?

EDIT 3: I've found this blog post by Cristina Costa saying that Facebook should not be used for teaching. One reason she gives is that we don't know how Facebook uses information so we should be very cautious about encouraging students to use it. She includes this YouTube in her post.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

The story of #mysurvey continued

This is the second storify which tells of the background to the twitter survey. Deciding to start the survey was a snap decision. I was probably influenced by conversation the precious Sunday, and the thought that there was no research on this topic. If I had known that there was research would I still have gone ahead? My next post will describe the literature on this topic so far. This is the first survey using social media to look at this topic. Future posts will look at how representative the sample who participated are. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below. Thank you.

The first episode that lead to #mysurvey

Friday, 20 April 2012

Thank you!

thank you note for every language

Over the next few posts I am going to tell the story of doing a survey using Twitter, and of the results. But I thought I would start with saying a great big thank you.

 I opened the short survey at 6.01pm BST on 19/4/2012. Initially I was using a free Survey Monkey account which limited responses to 100. They started coming in fast and furiously and I realised that the free version didn't even allow export of data. So I splashed out £24 to get the next level of account which allowed me 1000 responses for each survey in 1 month. This morning there were almost 500 responses. I set myself the challenge of trying to get 1000 responses in 24 hours.

At 6.01pm BST 20/4/2012 there were 997 responses. At 6.07pm there were 1000. 

(EDIT 21/4/2012 Actually I started designing the survey at 6.01pm but it only was finished and was published at 6.18pm. Therefore 1000 responses were in fact collected in 24 hours!!)

What does it all mean? The survey questions were about how people would like their doctors to introduce themselves and how they would like to be addressed by their doctors. After this survey how much more do we know? Should this have been a 'proper' research study? Should I have sought institutional ethics approval? I will try and answer these questions and any others that you think are important along with you.

You are my co-researchers. We managed to get this response because you participated and you recruited people into the survey. Now we can do the analysis together as well. 

Within an hour of the survey closing I started tweeting some of the main quantitative findings. I also made the decision to make the results available to participants after they took part so that they had a sense of the project they were working in.

Today I deliberately targeted male followers and asked them to share the survey. We managed to move from 65% of respondents being female to 57% at the end. We also managed to increase the percentage of older participants during the day. I has asked Age UK to share the survey and they did. I'm sure that helped.

So there are a lot of questions to be answered but now I just want to thank you for your help so far.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Doctors’ use of social media - some thoughts prior to publication of GMC guidance

This is taken from the GMC website. The GMC have published draft guidance on social media here. Take part in the consultation here.

This month, Dr Anne-Marie Cunningham (@amcunningham), a GP and Clinical Lecturer at Cardiff University, writes on the role of social media in doctors’ lives.
Dr Anne-Marie Cunningham
More than half the UK population now use Facebook. And more new users are over 50 rather than under 50. The dominance of Facebook means that if you are not there you are likely to miss out on what is happening with your family or friends. For most of us our use of Facebook has nothing to do with being a doctor. It is about being a mother, nephew, or friend. And it is because we want to protect these people that we care about, and ourselves, that we check our privacy settings and make sure that we are not publishing photos of our nearest and dearest to the world.
So if most of our social media use is about who we are when we are not at work do we need guidance from the GMC? What does using social media have to do with being a doctor at all?

Useful guidance or ‘moral panic’?

Some might think that the development of this guidance is a response to a near moral panic about what may be seen as the portrayal of unprofessional behaviour by doctors and medical students in their use of Facebook and other social networking sites. Breaking patient confidentiality is always wrong but these days what does it take to reduce trust in ourselves or the medical profession? Research seems to indicate that the main determinant of trust in doctors is their interaction with patients in consultations. Patients value doctors who listen to them and take their concerns seriously. They trust them. So are we worrying excessively about how the public may respond to the depiction of minor misdemeanours and hijinx which may not reflect how well an individual will carry out their professional role?

