I have been asked to write up some of the core takeaways from the health care social media presentations I have been giving recently, so I am sharing a version of this narrative on HealthBlawg, in two parts.  This is Part II, you may wish to begin with Part I The American Medical Association has promulgated a social media policy; so has the Veterans Administration.  The two represent ...

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At the end of the day, I do not see social media as an end to itself. I enjoy the conversation and the opportunity to learn outside the walls of my medical school without having to put in too much effort. I relish the (illusion of?) freedom that it provides by drawing together the world’s most technology and innovation-driven minds. It allows high-level discussions of even the most esoteric topics ...

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As Match Day for the Class of 2012 quickly fades into the background and residency applications for my class begin to appear on the horizon, I find my classmates starting to disappear from Facebook and other socially-oriented websites. "Are you taking your blog down for application and interview season?" someone innocently asked, "I mean, some program directors just may not appreciate the social media involvement as much as you do." The question, ...

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Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it. - Bertolt Brecht In prior posts, I have discussed the issue of professionalism and social media.  I have also taken issue with medical organizations' extant social media guidelines.  In some of these posts' comments, it has been noted that there is no corresponding guideline or document that expressly discusses ...

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There's no question that social media is taking root in the healthcare field, and will only continue to grow in importance.  According to a recent Pew Internet survey, four out of five Internet users have searched for health information online, making health one of the most searched topics on the internet. While on the one hand, this is good news for doctors since patients are often using the information they ...

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Lifestyle interventions are effective, but require multiple visits of behavioral, nutrition, and exercise counseling over 6 months to 2 years if delivered true to original form.  Few medical centers offer such services, leaving this care to be handled by commercial vendors or simply leaving patients to deal with their weight on their own. This predicament is likely a factor in the development of a $60 billion fad diet industry, which ...

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In the old days, bullying used to consist of name calling or physical aggression from someone in a position of power over another, typically from a roughly similarly aged peer group. The bullying could be mild such as occasional name calling and having one’s books knocked down when walking in the hallway. This does not mean the effects of the bullying were mild but comparatively speaking, this is generally not ...

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Lots of pressure out there for you to be on Facebook and Twitter, right? The ultimate question, though, is how are you using Facebook and Twitter to support your goals? Are you connecting with patients? Are you reaching out to peers and friends? It is great to have a big following, but does that turn into real, authentic meaning for you? If you are like most doctors, the answer is ...

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I have decided to spam for public health. Phone calls, text messaging, and even apps have been shown to help improve health and sustain behavior change, even in people suffering from profound mental illness. But when it comes to using these tools for public health, there are two problems. The first is that each message (whether via phone call or text) costs money. The second is that it’s quite hard ...

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The physician’s decision to first dive into social media can be stress-inducing.  Issues of time management, maintaining professionalism, and determining a return on the personal investment can limit our use of the various platforms. Twitter offers me a unique platform that I may use to connect with patients. I use it as a virtual office location.  While making personal connections with potential patients sounds daunting, it is actually a very natural ...

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