Why Social Media is Important for Doctors

The following link is to a NY Times article and below are a few excerpts:


 “While most doctors have come to terms with the fact that their patients routinely go online for information about what ails them, they remain uneasy about a more recent trend: the Internet is quickly becoming the resource of choice for patients to connect with, learn more about and even rate their doctors. And while many have used Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or online medical community sites like Sermo to engage with friends and colleagues, few have communicated with patients as, well, doctors. Most abstain for one simple reason: they aren’t sure how to be a doctor online.”
The link discusses a new book by Kevin Pho (KevinMD) and Susan Gay.  “In“Establishing, Managing and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices,” “Dr. Pho and Ms. Gay offer highly organized key points, useful statistics and exuberant testimonials from doctors who have successfully leapt over the digital divide. There is plenty of practical advice, too, on topics ranging from what to post and when to engage, confer or rebuff, to how to decide what might be unethical or T.M.I. (Answer: ‘Can you say it aloud in a full hospital elevator?”)The book is an excellent and helpful resource. But what elevates it beyond the category of valuable how-to manual is the passionate call to arms that resonates from all those well-enumerated directions and clearly labeled diagrams. Like it or not, the authors warn, the Internet has profoundly changed the patient-doctor relationship, and doctors must embrace its effects on patient care — or risk losing their own influence.'”The article also notes that on the internet many individuals without any scientific background may have equal footing with recognized experts.  Another subject broached in this article is the issue of ranking physicians.”The biggest risk of social media in health care,” they conclude, “is not using it at all.”
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