Blurred boundaries

In the past, the private life of a doctor living in a small community may have been well known to her patients. Social media facilitates this same kind of blurring of boundaries. We all have to consider how much of our private and personal lives should be revealed to the public and patients. Will ‘professional distance’ be a meaningful or helpful term in the 21st century? Medical decision making is no longer seen as objective and the role of the doctor, but as a shared task with the patient which acknowledges their values and subjectivities. Might this process be helped or hindered if patients understood our values and subjectivities too?
Doctors may also choose to use new technologies to interact with patients. What then are our responsibilities? As we have a duty to protect patients’ confidentiality we must assure ourselves of the appropriateness of any communications platform. If there are risks then we must make these clear to patients.

The importance of maintaining trust

We might also use social media to connect with other professionals. There can be many benefits to opening up the flow of knowledge within networks. Again, discussing the details of any clinical case should be done with patient consent. In the past when considering if a patient may be identifiable we tended to focus on whether others would be able to recognise the individual concerned. But if discussing a case in near real-time in a public space we have to consider whether the patient will be able to identify themselves even if no one else can. Without their explicit permission, this in itself may reduce trust in us as practitioners.

Looking forward

Will social media have a major impact on the practice of medicine? We do not know yet, but the pace of change is rapid. It took 100 years from invention of the telephone for it to reach 50% of UK households in the mid-1970s. Has the telephone radically changed medical practice? Facebook reached 50% of the UK population in 5 years. Will it be a more powerful disruptor?
When discussing technological change we have to remember that social divides also exist. Julian Tudor Hart coined the phrase the ‘inverse care law’ for his observation that those who most need good medical or social care are least likely to get it. The digital divide describes inequalities in access to information and communication technologies. In 2011, 99% of those with a household income above £40,000 had internet access, whilst only 43% of those with household income below £12,500 did. The gaps are narrowing, but if we change our practices we need to consider how the digital divide will impact on access for the poorest, and most vulnerable.
So do we need guidance on the use of social media and networks? If the publication gives us cause to reflect on how use of these technologies fit with our professional roles and our professional practice then this can only be a good thing.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

NHS Branding and Twitter twibbons

 In August 2009 an ongoing debate on US healthcare reform jumped across to our side of the Atlantic. Club for Growth, a network which believes in prosperity and opportunity through economic freedom published the following advert.

It attacked the NHS and plans for 'government-run healthcare' in the US, and provoked a backlash in support of the NHS in the UK. Graham Linehan, the writer of Father Ted, started using the hashtag #welovetheNHS and spoke on Channel 4 about why he thought it was important to defend the NHS- and the power of Twitter to do this.

Many people- over 10,000 also added a 'twibbon' banner to their Twitter profile pic to demonstrate their support for the NHS. I was one of them.

I didn't remove the twibbon from my profile because there never seemed to be a right time to do that. I haven't stopped loving the NHS, or the principles which founded it.

Fast forward a few years and I was a surprised when today I received an email from the DH (English Department of Health) Branding and Identity Department, informing me that the use of the NHS logo on my twitter profile picture had been brought to their attention. As the NHS letters and logo should only be used by NHS organisations, or where NHS services are being provided (and my twitter account is certainly not providing an NHS service) they therefore asked that I removed the NHS logo from my Twitter profile picture. They asked me to confirm that I was able to do this, and thanked me for my cooperation.

In part I was surprised because I received this email to my university email address. Recently I started using as a landing page from my Twitter profile, and this enables people to email me without making my email address public. But I use a personal email address for this service. It is how I would have expected someone to contact me with regards to my twitter account. But of course with a little googling my university address is quite easy to come by.

I tweeted about the request of course. And this provoked quite a lot of discussion. My original tweet above has been Rt'd more than 50 times. The response (storified by @evidencematters) was a mixture of amusement that the DH had time to monitor the use of their logo in this way, and anger that the NHS seemed to be no more than a corporate brand.

I replied to the email explaining why I had added the Twibbon to my twitter profile and why I had not removed it. I asked :
"Do you think that having 'I love NHS' on my profile picture suggests that
I am a provider of NHS services or an NHS organisation? Do you think that
my use of the logo in my profile pic is damaging the NHS brand?

If you think that I am in some way demeaning or harming the NHS through
the use of this Twibbon, I shall of course remove it."

The reply suggested that we have a quick chat about this by phone. Stephen Hale, head of digital at the Department of Health had also kindly sent me a tweet offering to organise a call from the branding team. So I managed to get speaking to someone who had time to look into what had happened. He explained that the person who had sent the original email was not familiar with the #welovethenhs campaign. He agreed that it was clear that I was not trying to impersonate an NHS service or organisation. The branding team were very heartened by the support shown for the NHS. But it was also important to protect the logo which is trademarked so that when it was used the public and patients could be assured of the service that they would receive.

