Doctors and Social Media

Cynthia Bailey, MD|July 18, 2011

twitter logoThe phenomenon of doctors participating in social media is still pretty new and it's gotten some press recently.  In the 2 years of so that I’ve jumped feet first into the blogging/tweeting world a lot more docs have joined in too.  We docs are still finding our way in social media and figuring out just where we can add value and strike a personal and professional balance that works with our busy medical practices. My 'juice' for social media comes from blogging, Twitter and Facebook.  I’m still struck by how much fun I have blogging about common skin care issues that I see in my dermatology practice, or interesting articles I read in the dermatology medical journals.  I actually find writing and posting blog articles relaxing and creative.  I enjoy getting feedback from readers and seeing the interest my posts generate with ‘tweeps’ on twitter.  I also love that I can read other people’s blogs, comment on them and share them on Twitter or Facebook.  It’s much more fun than reading or watching static media. I also get a kick out of Twitter and Facebook just in and of themselves.  I’ve ‘met’ some great tweeps and shared interesting bits of information with them across the Twittersphere.  The same is true with Facebook.  When I read an interesting medical or news article I tweet it out or post it on Facebook to share.  Others do the same, and for me it’s just fun to see what’s put out there by the folks I follow.  For the most part it's all good natured too so it creates a nice little break from headier things that I concentrate on throughout my work day.  I ‘hang’ on the web with my tea in the morning before work, for a few minutes at lunch (on days when I actually get lunch!) and at the end of the day when I’m charting. I've found a nice way to incorporate social media into how I spend my time but the relationship between medical professionals and social media is still very much in evolution.  Recently there have been two articles written about the rise of docs on social media and good reasons why it makes sense.  In both articles I’m honored to be listed along with some great docs who are striking the time balance with social media too.  These are great lists to find medical professionals who participate on the web.

The first article was in the Huffington Post written by nurse and journalist Barbara Ficarra

The second was posted on by Robert West, a professor at SUNY Upstate Medical University

It will be fun to see what the future holds for medicine and social media.  My hope is that we get some credible, lay-person friendly health info on the web to help teach people about the medical topics they’re personally interested in. High quality, doctor written health information can only enhance the level of discussion that we have in the exam room with our own patients. Patients prepared with high quality medical information about their health, ready to make the most out of their doctors visit - now that’s worth tweeting about! Photo: Thanks and Gratitude to topgold

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