I’ve created a professional network through Twitter by engaging with all stakeholders relevant to what I do as a Breast Radiologist, what I advocate for, and what my brand entails.
I did this first by engaging with those in my profession. As a trainee, I used my platform and leadership position at the national level with the American College of Radiology to reach out to other radiology colleagues of all career levels. Next, I engaged with patients, patient advocates, and vendors. Finally, I branched out to medical specialties and arenas which fuel my professional passions. These passions include, but are not limited to, advocacy (including radiology political advocacy and advocating for others in general), women and diversity, and rural breast health/access to care.
By focusing on my professional passions, which culminated in the development of my brand, I began to be known for my advocacy work. More stakeholders on social media from all backgrounds began to reach out to me and engage in conversation, whether it be via a tweet chat, a direct message, or simply commenting on a tweet I shared.
One connection led to another, and another, until these connections expanded rapidly to a global level. This is the power of social media and why I believe so fervently that it can be used as an agent for positive and meaningful change.
Global professional networking is important because it fosters comradery, possible collaboration on projects/manuscripts, mentorship/sponsorship; the list goes on.
I have written papers or worked on projects with many people who I have connected with through Twitter.
For example, a medical student from Chicago direct messaged me on Twitter and we formed a relationship. The student had no radiology mentors at her institution and wanted to become a radiologist. I mentored her for two years on the phone, in email, and via social media. I wrote her a letter of recommendation for residency and she matched with her number one choice. I just met her in-person this year. It is incredible that you can cultivate such strong, formidable relationships via social media.
Through Twitter I became friends with a breast imager in Paris at the Marie Curie Institute. During a family vacation to Paris, I spent a day with her to see how they practice in France. For her, social media is a great way to feel connected to the field and other woman in radiology.
The power of social media is definitely out there. You can be a part of it too. You just have to take the leap.