The telephone is obsolete: How my patients contact me today “Doctor’s office; please hold.” You’ll never hear that when you call me. Never. You’ll also never get an automated answering system (I’m just referring to office hours, of course. Evenings and weekends the phone goes to Google Voice. More on that below.) We are also in the middle of a communication revolution. There are now so many other ways patients ...

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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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By now, it’s common knowledge that people should be careful about what they post to social media sites — especially job seekers. But if you’re a resident or physician, you need to be especially careful because of HIPAA. Again, this seems like common sense. But the more popular social media becomes, the more the lines are blurred. For most people, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other sites are a part of day-to-day life. It’s easy ...

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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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