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The Problem

With the goals of improving patient safety and resident well-being, the ACGME’s 2011 revision of duty-hour requirements included a 16-hour limit on continuous duty hours for postgraduate year 1 (PGY-1) trainees, increased supervision for junior trainees, as well as mandated rest periods between duty hours.1 These rules place limitations on the ability of trainees to attend scheduled educational activities during standard work hours; a recent study showed a decrease in resident availability for teaching conferences compared with the 2003 duty hour regulations.2 Residency training programs must develop alternative avenues for education and encouraging inquiry outside of traditional methods.

A Modern Solution

Social networking sites, such as Twitter, represent a promising opportunity for residency programs to foster collaborative learning and educational engagement both inside and outside of the hospital. After surveying our residents’ methods of obtaining medical knowledge, the chief medical residents at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital created a shared Twitter account entitled “@JeffIMChiefs” with the goals of disseminating clinical pearls from our daily conferences and inspiring continued learning by providing links to relevant research and review articles.