Aline Charabaty, MD, on Using Social Media in IBD Practice

Aline Charabaty, MD, previews her presentation at the July 25 virtual regional meeting of Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Disease, on how she uses social media for education, peer discussion, and enhancing her gastroenterology practice.  

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Aline Charabaty, MD, is the clinical director of gastroenterology and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Johns Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC.


My name is Aline Charabaty. I'm the director of the IBD Center at Johns Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC. My passion is IBD education, and during IBD Chicago I'll be sharing with you tips on how to use Twitter to learn, educate, amplify your work, and network with colleagues from all around the world.

For many of us, including me, a couple of years ago, Twitter is a public platform for stars and politicians to use and to reach a wider audience. In recent years, GI and IBD Twitter, as we call it, have really blossomed. I would argue that it's almost now essential for everyone in the GI world to be on Twitter.

This is where you get almost instant updates about all the things that can really impact your daily practice in GI and IBD, in particular—the latest clinical trial results, key scientific papers, information that is shared during scientific meetings.

Now actually, with the physical restrictions and distancing of COVID‑19, it's social media—and Twitter in particular—has become an even more essential tool to share scientific information and to stay up to date with current data.

This is what we're going to be talking about at IBD Chicago, but for me the real perk of Twitter, in my opinion, is the interaction with peers, with colleagues. A conversation that occurs between GI and IBD specialists, and surgeons, and different clinicians, taking care of patients with IBDs—psychologists, nutritionists, patient advocates, etc.

This is a really an amazing platform to discuss the results of papers, how to manage a complex IBD case, and all this happens in the comfort of your home or at work and without the restrictions of time and space that other educational platforms have.

A true example of this is a Twitter handle that is dear to my heart, “Monday Night IBD.” This handle was created almost a year ago with the exact purpose of this, to pick the brains of gastroenterologists, IBD specialists, and other clinicians, with real‑life IBD cases—the cases we struggle with, the cases where there's no firm guidelines, the gray zones where we don't have from there to guide us, where there's maybe controversial data or contradicting data.

This is really a very nice platform where all kinds of GIs, IBD specialists, and other clinicians, get together every Monday night to discuss complex IBD cases.

I really hope that at the end of my talk at IBD Chicago, you will be joining us on our next Twitter conversation. I'm really looking forward to it.


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