Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WhatsApp For Nephrology Fellows/Attending

A few months ago we welcomed our new Nephrology Fellows - now we were 6. These were exciting times and having so many bright minds together was indeed a dream come true.
Soon we noticed a problem as we went along our residency. The problem of communications. Bright minds need to talk and discuss and with this generation it needed to happen real time.
For example there was a interesting case we wanted to talk about but our Nephro rounds were a week away - that's too long. We all wanted to talk now! It was impossible for all to come together in one physical location and find a room and discuss, it would take too long if not impossible to organize and in variably someone would be left behind.
We needed a discussion bulletin board where we could talk quickly amongst ourselves. Our Program Director (PD) suggested Twitter - we gave it a shot but there were too many interferences for this kind of discussion and certainly "Path Rounds on 5B1 in 20 min" would certainly not excite Twitterati and most likely lose some followers. ;) Texting?? - That is painful (times 6) and also no interaction obviously.
Along came WhatsApp. Most of us were already using it as part of various groups in our home countries or family member groups. So we made up a Nephrology Fellows Group and added all the fellows. Our PD jumped in and so did some more attending staff. And like they say - rest is history.
We have now been using this for the nearly 6 months and have used this discussion forum for practically everything we need to talk about amongst ourselves. Whether it is an interesting case one of us saw, or the next months call schedule. Out attending staff use it as an update tool to provide us papers and suggestions on our case discussions - almost like a moderator.
Our PD uses it to remind us all about events and also for planning retreats etc.
In fact it was through our WhatsApp group that we were introduced to #nephjc. We fellows feel even more close knit than before since we started using WhatsApp and all of us are now just a message away. I have pasted a few screenshots.
In my grandiose imagination I am thinking this on a much wider scale - say Pan Canadian Nephrology Fellows Network or US Fellows Network - this can be truly an important source of networking and information.
Anyways its a start. Anyone interested?? Write back!
Nikhil Shah
@dr_nikhilshah
Nephrology Fellow
University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada
nshah1@ualberta.ca
Nephrology Tweetbook (social-kidney.blogspot.ca)