#PathTweetAward: A Crowdfunded Award for Exemplary Pathology Education on Social Media

What is #PathTweetAward?

#PathTweetAward is a crowdfunded award created on Twitter by pathologists to recognize pathologists and pathology trainees who post exemplary educational tweets in the field of anatomic or clinical pathology.

How and when was #PathTweetAward started?

The idea for an “educational pathology Tweet ofthe year” award was proposed on Twitter on April 6, 2018.

The tweet that launched the concept of #PathTweetAward.

The hashtag#PathTweetAward was created the next day based on a suggestion by Dr. Amy Deeken (@AmyHDeekenMD), a pathologist from Ohio who is active on social media. A Twitter handle (@PathTweetAward) and a promotional video to create awareness about the award were created shortly thereafter by Dr. Muhammad Ahsan (@ahsanuitis), a pathologist from Pakistan. The award was supported online by several pathologists with a prominent social media presence, including Dr. Jerad Gardner, Dr. Kamran Mirza, Dr. Christina Arnold, Dr. Julie Teruya-Feldstein and Dr. Kalyani Bambal.

What is crowdfunding? How was #PathTweetAward crowdfunded?

Crowdfunding is a fundraising method in which small amounts of money are contributed by a large number of people, typically via the internet. Crowdfunding for #pathtweetaward was made possible by Dr. Amy Deeken, who started up a GoFundMe account for the award on April 7, 2018 (gofundme.com/5dakxso) and created a promotional video. Incredibly, the fundraising goal of $1000 was reached within a single day of setting up the GoFundMe account. At the time of this writing, the account has raised $1550, generously donated by 26 individuals (predominantly pathologists) over a period of 6 months.

The GoFundMe account that funds #PathTweetAward.

Who is eligible for the award?

Pathologists in practice, pathology residents, and pathology fellows anywhere in the world are eligible for the award. To be considered, a tweet with educational value should be posted on Twitter and brought to the attention of the screening judges by using the hashtag #PathTweetAward.

Who is allowed to use the hashtag #PathTweetAward?

Anyone can use the hashtag. Any pathologist anywhere in the world can tag an educational post on Twitter in a reply or retweet. An example is shown in the image below. Pathologists can also self-tag their own tweets if they wish.

To nominate a tweet for the award, simply reply to the original tweet and type #PathTweetAward. You can also “retweet with comment” and type #PathTweetAward in your comment.

Are the awards monetary?

Yes, the current plan is to award four monetary prizes each year ($500, $300, $200 and $100), including two awards in the open group and two awards for trainees. The Pathologist magazine and the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) have generously offered additional non-monetary support, mainly in the form of promotion of award-winning tweets and awardees. 

How are winners selected?

Judges for #PathTweetAward are pathologists who are active on Twitter. There are three panels of judges, selected with diversity and inclusion in mind; judges include women and men, trainees and faculty, community pathologists and academics. A different panel of judges will be selected each year. The bulk of the work is shouldered by two panels of five screening judges each. One, led by Chicago hematopathologist Kamran Mirza, MD, PhD,screens tweets from trainees only. The other, led by Canadian head and neck pathologist Bin Xu, MD, screens tweets from an “open” group that includes trainees and practicing pathologists.

Screening judges (for trainee tweets only) Screening judges (for “open” category, including all pathologists, including trainees) Final judges
Kamran Mirza, MD (group leader) Bin Xu, MD (group leader) Jerad Gardner, MD (group leader)
Elvira Gonzalez-Obeso, MD, PhD Eman Aljufairi, MD Silvija Gottesman, MD
John Gross, MD Daniel Skipper, MD Valerie Fitzhugh, MD
Adam L. Booth, MD Yiang Hui, MD Laura G. Pastrian, MD
Pallavi A. Patil, MD Chen Yang, MD Geronimo Junior, MD

Table 1. Judges for #PathTweetAward (2018)

Each week, tweets tagged with the hashtag #PathTweetAward are collated by a screening judge and posted publicly on Twitter using the “Moments” feature. These collections serve as a repository of the best tweets, from which each panel of screening judges selects a “tweet of the month” to be sent at the end of the year to the final panel of judges.The latter are tasked with selecting four final prize-winners, two from the open group and two from the trainee-only group. The final four shortlist will be posted publicly in a Twitter poll, at which time the general public can vote to determine the final ranking. The process, summarized by screening judge Dr.Elvira Gonzalez-Obeso, is shown in this image:

Summary of the process by which #PathTweetAward winners are selected.

-Sanjay Mukhopadhyay, MD is a Staff Pathologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH. He is an expert thoracic pathologist,author of a lung pathology textbook, and a pioneer in the use of social media for teaching lung pathology globally, free of charge. Follow Dr. Mukhopadhyay on Twitter @smlungpathguy, and check out his freely accessible educational videos on YouTube.

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