The Journal Club has a long tradition, and a hallowed space in the training of physicians (Did you know that William Osler organized one of the first Journal Clubs at McGill University in 1875). It is the teaching session where trainees and teachers exchange roles. Journal Club is the area where the flipped classroom has been fully implemented in medical education. Read and study the article at home, and then use classroom time to critically debate the methods, results and interpretation of the article.

This makes journal club a natural fit for social media. Social media is built around decreasing barriers to communication. It is designed to connect people of like interests. A number of groups have used social media for journal clubs, from blogs to Facebook to Twitter. Our surgical brethren in Urology have been very successful with their twitter journal club, @iurojc. NephJC will attempt to use the nephrology twitter community to generate a healthy discussion and critical review of the literature that is driving nephrology.

Paul Sufka wrote a nice post on Twitter Journal Clubs for Symplur.

Why

One of the most common questions I get when I try to explain Twitter to physicians is “Why should I use that?” 

There are a number of rewards to medical social media but they are often difficult to communicate to someone who has no orientation to the landscape. It’s like trying to describe a sunset to a blind man. A journal club, a rite of passage for all doctors, is a familiar point of reference for new users.

Additionally, the explosion of journals makes it more and more difficult to keep up with the medical research. We need ways to help manage this bounty.

Lastly, it seems to be the perfect time for nephrology — other social media projects such as #DreamRCT #NephMadness and Renal Fellow Network’sTop Nephrology Stories of 2013 have been well received. There is a critical mass of nephrons tweeting, and a wider network of connected internists, emergency physicians, cardiologists, and urologists.

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When

We do NephJC twice a month, on a Tuesday at 9PM Eastern Time for the American participants, and then again the day after on a Wednesday 8PM GMT for the European/African/WestCoast individuals.

About a week before the twitter discussion we post background information regarding the article and invite comments and questions to be discussed during the live chat. Make sure you include the hashtag #NephJC, to ensure we see all of the commentary.

The live chat is an hour long discussion on Twitter. A summary of the conversation will be storify’d and the back ground post will be updated with links to the Storify, the Twitter transcript. We will also write a brief comment for PubMed Commons, linking to the transcript and summary blog post, so that readers who chance upon the abstract on PubMed will be able to benefit from our efforts.

How

Read the article and tweet away — making sure you use the #NephJC hashtag. No need to limit yourself to the hour of live tweeting, we will be looking at all of the tagged tweets. Questions, comments, perspective, everything is fair game.

More detailed instructions can be found here.

We follow a pretty standard script. Here is that script for people who like spoilers.