Physicians & Social Media: #MedX April 29, 2014

Ever since I started utilizing social media 7-8 years ago, there have always been questions about physicians using social media. Tonight, our friends at Stanford Medicine X had a google hangout talking about this specific topic. The entire 60 minute video can be seen above.

Here are a few of my own observations about the video and the topic of Physicians and Social Media:

  • Physicians and Social Media does NOT mean extending your work day: Using social media does not mean making yourself available 24/7 to patient questions. Social media can be used for patient education, health policy change, and more than clinical work. 
  • Curating Information is just as important as creating content: I used to think that physicians need to create content on the internet to make a difference. That's not necessarily true. The shear volume of information out there is overwhelming. Sorting through information is certainly a skill that I do not have, and finding physicians who can wade through that info on twitter - that's important to me.
  • Physicians and Providers need to find Value in Social Media for them to use it: One of the most common questions that I get is this: "How can we get more physicians to use social media?" Using social media just to use it - this is not reason enough. The challenge will be to find the value for each physician/provider.
  • The Holy Grail is proving Social Media positively affects patient and healthcare outcomes: This question has been around since I started being involved in social media. We have yet to have large scale and reproducible data. Whomever does this holds to they to why healthcare providers started doing social media in the first place
  • My final observation is that it was great to see my long time social media colleague, Dr. Bryan Varabedian (aka @Doctor_V and creator of the 33 Charts website) speaking on this topic again. His opening remarks stated that when we all started on this in 2006, there was a small & intimate network on physicians out there. It was great to get to know @Doctor_V as we were physician panels together at that time. Just for fun, I found the podcast below when I interviewed @Doctor_V in June 2010 before we were on a panel together in San Francisco. I was still "Doctor Anonymous" back then, and seems like it was just yesterday...

Thanks to our friends at Stanford Medicine X for these programs on youtube to, not only share topics, but also to have a community come together to have a live chat on twitter. I've found many new people to follow on twitter and for me to start new conversations with them. I'm looking forward to attending the MedX meeting in the fall...