Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media disses physicians

The Mayo Clinic has always been at the forefront of the social media and health care intersection, and is the first institution to have an official Center for Social Media.

When they recently announced the invited first 13 members of their Advisory Board for the Mayo Clinic Center for Health Care Social Media, the first thing I noticed that there were zero physicians, and few with clinical experience.

What a slap in the face.

There’s little question that the qualifications of the selected members are beyond reproach, and all are respected luminaries in the health care social media field.

But this is the Mayo Clinic, one of the leading health care institutions in the country, so it’s odd that clinician-bloggers were blatantly ignored.

Bryan Vartabedian ponders the exclusion of physicians in a thoughtful post, writing,

physician involvement in all levels of social media is scarce. The medical profession has been dangerously slow to accept the ideals that the social health community promotes. Maybe physicians haven’t earned a seat at the table. Or better yet, perhaps past performance suggests that we have nothing constructive to add. Mayo’s exclusion of physicians in their initial stab at an advisory panel profoundly reflects the changing role of the traditional provider in the new social order.

That’s true. And yes, doctors can apply for one of the additional 12 seats, selected via crowdsourcing. But haven’t we done enough to earn at least one of the initial, invitation-only, seats?

Obviously not.

I said earlier in a video blog that the exclusion was a “disappointment.”

But maybe it’s the wake up call that physicians need to get engaged in social media, or else face exclusion in future social media leadership positions.

 is an internal medicine physician and on the Board of Contributors at USA Today.  He is founder and editor of, also on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

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