It all started with my sending a tweet. Actually, that's not quite true. The way it really started was with my frail elderly patient calling me in mid-January, to tell me he thought he had a UTI. But that part of the story is not new and novel; I've often had patients contact me with similar concerns. I did what I usually do: ordered a urinalysis (UA)  and urine culture (UCx). (I ...

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Why doctors should use their real name on Twitter The General Medical Council (UK) published new guidelines that state, “If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name. Any material written by authors who represent themselves as doctors is likely to be taken on trust and may reasonably be taken to represent the views of the profession more widely.”  This has ...

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Twitter makes me a better doctor: 4 reasons why I use Twitter Even as social media use among physicians gains popularity, I continue to hear doubts echoing from my fellow medical students, residents, and attendings, particularly about the use of Twitter. Many of them ask how using Twitter has benefited me, and my answer almost always makes them stop and think. My life has been enriched by the network of intelligent and forward-thinking people I have connected with ...

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In 2012, tension over online doctor reviews ran high. As the New York Times reported, physicians were turning to third-party reputation management firms who used legal threats to silence critical patients on the web. Information freedom non-profits and tech media outlets responded with investigations and an FTC complaint. As a former practitioner, I sympathize with some doctors’ apprehension about online reviews; the desire to protect oneself from unfair or ...

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During a routine office visit, I was discussing activities and extracurriculars with a bright 10-year old girl. She loved talking about her dance team, gymnastics, and her new hobby of horseback riding. Towards the end of our conversation, however, she said something that surprised me: “And, I am addicted to Pinterest.” I turned to her mother, who was also in the exam room, and asked, “Did you know she is on Pinterest? ...

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The transformation of healthcare in the information age The transformation of healthcare in the information ageThis is the Foreword from Establishing, Managing, and Protecting Your Online Reputation: A Social Media Guide for Physicians and Medical Practices by Kevin Pho, MD, and Susan Gay (Greenbranch Publishing, 2013). Information technology is transforming the way we teach, learn, communicate, work, play, and think. And there are few areas in which ...

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When it comes to attracting new patients using the Internet is crucial. Many people begin their searches for new products and services online. You may have heard before that word of mouth is the best type of advertising. While that is true, it is important to realize that a lot of that communication between people is happening online, rather than in person. It is important for physicians to use social media ...

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There’s been a lot of talk over the last year or so about the benefits (and some drawbacks) of physicians using social media. Social media use by physicians has become so widespread here in Canada that the Canadian Medical Association has actually developed guidelines to help physicians understand the rules of engagement on the web. But while there has been a lot of attention ...

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Even if you’re not involved on social media as a business, your employees or staff are more than likely on social media in their personal lives. And even innocent-seeming posts, tweets, pins or shares can leads to big repercussions if they are perceived as violating patient confidentiality. It is because of this that every medical office needs to set a social media policy to avoid any privacy or HIPAA violations. First ...

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The use of social media is a tricky business. A recent Wall Street Journal article points out the challenges that CEOs and business leaders face when using Twitter. Many CEOs and other executives relate stories of personal attacks and cyber stalking from disgruntled customers, former employees or competitors. Some have opted out of the social media space due to specific legal concerns. Other very successful business leaders continue ...

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