If you missed it, Dr. Joel Topf (aka kidney boy) was recently awarded the coveted Robert Narins award for education from the American Society of Nephrology. You can read about him here. But what you’ll see beyond some traditional stuff is someone who has leveraged social tools in the most creative way to facilitate engagement and education among nephrologists. He’s a tireless communicator and teacher deserving of this prize. I had the pleasure of speaking alongside Joel at the ASN a couple of years back.
But what’s more remarkable than Joel is the professional recognition of someone doing something non-traditional by a traditional, industrial-age medical organization. Below the surface there’s more going on. It’s the recognition of something very different and its value to medicine.
The American Journal of Radiology this month is focused leveraging social media for scholarly advancement. And the Mayo Clinic earlier this year elected to begin recognizing non-traditional educational products in their promotion matrix.
What’s going on? It’s the recognition of what the world has known for fifteen years. There’s a world beyond our immediate physical space and journals. It’s the new order of operations. Ossified institutions running on 20th century principles are evolving at a geologic pace. But they are watching the water rise around them.
Part of that order is the leveling of the traditional medical meeting. The nephrology blog, Precious Body Fluids, posted this weekend about the ultimate demise of Kidney Week (the American Society of Nephrology national meeting) without a re-wiring of the format and agenda. It’s written, ironically, by Dr. Joel Topf.
Congratulations, Joel, and to everyone working desperately to pull medicine out of the 20th century.