An anesthesiologist at a California hospital pasted stickers simulating a mustache and teardrops on the face of a hospital employee while she was having surgery on a finger. According to the Los Angeles Times, the doctor said, "I thought she would think this is funny and she would appreciate it." And if that wasn't bad enough, a "nursing attendant" took a photograph. The patient, who said she had to quit her job ...

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When a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant or any other professional graduated from university, or moved to a new town, he or she would most often locate a nice little office, prepare it for the big day and hang out a shingle to let the world know that new services are available. The world back then consisted of the immediate neighborhood in the big city or an entire small town ...

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Most social media guidelines for physicians, most recently from the American College of Physicians and Federation of State Medical Boards, suggest that doctors separate their personal and professional identity. Until physicians are better educated on how best to act professionally on social networks, keeping their online personal lives private is more likely to keep them out of trouble. But is it time for that recommendation to be revised? In a recent JAMA perspective ...

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A support group has many potential benefits, some of which include improving coping skills, reducing anxiety, depression, isolation, ignorance about the condition and others.  Online patient communities (OPCs) are a recent phenomenon.  Some are open (with respect to type of member or fee) and some are more focused and closed.  Irrespective of the type, OPCs have blossomed. It is a major indication of social media’s penetration into healthcare (or vice versa) and 
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Recently, Dr. Mike Sevilla decided to hang up his podcasting mic, his blogging tools, his Twitter creds, and his Facebook presence, all in one fell swoop. Find out more about Mike the man, and why he decided to take this drastic action, at his website. Now, I have known Mike for some time on Twitter primarily, where we will sometimes comment back and forth about issues of the day ...

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What does managing a loved one’s digital legacy really look like? With the recent Pew Report announcing that “caregivers are wired for support” and digital estate planning resources entering our mainstream consciousness, many of us have been inspired to think about the end of life and our online selves.  And we should.  Hundreds of thousands of Facebook users die each year, the average American believes that she has almost $55,000 worth of digital assets, though most of ...

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Medical conversations are happening on Twitter, not Facebook When Twitter initially launched I was largely skeptical on how it could be utilized in medicine.  Initially I thought Facebook was a better option due to the ability to use more than 140 characters. Over time though, it has become clear the medical conversations are happening on Twitter, not Facebook. An example of this is when we highlighted the #FOAMed movement — Free Open ...

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Hidden amongst all the intense media coverage surrounding Facebook’s IPO, there was a news item that was covered so briefly that if you blinked you may have missed it: Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, took a trip to Japan and during this visit told Japan’s Prime Minister that the terrible Tsunami that had struck the country in 2011 had inspired him to find ways that the social network could help people ...

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The General Medical Council in Britain released new guidelines on social media for medicine. Essentially, if you are a doctor in the United Kingdom the GMC does not believe that you should be able to tweet/blog/post anonymously if you self-identify as a physician. The exact wording is as follows: "If you identify yourself as a doctor in publicly accessible social media, you should also identify yourself by name. Any material ...

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How Edward Snowden and PRISM affect health care social media Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing on the NSA’s PRISM program raises some interesting questions regarding social media in healthcare. I had a few physicians both inside and outside of the community I manage ask, “Is the government watching what I say about my clinical experiences?” The answer is of course “Not yet,” but the sentiment weighs heavier than the question, and the weeklong dip ...

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