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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Traditionally, a physician’s reputation was best established and passed along by word of mouth.  Discussions among friends or at church, sporting events or civic groups often provided the information necessary for potential patients to choose a healthcare provider.  Today, most patients and consumers of healthcare get information about medical conditions and physicians online. Some ...

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There are no longer any doubts if patients Google their doctors. Social media, your website, and Google are parts of virtually every patient’s search for a doctor. Google is a reference check and has become the most important tool to establish sufficient level of trust for an appointment to be scheduled. I recently published 12 case studies where doctors’ reputations were improved with mobile technology and the impact they made on ...

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