Anyone working in the pharma industry will know it has been a tough few years. Dwindling innovation in the drug pipelines, the impact of global economic pressures and an increasing global focus on healthcare cost containment have all combined in a perfect storm for the sector often regarded as recession-proof. As the backdrop to all this, social media has rapidly been finding its place as a powerful media in sectors selling ...

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It'll be no surprise to the readers of this blog that physicians' use of Twitter and other social media has been exploding over the last couple of years.  But it may surprise you to know how hard it is to really analyze that data. Last year Dr. Katherine Chretien of the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC, published an eye-opening study in a JAMA letter.  Until that point, ...

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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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1. You will have to move a lot. I went to medical school in Cleveland and did my pathology residency in San Francisco at UCSF.  I was on the medical school faculty at UCSF, Iowa, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, and Michigan State. Since leaving academic medicine, I have worked at a bio-tech start up in Cambridge, an educational and research institute in Grand Rapids, a $2 billion integrated delivery system ...

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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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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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