Aspire to decency. Practice civility toward one another. Admire and emulate ethical behavior wherever you find it. Apply a rigid standard of morality to your lives; and if, periodically, you fail ­ as you surely will,  ­ adjust your lives, not the standards. -Ted Koppel This week started out ordinary enough but took a quick turn when I got a message from the media director at my university that a 14 month ...

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How doctors use Twitter to battle emotional fatigueAs a member of the Integrated Media and Technology Committee of ASCO, I have tried to champion the benefits of social media, whether it be on blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, or otherwise. As I have become more engaged in various outlets, it has become apparent that these channels offer more than an opportunity to discuss the latest research and meet or ...

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I recently tweeted asking about favorite patients, physicians, and students on Twitter and was met with a plethora of shocked tweets at my inclusion of patients as potential Twitter interests. Perhaps other medical friends interpreted this as being similar to meeting people in clinic and asking for their Twitter handle (which is not something I do) or maybe people really think it’s wrong to follow patients on Twitter, I don’t know. However, I do ...

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This month is an anniversary of sorts. About a year ago, I joined Twitter.  It started when I noticed that after a few of my blog posts were tweeted, my stats climbed.  Thinking I could build a larger readership, I jumped in. I took the first steps with trepidation. I signed up for NetworkedBlogs which simultaneously announced my posts on Twitter and Facebook upon publication. It took a few days to understand Twitter lingo. At first I struggled ...

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Though I've personally been writing online for coming up on eleven years—basically the span of my entire medical career—I've never purported to be a pundit or expert when it comes to the topic of social media in medicine.  In some ways actually, I feel like Willy Loman, who built his little house in the middle of a field and later found himself surrounded by skyscrapers.  But the Internet ...

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I got a really unexpected honor recently: according to Sharecare, I’m the top online influencer for children’s health. I truly didn’t see it coming. I didn’t go into the online space to be an influencer. I’ve been writing about health and parenting for more than twenty years; when publishing moved into the online space, I just moved along with it. But having been online, blogging and doing other social ...

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I recently experienced my first Facebook-era death. It had been several years - long before the ubiquity of social media – that I had last lost a relative, and I quickly discovered that experiencing loss and grieving online comes with a unique set of pros and cons. I learned of my uncle’s stroke the old-fashioned way: via phone. My parents and I kept in steady contact that way over the next 36 hours, but it was Facebook that filled me in ...

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It happened exactly one week ago today.  I was sleepily putting my phone down to take a shower after a long night of call.  I can't explain the exact sequence of events, but in the blink of an eye my mobile fell into a full sink of water.  I grabbed it with lightning fast reflexes and blotted it dry with a towel.  As I expected, it was dead. After an extensive ...

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Key opinion leaders (KOL) are still one of the most important corner stones for the marketing machines of pharmaceutical companies. Their network, expertise, reach and authority is what pharma is interested in. We’ve written about KOL stardom in the past and how to attain it. In this post I’d like to take a closer look at the implications social media has on KOL’ism. First off, let me tell you one ...

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The patient satisfaction industry needs to be disrupted. This old, legacy industry, with it's outdated and overpriced technology needs a serious makeover. I work for a large physician group that uses a well-established patient satisfaction vendor. And I have had no end of frustration trying to figure out how the data I get back can be used to actually improve my practice and the overall patient experience. Don't get me wrong; I ...

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