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If We Trust Doctors with Sharp Instruments, We Can Trust Them with Social Media

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

sharp edgeOK, let’s just say we borrowed our headline from Lee Aase, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media. (It’s flattery, not plagiarism, when the role model is the Mayo Clinic.)

Our point is that social media has taken a leadership role in healthcare marketing, and while some doctors remain distant to the idea, others doctors are early adopters and have embraced it.

Aase was quoted in a published article about social media (SM), and the fact that the Clinic holds “Tweet Camps” to train doctors how to use Twitter appropriately. He said: "If we can trust doctors with sharp instruments and narcotics, we can trust them with Twitter and Facebook."

There was a lot of reader interest in our previous post, Best Practices: Doctor Role Models (for Other Docs) in a Social Media World. We spotlighted a number of professionals, but only a few examples among many leaders.

Here are several more practitioners who actively use social media. Some names you may know, and others may be new to you. But all are role models worth seeing--especially for other doctors who may still be on the SM sidelines:

drval - Dr. Val Jones MD, Alexandria, VA

  • Twitter: @drval
  • Web: Better Health – Smart Health Commentary
  • Self-description in 140 Characters (or less): “MD founder of Better Health, LLC: a network of 130 medical bloggers, partnered with the CDC, ACP, Harvard Health Pubs & more.”

Ryan Madanick, MD, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Twitter: @RyanMadanickMD
  • Web: Gut Check - A blog about esophageal problems, gastroenterology, medicine, and medical education
  • 140 Characters: Gastroenterologist; GI/Hep Fellowship Prog Director @unc SOM, specializing in esophageal dxs, esp refractory conditions; moderator of #meded chat

Anna B. Reisman, MD, New Haven, CT

  • Twitter: @annareisman
  • 140 Characters: Primary care doctor, writer. (Associate Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, physician at Veterans Health Administration)

Natasha Burgert, Kansas City, MO

  • Twitter: @DoctorNatasha
  • Web: KC Kids Doc - A Parenting and Children's Health Blog
  • 140 Characters: Pediatrician, wife, mom, runner, and traveler. Posts do not replace visit with your doctor.

Mark Ryan, Richmond, VA

  • Twitter: @RichmondDoc
  • Web: Life in Underserved Medicine – One family doctor’s life in medically underserved communities http://www.RichmondDoc.blogspot.com/
  • 140 Characters: RVA family doc, work w/ underserved patients/communities. Opinions = mine. HCSM/HCSMLA

Matthew Katz, New England

  • Twitter: @subatomicdoc
  • 140 Characters: I am a community-based doctor learning how to use social media to improve cancer care and society. All content represents me, myself and I, none other.

Richard Just, MD, Escondido, CA

  • Twitter: @chemosabe1
  • Web: justOncology - Musings on health, illness & evidence based medicine
  • 140 Characters: A 36 year practitioner & advocate of community hematology and oncology. Now sharing thoughts, and musings about life, health, sickness and what matters.

Dr. Rob Lamberts, Augusta, GA

  • Twitter: @doc_rob
  • Web: Doctor-Rob.org Because They Wouldn't Give Me ".disorg"
  • 140 Characters: Doctor, Medical Blogger, Poet, Better with ketchup, Not to be followed while operating heavy machinery (you shouldn't be lifting the machinery anyhow).

Doctor D, United States

  • Twitter: @Doctor_D_MD
  • Web: Ask An MD
  • 140 Characters: On-line persona of a real doctor. Quoted by the NY Times. I ramble about doctor-patient relationships, etc. I used to drop knowledge on my blog. Now I tweet it.

Doctor Charles

  • Twitter: @examiningroom
  • Web: The Examining Room of Dr. Charles is a blog about life in medicine.
  • 140 Characters: I'm a family doc who writes about medical news, curious knowledge, and life in medicine.

From humorous to serious, these examples reach across several professional disciplines and show a range of styles and purposes. Of course our list isn’t exhaustive…there are many others to be found online.

Please let us know how, where and when you are using social media in healthcare. Is there another example that you can point to as someone who can be trusted with “sharp instruments and social media?”

Stewart Gandolf, MBA

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