Social media

Doctors have a duty to engage in social media

Some physicians may be hesitant to participate in social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter.

Well, get over it.

Great post by pediatrician Bryan Vartabedian who addresses this topic. Indeed, physicians have lost control of the online message, especially with, according to recent data, 60+ percent of patients visiting the web first when looking for health information.

Instead, anti-vaccine proponents and homeopaths have embraced the Internet, and now exert tremendous influence on …

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CNN recommends following @KevinMD on Twitter

What do I have in common with The White House and the American Medical Association?

cnn twitter We all have health care Twitter feeds recommended by CNN.com.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook, where now you can text “fan kevinmdblog” to FBOOK (32665) and become a fan (standard charges may apply).

What are you waiting …

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Everybody loses when physician conferences restrict medical news reporting

by Robert Stern, MA, CCMEP

Almost a decade ago, I had a simple idea — deliver fast, accurate medical news to clinicians in a format that was easily accessible, and turn that news into a “teachable moment.” Almost five years ago, that idea became reality with the launch of MedPage Today.

Monday through Friday (and if news is happening, Saturday and Sunday, too), MedPage Today delivers on our promise of “Putting Breaking …

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How a nursing student got expelled for blogging

Here’s an example of how health care professionals should not blog.

Michelle Fabio writes, in a guest post on Better Health, about the travails of a nursing student, who blogged about watching a patient give birth:

When school officials read [nursing student] Yoder’s post, which included a description of the baby as a “creep” and “a wrinkly, bluish creature, all Picasso-like and weird, ugly as hell, covered in god knows what, screeching …

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What if newspapers reported science the way they cover the World Series?

by Larry Husten, Ph.D.

October brings the Nobel Prize announcements and the World Series. No one will mistake media coverage of one for the other. Each Nobel Prize will get one article and 10 seconds on the evening news. A soft feature will quote the new Nobel recipient’s complete surprise at the 4 AM phone call.

By contrast, baseball, like all major sports, is covered in great depth, by legions of sports …

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Scenes from Blog World Expo 2009 and the future of medical social media

One of the largest gatherings of medical bloggers took place this past week at Blog World Expo 2009 in Las Vegas.

The panel discussions were enlightening and insightful, and it was wonderful to meet so many of my fellow medical bloggers in person.

I participated in a panel discussion talking about the history of medical blogs, entitled, The State of the Health Blogosphere: We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby. Simply having …

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10 top medical blog posts, September 2009

Here are the top posts from the past month, based on the number of times they were viewed.

1. An analysis of Barack Obama’s health care reform speech to Congress

2. A patient dies after doctors fail to communicate in the operating room

3. Medical students using Facebook and Twitter can get expelled

4. How long are you contagious after being infected with H1N1 influenza?

5. The ultrasound that saved …

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September 2009 was the busiest month on record, thanks to you

September was the busiest month in the 5 1/2 year history of the blog.

KevinMD traffic

A variety of new voices and insight have recently been featured, providing plenty of impetus for debate. Many thanks both to these guest posters, and to those who leave comments. If you’d like to submit a post for consideration, which can be re-purposed from …

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Medical students using Facebook and Twitter can get expelled

by Chris Emery, Contributing Writer, MedPage Today

A large number of U.S. medical schools say students have posted unprofessional material on Web sites such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, but few schools have adequate policies in place for dealing with such behavior, a new study found.

medpage-today Of 78 U.S. medical schools that responded to a survey, 60% reported incidents of …

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Why doctors and nurses should engage in social media

Instead, the question should be, why shouldn’t you?

Kim McAllister, over at Better Health, gives some good reasons why health professionals should start a blog. But it shouldn’t just be limited to blogging, but the entire spectrum of social media tools, which give health professionals a powerful way to engage both patients and colleagues.

I recently gave a talk to the folks over at the New England Journal of Medicine, discussing …

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Medical bloggers at Blog World Expo, October 15th, 2009

I have been graciously invited to participate on a panel in the medical blogger track at Blog World Expo 2009, held in Las Vegas on Thursday, October 15th.

blog-world-expo My panel, entitled, The State of the Health Blogosphere: We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby, will be moderated by Emergiblog’s Kim McAllister. I am honored to be joined by Nick Genes …

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Why do people cling to false health reform beliefs?

Blame motivated reasoning.

Newsweek’s Sharon Begley writes about the phenomenon, which goes a long way why the myth about “death panels” continues to persist in the health reform conversation. She cites the work of sociologist Steve Hoffman, who explains: “Rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.”

And with a growing majority obtaining their …

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Talking health care reform and social media in medicine

I’ve made several radio appearances recently, so here’s your chance to listen to me, in case you can’t get enough of the blog.

health-in-30 A few weeks ago, I appeared on Barbara Ficarra’s Health in 30 Radio Show talking about social media and medicine. Are doctors behind the curve when it comes to social media? Is the medical profession slow …

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Are network morning news shows an emerging public health threat?

Journalism professor Gary Schwitzer is the foremost health media watchdog, with his organization rigorously monitoring the health content of major media.

During the past year, he notes a disturbing trend. According to his analysis, the health segments on network television morning shows, “unquestioningly promote new drugs and new technologies, feed the ‘worried well’ by raising unrealistic expectations of unproven technologies that may produce more harm than good, fail to ask …

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Should you follow medical advice from The Huffington Post?

The Huffington Post is one of the most prominent, and fastest growing, news sites, and as pediatrician Rahul Parikh puts it, “one of the most valuable pieces of real estate on the Internet these days.”

They have a prominent health and wellness section, but as you can read from Dr. Parikh’s piece, The Huffington Post is crazy about your health, readers be warned.

As with their approach to other topics, The Huffington …

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Should doctors friend their patients on Facebook?

As more physicians are on social networking sites. that’s an issue that some are grappling with.

The NEJM has a nice perspective piece on the issue. After realizing that a recent friend request came from a former patient, Sachin Jain thinks about the ramifications.

Dr. Jain writes that, “In confirming this patient as my “friend” on Facebook, I was merging my professional and personal lives. From my Facebook page, Ms. …

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Poll: Is Twitter necessary for physicians and other medical professionals?

Twitter has captured the mainstream imagination, with celebrities and news organizations embracing the medium.

Will Twitter soon be an essential tool for medical practices?

Twitter is a social media service where users can communicate with one another in 140 characters or less. More doctors are using Twitter to connect both with patients and other medical professionals. Some hospitals have “live-Tweeted” surgery, to great fanfare, allowing the public a peek into the operating …

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I’ll be on the Health in 30 Radio Show, Thursday, July 30th at 12:30pm Eastern

health-in-30I’ll be appearing live on the Health in 30 Radio Show on Thursday, July 30th at 12:30pm Eastern, talking about medicine and social media.

Barbara Ficarra will be your host, and you can listen live on the web. Here’s the release:

We’ll talk about social media for health care professionals and we want to hear from you. Is …

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