Social-media-enabled learning in emergency medicine: a case study of the growth, engagement and impact of a free open access medical education blog | Postgraduate Medical Journal

Abstract:  Background Clinicians are increasingly using social media for professional development and education. In 2012, we developed the St.Emlyn’s blog, an open access resource dedicated to providing free education in the field of emergency medicine.

Objective To describe the development and growth of this international emergency medicine blog.

Method We present a narrative description of the development of St.Emlyn’s blog. Data on scope, impact and engagement were extracted from WordPress, Twitter and Google Analytics.

Results The St.Emlyn’s blog demonstrates a sustained growth in size and user engagement. Since inception in 2012, the site has been viewed over 1.25?million times with a linear year-on-year growth. We have published over 500 blog posts, each of which attracts a mean of 2466 views (range 382–69?671). The site has been viewed in nearly every country in the world, although the majority (>75%) of visitors come from the USA, UK and Australia.

Summary This case study of an emergency medicine blog quantifies the reach and engagement of social-media-enabled learning in emergency medicine.

Free Open Access Med(ical edu)cation for critical care practitioners

Abstract:  Free Open Access Med(ical edu)cation refers to an online community of knowledge relating to medicine. Originating from practitioners in emergency medicine, it has since spread to critical care, internal medicine, prehospital medicine, paediatrics, and allied health professionals and continues to grow at an advanced rate. Weblogs (‘blog’ for short), emails, social media (in particular Twitter), recorded audio material ((podcasts), and video material are all produced on a daily basis and contribute to the continual professional development of trainees and consultants worldwide. In this article, we explain its background, rise to prominence, and explore some of its controversies.