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    Physicians shouldn’t shy away from social media

    Practical solutions to fears associated with online trends

     

    Concern 3: Physicians receiving information badly

    “While some senior physicians worried that young doctors might start to rely on tweets rather than peer-reviewed articles, it seemed that the most significant concern raised was the impact that the “Internet culture” was having on the practice of medicine.”

    Solution: Evaluate. Embrace. Engage.

    The digital culture we find ourselves in may not be everyone’s cup of tea. That said, there’s an old saying: “It is what it is.” Innovation has always been and will always be an important part of the advancement of modern medicine. We cannot pick and choose which emerging technologies to embrace and which ones to ignore. By that I mean, we live in a digital age. There are no time machines by which we can pick the decade or era we wish to practice in.

    The question is how to we practice and promote responsible use of the technologies available to us. Yes, it is my opinion that doctors will increasingly rely on faster access to health-related data in diagnoses, treatment and follow-up (the Internet). It is also my opinion that the same technology will make it easier and more reliable to collaborate and more effectively and efficiently treat all types of conditions. 

    Dermatologist patients both clinical and cosmetic will play a role in the responsible integration of the digital culture. How? By using the same information channels that senior physicians are concerned about. The Internet and social media are the ultimate check and balance medium. Healthcare consumers (social patients) will quickly share negative outcomes or bad experiences over the Web and social media. With this in mind, practitioners (both new and experienced) will continue to provide premier healthcare (or else).

    Concern 4: Physicians transmitting information badly

    “The ability afforded by social media to share information rapidly and broadly was another source of concern. Many senior physicians worried young doctors might use social media in unprofessional ways — sharing things they shouldn’t, saying things they shouldn’t — potentially placing themselves and their institutions at risk.”

    Solution: Get over it.

    This is not to trivialize the concern but to put it in a more realistic light. Every industry is going through this. Small groups of doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, stockbrokers, etc., have been making bad choices since the dawn of humanity. There is no way to stop it. We must all focus on the things we can control.

    What we can do is embrace the fact that online search and social media are powerful mediums and they are here to stay. So the real multibillion dollar question is what are you going to do about it?

    Medicine could be fun again. I am not a doctor. But that sounds like great advice to me. 

    Adam DeGraide
    Adam DeGraide is CEO and founder of Crystal Clear Digital Marketing

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