Video: How to leverage social media to become a better physician

As part of my Rabkin Medical Education fellowship, I created this presentation to practice my lecturing skills.  This is the introduction of a presentation where I discuss how social media has made me a better physician.  To learn more about using social media, read my article “A doctor’s prescription for social media.” 

If you are a physician and are interested in filling out the online survey that I discuss in my presentation, please click here.

Let me know what you think of the presentation, and how I can improve my lecturing skills.  Also, would love to hear your thoughts about how social media has changed your practice, if at all!

Leave your comments below.

2 thoughts on “Video: How to leverage social media to become a better physician”

  1. I take this subject very seriously and appreciate your intentional and thoughtful foray not only into social media but more specifically into the patients’ world. I am coming at this from a slightly different perspective from yours – yet very complementary. As an academic investigator my view had always been from the medical side but after being diagnosed recently with a rare disease (auto-inflammatory) out of curiosity I entered the patients’ world – a FaceBook support/discussion group – not knowing whether I had something to offer or something to gain. The internet has created a whole new resource for generating new information that we have yet to fully appreciate and harness. I have been shocked, amazed, gob-smacked (consult your thesaurus) at the significance of information exchanged among patients – particularly as it pertains to a rare disease in which individual physicians may only see a handful. I was immediately confronted with valuable medical information shared among patients but unknown to the medical community. That is not to say that all information is either valuable or even true, but there are revelations in these discussions if you are willing to sift and filter or pan for the nuggets so to speak. It is the unique characteristics of the internet that makes this possible. First, large numbers of patients with a single rare disease can congregate in large numbers on the internet. Hundreds of patients can communicate simultaneously and query each other and exchange experiences and get instant comparative information back from dozens or even hundreds of other patients. This is very different from the medical setting which has quite restrictive bounds on information exchange. Exchanges with patients take place one at a time sequentially over a long time period and the “script” is controlled by the provider – if the provider is not aware of an issue it won’t be in the “script.” I’ll give you an example and then I will offer an invitation. Patients commonly query each other, i.e. “has anyone else had this strange symptom?” Then there is a pile on of responses of similar or contrasting experiences. One such incident was about rashes. A patient put out a question to the group – It went like this: “I have this weird rash (picture attached), has anyone else had one that looks like this?” Within 24 hours there were dozens of responses with pictures attached of the range of rashes experienced by the group. It could have filled a whole chapter in a medical text. Generally speaking the information exchanged among patients indicates much more variability of clinical characteristics than is described in medical literature. Patients are being ruled out of diagnosis and treatment because of variability that does not comply with restrictive definitions. But here is a fun exercise for physicians that I invite you (all) to try with the familial Mediterranean fever community. First, patients love doctors who take an interest in them so you will be most welcome. Sign up for the FMF group on FaceBook. Ask the group a question – a meaningful question that you sincerely would like an answer to. Put it to the group and see what you get from it. Here’s a fun question that will blow you away and reflects very sadly on the medical care that patients have access to, if you are brave enough to ask it: “What misdiagnoses did you receive before being diagnosed with FMF?” The patient community would welcome a relationship with physicians – but it takes an open-minded physician – one who is willing to think outside the text book and is willing to learn something new from patients.
    Janine Jagger

    1. Janine, I agree with you. We have the potential to broaden the horizons of our medical knowledge by listening to patient conversations happening online. I think I’ll take you up on your offer…

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