What is Social Medicine

A short while ago, unless you were lucky enough to live near an expert or could afford to keep up with the literature, it was hard to access really good information easily or affordably.  Now, there is a plethora of quality material from specialists, clinicians, and users who make their knowledge and experience available in different formats.

Social medicine has a primary aim to provide quality information and education across a wide range of platforms to reach a global audience, to debate, argue, reason, and share with the final aim to improve clinical practice, health and health care.

It is a transition from dictated to participatory medicine [1]

It is the integration of medicine and health related contextual iterative learning with social media[2]

How did Social-Medicine come about?

Gen X are taking a lot of time and effort to reach to Gen Y and many of the social media sites were led by Gen Xers from the start. Why? Gen X by definition have been around longer and have learning and experience to share while looking for the biggest bang for their buck – ie biggest effect for their time – in this case to reach the widest audience possible to share their expertise as easily and efficiently as possible.

As noted by Dr Ves, it is also possibly due to the generation of shorter attention span. A recent post on Doctors and social media generated nearly 50 retweets, 9 shares on facebook and zero comments on the actual blog. Social Medicine is for the generation with a short attention span.  It’s made for those who ‘graze’ information.

How will Social Medicine develop?

Good question. I am looking for

  • Ways that quality information can be found easily, personalised for me
  • Ways to sift, categorized and share easily to a unique network
  • Where the privacy of clinicians and patients protected
  • ….?


[1] I belong to the health conversation

[2] Social Medicine