So this episode is resolved. I have not removed the twibbon from my account. A few hundred other people have added it to their own twitter profile pictures.

Many organisations and companies are considering how they should use social media to protect and promote their brand. And it seems that the Department of Health and the NHS are learning just like everyone else.

Edit 18/4/2012
This morning I received the following tweet:
Alex is one of the co-founders of the #nhssm (NHS and social media) chats which happen on Wednesday evenings. I would like to reply to Alex's comment. I am not an expert in brand management, and will be very surprised if I ever am as it in not one of my aims or objectives, I therefore would never comment on how good or bad the DH are at it. I have told this story because yesterday it caused quite a commotion on Twitter and I wanted to share how it had come about and how it had resolved. But I'd like to make clear that I do not think that this episode is about just one person. I don't think that the person who sent me the email is at fault. They were clearly following guidance which stated that if the NHS logo was being used by someone who was not an NHS organisation or providing an NHS service (in England) then they should ask for it to be removed as this was trademark infringement.

It is my impression that even if this Twibbon had not been part of a larger campaign, and I had in fact designed it myself to show my support of the idea of the NHS, then it is unlikely that I would have been infringing. I think this because I am not using the logo to identify a trade or service. This is unless someone would think that 'I heart NHS' indicates that I am speaking on behalf of the NHS. I don't think that the history of the 'I heart X' meme tends to suggest that someone using it is speaking on behalf of X, instead it says that they like/love/appreciate X. In fact, the city of New York has trademarked ' I heart NY' so they might have a bigger call over trademark infringement!

My use of the NHS logo on my avatar is non-commercial. I presume that the DH branding and identity department  will be reviewing their policies on the non-commercial use of the NHS logo.

I should also note that Twitter has a policy on trademark violation. In the case of fan accounts it states that logos should not be used in avatars or background images without permission as a way of reducing confusion that the account is speaking on behalf of the organisation. They do not mention the meme of Twibbons which are about showing support for causes/ideas rather than for companies.

Professor Trish Greenhalgh has suggested that it might be better just starting from scratch:

What do you think? Is it time for a new twibbon?

Sunday, 8 April 2012

100+ women healthcare academics

About 50 100 women academics on Twitter (in no particular order)

Last month a blog post listing "50 Medical School Professors You Should Be Following On Twitter" was doing the rounds on Twitter. We can all make our own lists and blog about them- it's one of the great things about social media. This list seemed short on women -something picked up by Professor Trisha Greenhalgh who tweets as @trishgreenhalgh. An extremely productive academic she shows better than anyone else I know how and why an academic should be on Twitter. Deciding that we needed a list that would flag up women healthcare academics she started the hashtag, #womenhealthcareacademics. She asked people to nominate others and themselves. Who is a woman healthcare academic? Simply: " those we classify, or who self-classify,as [a] women, [b] h/c and [c] academic ". This is an inclusive list. It is not just doctors or women who work in universities. It includes many doctoral students and others working in the community. 

What follows is the list crowd-sourced by Trish. I offered to host it for her on this blog and then realised  that I had not nominated some of my own favourite women healthcare academics on Twitter so I have added these at the end. I've pulled everyone together in a Twitter list which you can find here. We're sure that there are many other people that should be in this list but aren't. Please leave a message in the comments or tweet using the #womenhealthcareacademics tag. 

@amcunningham Medical educator from Cardiff, UK. “Determined not to be one of the sheep”. 6000+ followers
@SarahStewart Educator, consultant, facilitator. 2500+ followers
@fidouglas medical student, co-founder of @twitjournalclub 1000+ followers
@misselspeth Medical student intercalating with PhD in medical education. 400+ followers
@ajburls Director of postgrad education at Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine
Other educators recommended by Twitter community: @kathwoolf @clairehamshire @suzannevee 

