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Social Media: What is it, anyway?

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When it comes to the medical profession, social media is a bit trickier than in some other fields, because of the legal and ethical issues involved. But it still comes down to one thing: Don't be ...

When it comes to the medical profession, social media is a bit trickier than in some other fields, because of the legal and ethical issues involved. But it still comes down to one thing: Don't be stupid.

This is the presentation from a panel I participated in at the 53rd annual meeting of ASTRO, the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

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    Social Media: What is it, anyway? Social Media: What is it, anyway? Presentation Transcript

    • Social Media:
      What is it, anyway?
      Amy Vernon
      Hasai Inc.
    • Disclosure
      • I have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
    • Learning Objectives
      • Defining social media.
      • Social media’s role in the medical community.
      • Benefits and drawbacks of social media for medical professionals.
    • Changing How We Communicate
      IMMEDIACY: “I tweeted and no one answered.”
      INTIMACY: “Someone with XYZ Corp. personally responded!”
      ATTENTION: “I just ran a 5K for the first time!”
    • Everybody’s Doing It
      87% of physicians use social media personally
      67% of physicians use social media professionally
      1/3 of doctors received Facebook friend requests from patients
      ¾ of those doctors rejected the requests
      Source: QuantiaMD survey, August 2011
    • Source: QuantiaMD survey
    • The Value for Patients
      Doctors find value for patients. “Would you recommend that apatient participate in anonline patient community?”
      Source: QuantiaMD survey
    • Very social, but not with patients
      Source: QuantiaMD survey
    • If everyone’s doing it, why aren’t you?
      Source: QuantiaMD survey
    • Ah, liability
      The cardinal rule of social media: Don’t be stupid. I.E.: Don’t say anything online you wouldn’t want everyone in the world to know.
      Rhode Island doctor reprimanded after inadvertently identifying a patient in a Facebook post.
      JAMA study identified 3% of physician tweets as containing “unprofessional content”
      Sources: Amednews.com,
      Boston.com, News.com.au
    • Oh, like this?
      Source:Twitter.com
    • Nonmaleficence
      Works the same in social media. First, do no harm.
      If you think before you post, you should be just fine.
    • OK, but still, WHY?
      People are talking about their medical problems online.
      Celebrities talk about their medical experiences & give “advice.”
      People listen to celebrities, and while they may be well-meaning, they may have no idea what they’re talking about.
    • Is this who you want parents to take medical advice from?
    • How about this guy?
    • How about Chrissie?
    • It’s where the patients are
      Be available. Offer your expert knowledge in cases where possible.
      Don’t diagnose – but offer to suggest resources to look up information.
      Don’t respond to the “trolls” – the people whose sole meaning in life is defined by baiting people into arguments online.
    • ?s
      Amy Vernon
      mail@amyvernon.net
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/amyvernon
      Facebook: http://facebook.com/amyvernon
      LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/amyvernon