CGI Clinic was fortunate enough to meet with Dr Sanil Rege recently at the 2016 RANZCP Congress in Hong Kong. He created psychscenehub.com a “knowledge hub” for psychiatrists and trainees, where you can post articles for free.
I am a firm believer that posting articles online transformed my own learning, my connection to psychiatry and has even given me opportunities I could only dream of, all as a trainee.
Why should trainees start posting articles online?
Like all industries, E-learning and E-health will change not only how our patients access information but how trainees access information. In a competitive field, young doctors will have to stand out and have good publishing skills. The traditional method is to publish articles in respected journals. There is nothing wrong with this, actually we encourage you to do this too. However, this process is daunting for some and can be very time consuming. By publishing online you can reach a targeted audience quickly and receive real time feed back quickly with online statistics.
Presenting at journal club anyway? Get more mileage for your efforts
If you are rostered to present at journal club this week, why spend 5+hours reading and distilling an article for a 1-hour meeting, when you could invest another hour or so, and publish your thoughts for the benefit of your virtual colleagues online? (Sanil calls this a good ROE or return-on-effort).
Rather than forget about this article forever in a powerpoint presentation on an old USB, put it online where you can access whenever you want. Rather than send a pdf link of the article, send your colleagues a link to your online post instead. Rinse and repeat for things like articles you have reviewed for your exams and conferences you have attended etc.
Add extra layers to your learning through online posting
We all learn in different ways. Some like group study, some like to write flash cards. Whatever method you choose, using multiple methods can help solidify your learning. Putting your knowledge into context through posting online can benefit not just your own learning but for others too.
When you post online, this is semi-permanent (it will stay online unless you delete it). Knowing this, you will naturally invest more time getting it right as you will be under the scrutiny of your virtual peers. You are the author, the reviewer and the editor. Once you put your name to something, you become more responsible for the content and your own learning. Through regular practice you will develop good literature review skills. This process has helped me to consolidate my own knowledge in my subject of choice. It is a great platform to formulate your ideas and to consider publishing articles yourself in the future.
How can I post articles online?
- Buy your own domain name and use wordpress.com as your platform (benefits of this is it is yours and easier for others to find but may be hard to generate traffic).
- Use just wordpress.com for free as a standalone (benefits are it is completely free but hard to find and generate traffic).
- Post articles on psychescene.com which is free and potential for huge traffic.
Keeping in touch with your colleagues in a global village:
I was fortunate enough to do a 6-month clinical fellowship internationally, that was RANZCP accredited, I even kept my usual salary and returned to my old job when I returned. I highly recommend that all trainees travel as part of their training. Before I went overseas I contacted all the other trainees who did the same before me. What worked for them? How can I make the most of my opportunity?
One of the best pieces of advice a colleague told me was “keep in touch with your colleagues back home”.
When you are overseas, you are not in your usual circles locally. You may be overlooked for future opportunities when you return. Also, people have no idea what exciting things you are doing internationally. By starting a website and blog I was able to document my journey for my colleagues to follow back home.
From blog to a valuable web resource:
I started a basic WordPress account, but I didn’t stop there. I bought a proper domain name and hosting. I then posted reviews of journal articles online.
I saw the potential of my website and soon I was increasing my audience to include parents, teachers and clinicians.
How did starting a blog/website enhanced my clinical training and open opportunities that I could only dream of?
A major goal of mine was always to visit researchers and clinicians in South Korea. I tried emailing universities and clinicians in the past with no luck as I had no previous experience in the field. After I started my website, I was able to email them with an online calling card, inviting them to review my work. It was through my website that I was able to secure meetings with international leaders that I can now proudly call my colleagues.
It was also through my website that I started to generate a lot of interest with colleagues back home and soon enough I was invited to speak at hospital grand rounds and parenting groups all over Australia. I decided to capitalise on these opportunities and began to video record my talks (a good ROE) and posting them on my website. Eventually, my message reached the organisers of TEDx Adelaide. They invited me to speak in front of 600 people at Adelaide Town Hall and then potentially billions of people of Youtube. I did all this as a trainee, starting with just posting reviews of articles online.