@marionnestle Professsor in dept of nutrition, food studies, public health. 80,000+ followers
@aetiology Microbiologist / epidemiologist 3000+ followers
@AllysonPollock Academic, public health doc, 2000+ followers 
@murzee Physician / public health blogger. 1600+ followers
@ProfKEPickett “Social epidemiologist, co-author of 'The Spirit Level' and co-founder of The Equality Trust”. 1200+ followers
@imaginarygf “Stats nerd” 1300+ followers
@lou_hurst  “Public health, epi, stats and stuff”. 500+ followers
@MegPopHealth epidemiology / nutrition. 500+ followers
@siobhanfarmer Public health registrar, runner. 400+ followers
@angelaraffle “Public health medic, interest in sustainable economies” 300+ followers
@gingerly_onward “Newbie epidemiologist with interest in clinical outcomes research, ehealth” 200+ followers
@erica_pool pulic health, NHS, climate change, more. 200+ followers
@profhelenward Academic and activist, public health focus 100+ followers
Plus others in public health / epidemiology recommended by Twitter community: @jennyhall33 @helen_barratt @vanessasaliba  @jeanmadams @Talkingwalking @dr_asbo   @epidemiologista @sadieboniface @Sara__Johnson

@mgtmccartney “Evidence, medical professionalism, politics, screening, risk + more” 1200+ followers 
@trishgreenhalgh Doctor (GP), academic, agitator, ageing athlete. 1700+ followers
@JuliaHCox GP epidemiologist, QRisk queen 
@PennyL50 Academic nurse with interest in depression management
@ClareRCGP Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and soon to be honorary Professor at King's College London

@kbloor Health economist 450 followers

@DTFinegood Professor in systems thinking from Canada
@DinaBalabanova Health systems researcher, LSHTM
@TaranehDeann @butlerceri @RowanM   @ir4b health services research

@silv24 Junior doc, global health, in @Twitjournalclub, 2000+ followers
@dr_fiona Hospital doc. Nudging 2000 followers
@drmlb Professor of Pediatric Surgery, USA
@DrMarkham Haematologist, oncologist 600+ followers
@VerranDeborah Transplant surgeon, Australia
@DrSuparnaDas Anaesthetist with MBA 300+ followers
@ingridjohanna66 “UK child health on the front line” 300+ followers 
@lungsatwork respiratory consultant

@ani2tall cell biologist, working mum. 200+ followers

@drpetra Psychologist, ‘evidence-based agony aunt’, sexual health researcher, also tweets about combining motherhood with academic work. 7000+ followers
@doseofnuxvomica Psychiatry and music. 600+ followers
@soozaphone doing PhD on cannabis / psychosis / depression. 400 followers
@essividing professor of developmental psychopathology. 200+ followers
@whole_patients “Demystifying psychiatry and psychotherapy for patients and doctors”

@Viil “Socio-technical PhD student” 2000 followers
@Ermintrude2 Social policy, health policy, social care, social justice. 1700+ followers 
@HealthCulture Historian of science/medicine 1000+ followers
@JulieLeask Social scientist, Sydney. 600+ followers
@KateT_health “Health policy, post-socialism, higher education” 300 folllowers
@nzruthdesouza Academic nurse from NZ, social justice / feminism. 400 followers 
@ProfSandyOliver Sociologist, “making knowledge more democratic”. 200+ followers
@cj_pope Medical sociology prof
@profsophieday Anthropology prof
@jomaybin Fellow in health policy at Kings Fund
@lizforbat therapist working in cancer care

@JAdvNursing Journal of Advanced Nursing (edited by a man, but many excellent papers relevant to women academics and practitioners). 1100+ followers
@Ed_N_Researcher Editor of Nurse Researcher 800+ followers
@trished BMJ / BMJ Open 1300+ followers
@katiejcole “Public health doc, co-founder of Lancet UK Policy Matters”. 500+ followers
@deb_cohen BMJ investigations editor

@mariawolters E-health 700+ followers
@renarde “liberal atheist feminist geek” 600+ followers
@christineburns Equality / diversity, business / IT
@geodianna Geographer who maps health data 
@fraslette Geographer / population health analyst
@Keeping_Mum carer 100+ followers
@Subu_OT Occupational therapy + art. 400 followers

