#HCSM Chat Sunsets: Best Medical Twitter Chat Ever

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Tonight will be the last #HCSM chat ever. As I write this, it is literally minutes before the chat. What is #HCSM chat? In health care social media circles, it is regarded as the best medically related twitter chat ever. HCSM stands for "Health Care Communications and Social Media" and it was created in 2009 by Dana Lewis.

People forget that in 2009, the concept of a "chat" on twitter was in its early days. And, having a medically related twitter chat was even more foreign to the medical community. I admit that I did not totally understand how people could communicate on twitter - with just 140 characters (at the time).

Then, when I joined my first #HCSM chat, it must have been in early 2010 (during its 2nd year), and I was totally intimidated and overwhelmed by the speed of the conversation. And, I think I forgot to add the #HCSM hashtag to my tweets. Sheesh!

Dana Lewis and #HCSM chat have given me so much through the years. First of all, it was through #HCSM chat where I received one of my first invitations to be on a medicine social media discussion panel in 2010 in Seattle, Washington at the Swedish Health Care Symposium at Swedish Medical Center. One of my many memories from that meeting Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson and Dr. Jen Dyer for the first time. That meeting opened so many doors for me, and I owe a debt of gratitude to Dana Lewis for the opportunity to be a part of that event.

From a practical standpoint, #HCSM chat really helped me increase the number of my twitter followers. In addition, it really helped me develop the skill of being a "power tweeter" - meaning focusing on how to type/speak in small bites, and how to read, interpret, and evaluate lots of tweets at the same time during a quick #HCSM chat hour.

I could on and on and on about what #HCSM chat has meant to me, but I won't :) I just wanted to express my sincere appreciation to Dana Lewis for creating the chat and for maintaining the chat for all these years. I know the #HCSM community is not going away, but I wanted to express my appreciation to the #HCSM community for helping to teach me more about the patient perspective and the great variety of medical and community topics of which I was not familiar.

To help my nostalgia, I reflected back on the video and audio interviews below with my friend Dana Lewis from October 2010 which was in preparation of the Swedish event. If you have been affected and/or touched by the #HCSM chat in any way, I encourage you to express that out there in social media. There will never be anything like the groundbreaking and iconic #HCSM chat ever again. I feel honored to be a part of the #HCSM community.