One of those conversations

Why isn’t my doctor using social networks?

There are plenty of reasons it seems according to the physician community on: ‘Do doctors see social media in their practice future? My conversation with fellow physicians on Sermo.com‘ – which for the record I found difficult reading, hadn’t realised that the majority of physicians still felt like that.

This started a twitter conversation which I wanted to keep – between @DrVes and me (@dreamingspires) – (twitter has a character limit of 140 which is why the sentances below are so succinct). In response to my dismay at some of the attitudes expressed in the article above @DrVes said:

Yet believe or not, it’s a true reflection of how many doctors feel about the use of social media….

We’re just at the beginning of SM adoption by individual physicians, beyond enthusiastic early adopters who burn out in 6 mo

Most new SM use in medicine is driven by corporate accounts, hence the predominant use of FB/Twitter/YouTube, not blogs.

You need doctors/nurses to write blog posts (longer text, correct info) vs pushing tweets/FB releases that can be done by PR

Have you noticed that many recent hospital-authored YouTube videos are done by PR asking doctors to appear on video?

The current idea in social media use in medicine is: “Mayo Clinic is doing it, we must be doing it too.”

Me: am getting asked a fair bit by Health Care orgs abt social media – looking at Mayo clinic and then thinking about hiring SM manager

You are right need drs and nurses blogging , don’t know how to answer their ‘we don’t have time’ question

That’s simple, if hospitals have funds to hire SM managers, they need to pay/compensare their professional bloggers too.

Me: but hiring a SM manager puts it right back to the ‘corporate PR messaging’ unless they are really and truly part of the health team

That’s the point. Health orgs look at hiring SM managers, but rarely at compensating their professional staff for blogging.

If you look for an authentic (not corporate/speaker-driven) social media physician, see this Chicago allergist account:@allergistmommy

LITFL don’t run their posts by PR department, and don’t represent a hospital, etc. Different for official bloggers. *

(*LITFL = Life in the Fast Lane, and emergency medicine blog written by medical students and physicians)

Why did I want to keep a record of this conversation here?

  • In the hope that in 6 months or so the sentiments expressed by doctors on social media will have changed,
  • that those in healthcare who give back to the community by taking the time to blog will be enabled to do so more
  • that they won’t bet stymied by a corporate policy
  • or have to give up because they don’t have time.

and in my corner of the research world we are seeing that happen – researchers are blogging not because they are compensated but because it’s part of what they want to do to disseminate information. We are also seeing that this has an impact in conferences, grant applications and clinical discussions and debates online. There is definitely a change in the air.