Anne Marie's nominees not otherwise included!
@salma_patel - doctoral student at Warwick in eHealth and frequent contributor to the #nhssm (NHS social media) discussions
@deevybee Professor of developmental neuropsychology who has a great blog
@claireOT OT and blogger and so much more
@nlafferty Lead for elearning in Dundee medical school sometimes to be found leading #meded chats with me
@bonnycastle One of the first medical education bloggers, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 
@thinkbirth A passionate scholarly midwife
@bronwynah Speech pathologist and NHRMC post-doctoral fellow (and her colleagues    )
@VirtualOT Canadian OT and PhD student 
@evidencematters Great tweets on EBM etc
@motherinmed Internist, medical educator and researcher, and blogger 
@jane_mooney medical educator, PhD student, training in a/e (can code in Flash!)
@elaineleung Training as an academic in O/G
@kateellington  Physician in training- with particular interest in global health and health disparities 
@drjengunter Obs and gynae doctor, and blogger who often uses her 'lasso of truth' :)
@kind4kids academic paediatrician 
@suzanakm Palliative care doctor and medical educator 
@kerryhood Statistician and trialist- and a very good friend and colleague in Cardiff University
@claudiamegele Psychotherapist and senior lecturer and great tweeter
@psychepi psychiatric epidemiologist and policy analyst
@laylamccay UK doctor relocated to DC- tweets about all the very interesting events she attends
@laikas Dutch medical librarian with a fantastic blog 
@susannahfox researcher for Pew Internet on the place where technology meets healthcare
@cascadia Patient centred design evangelist- says it all:) 
@pfanderson emerging technologies librarian, ehealth, blogger 
@nfreundlich journalist, health policy wonk and blogger
@lindy2350 CUNY adjunct professor, journalist focussing on health policy
@shannonbrownlee researcher and author of 'Overtreated' 
@marilynmann Lawyer, breast cancer survivor, blogger
@drkkolmes psychologist and blogger
@emmaburnettx doing a PhD on risk perceptions of C Diff, nurse, lecturer
@loracenna nursing professor likes killer heels!
@faejones Medical student and @medsinUK joint national coordinator
@anyagopfert National policy and advocacy director for @medsinuk
@ellypilavachi Co-chair of BMA medical students committee
@genbois medical student with passion for global health
@snaraghi Training director for @medsinuk
@katerinahilari SLT, reader in acquired language impairment 
@naomi_cocks SLTsenior lecturer at City University
@nicolabotting Reader in developmental language impairment at City University, London 
@maroeskarovers professor of evidence-based surgery
@nicolainnes academic dentist and blogger
@profsuewhite Professor of Social Work at University of Birmingham
@brigid39 OU social work professor 
@annehollows Social work academic specialising in children and families policy and practice
@meganqb Professor of Healthcare education at Newcastle university, UK
@gillybean42 education adviser on medical, dental and veterinary education to HEA
@glittrgirl enthusiast for open educational resources in medical education. and she knits!
@m2hansen assocaite professor, school of Nursing, university of San Francisco 
@coleenkraft paediatrician and medical educator 
@drbarbara1 researcher in autistic intelligence
@catbonfiglioli senior lecturer in media studies, with special interest in portrayal of obesity, Sydney
@closetohomeMD paediatrician, blogger, Virginia USA
@francesmair Professor of general practice at Glasgow University 
@jessienyc Sociologist, cyber racism, at CUNY 
@drpattiethomas medical sociologist, educator and blogger 
@lisagualtieri teaches digital stategies for health communication and more at TUFTS
@m_lin emergency medicine physician at UCSF - blogger++
@drbrid Irish, public health pragmatic realist! 
@doctorblogs one of the first UK female doctors on Twitter with excellent EBM based tweets:)
@doctorpreneur Training as psychiatrist, with special interest in clinical leadership and author of MBA for Medics 
@gastromom gastroenterologist and blogger
@TaborF doctor and writer, researcher at Hopkins 
@iClinicalApps UK doctor training in paediatrics, now in Sydney working on health innovation and #meded
@dbensonsmith Professor of politics, race, gender and public policy 
@ProfHolloway bioethics, gender, race, medicine and law

Suggested by twittersphere 
@drcris PhD student and general surgical registrar
@doctorfullerton physician blogger
@dr_ginni Sydney media doctor
@dr_val founder of better health- medical blog collective 
@doctorJLB Melbourne based doctor interested in malaria and economics 
@anacfelix neurologist and educator