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@ISNeducation: Reaching out to the global community

As members of the @ISNeducation Social Media team, nephrologists from institutes worldwide have taken on a stronger presence on social media. They are sharing knowledge more widely and gaining access to a global nephrology community, expanding their network, and making a global name for themselves.

It is a continuing challenge for nephrologists worldwide to present complex concepts and ideas into small and easily understandable pieces of information to share with their colleagues worldwide.

With a rise in the use of social media in the field of nephrology, The ISN commissioned the Social Media Task Force to set a strategy for effectively sharing medical information with the global nephrology community during the 2017 World Congress of Nephrology (WCN).

The first component of this was to create the Social Media Task Force and gather a passionate team of individuals with a strong belief in the task force’s mission. This task force then became known as the @ISNeducation Social Media team.

Two years later, we meet members of the @ISNeducation Social Media team at WCN 2019 in Melbourne, Australia.

Stepping into the online community

Members from across the globe explain how the initiative has given them access to a growing community. Arvind Canchi, The Bangalore and Sagar Hospitals (India), says: ‘[Being part of the ISN Social Media Task Force] has helped me get in touch with people, increase my publication list and present more posters than I ever did before I became a social media junkie.’

Seen as a very powerful and useful way to communicate with colleagues around the world, Brendon Neuen, George Institute for Global Health, USW Sydney, simply got involved in the @ISNeducation Social Media team by chance: ‘I was active on Twitter and social media and found there was a burgeoning nephrology community there, both in Australia and around the world.’

Aakash Shingada, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Mumbai, is a visual abstract expert for the @ISNeducation Social Media Team. He explains: ‘Often we don’t have the infrastructure, the networking capabilities at congress venues to indulge in social media activities. We don’t have this kind of support that we’re getting. It demonstrates the intent of ISN: spreading education.’

Learning from each other

The learning experience has been valuable on many levels, helping advance care in all parts of the world. Basu Gopal, The Alfred Hospital at Monash University (Australia), joined ISN when he just finished training: ‘I wanted to improve my knowledge and gain connections through which I could influence not only my own practice but gain insights and try to help [doctors] in other parts of the world.’

His journey continued to develop: ‘I was able to pursue the global nephrology agenda, working with nephrologists in Tanzania, linking them with nephrologists and seeing Tanzanian nephrology progress in front of our eyes was very fulfilling. That’s how I’m also involved in a bit of nephrology in Africa.’

Carlos Orantes, from the National Institute of Health (San Salvador), believes that joining the @ISNeducation Social Media team helps give voice to patients. He has contributed to the nephrology specially for disadvantaged populations and helped find a solution to the chronic kidney disease epidemic that is affecting global agricultural communities.

A growing community spirit

With ISN’s 60th anniversary coming up in 2020, Brendon Neuen adds: ‘My hope for the coming years is ongoing collaboration and fostering of community [spirit] across the world and involving nephrologists, not only in patient care, but in research through the conduct of clinical trials and cohort studies.’

ISN Fellow, Preethi Sekar, specialized in renal pathology at University of Chicago Medicine, expresses pride in having trained with great renal experts. Reny Setya Pratiwi Duarsa from Indonesia talks about the unforgettable experience of ISN, being able to contribute to ISN by ‘doing, giving something back.’

Being more involved in ISN she hopes to give more opportunities for members of the National Society of Indonesia as they have a lot of cases of CKD and glomerular nephritis, and are faced with ‘poor facilities.’ She says ‘with ISN support it really helps us a lot’.

Find out more about the @ISNeducation Social Media Team. Follow them on Twitter @ISNeducation and on Facebook as ISN Education.

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