In a recent blog post for KevinMD, Dr. Lauren Chasin says, physicians “have a responsibility to teach patients and to teach each other. This is why social media is so crucial to the development of medicine today.”
Social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter, give physicians the incredible opportunity to not only communicate directly with their patients, but to communicate with one another. It provides a useful platform for sharing information about new practices and garnering several professional opinions. Imagine posting a question on Twitter and garnering several responses—in real time—from respected physicians.
While using textbooks and articles are useful, Dr. Chasin says that physicians operate best in their “own lingo with other physicians, sharing stories and inspiring each other to learn and grow.”
In regards to patients, the little bit of extra time a physician spends answering a tweet about cholesterol on Twitter translates into a greater chance that that patient will return to their practice. Patients want to feel connected to their physicians by having their questions addressed and by getting a sense of mutual respect.
We live in an increasingly connected world and patients expect that connection to extend to medicine. Engaging in social media doesn’t have to be a burden. Consider social media a gift, a chance to better educate other physicians and your patients.
Tell us what YOU think.
Do you have an example where you educated yourself or others by using social media?