Susanna Harris was sitting in her lab class for her graduate program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when she received an email that told her she had failed what she describes as “the most important exam in grad school,” the doctoral qualifying exam. She took the rest of the day off, went home, and baked cookies. Harris continued with her regular schedule: lab, work, home, repeat. Everything ...

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In family medicine residency back in the early 2000s, we had a then-novel curriculum in narrative medicine. During inpatient rounds, we would sometimes get a few minutes to write down our thoughts about a patient's experience. I remember how cathartic even refreshing at times that felt, to write my feelings about my first patient on the wards with severe heart failure or that sweet toddler I had to put an ...

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I am at a conference that is encouraging physicians to engage in social media. This is something I was always a proponent of. I felt strongly that as physicians, we help set the tone of accurate medical information. Especially now in this age of disinformation and "alternative facts," our voices are crucial. I used to be an active Twitter user. I had 21,000 followers and was verified — with a blue ...

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"Mens sana, in corpore sano," goes the old Latin saying. "A healthy mind in a healthy body."  It’s vital that way pay proper attention not only to our physical existence but to our minds and souls; to the intangible but essential part of who we are. While I write a lot about things we need to do to keep our bodies healthy, it’s important to remember that our eyes and minds ...

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I'm excited to introduce my Facebook group for physicians, Physician voice by KevinMD. I went into social media so our voices can be heard. During my 15-year (and counting!) journey, it's been so rewarding to see that our voices aren't just being heard. They're making a difference. Topics will include any issue that impacts physicians: practice management, social media ...

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Pseudoscience hate groups of all kinds are targeting physicians who openly advocate for public health issues. This is a favorite intimidation tactic used by anti-vaccine activists: When pediatrician colleague Jen Trachtenberg posted a video for National Immunization Awareness Month 2018, she was blasted with thousands of horrible comments and fake online reviews. I wrote a blog post in her defense, and immediately, I was similarly ...

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Thank you to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists for the honor of keynoting AACE 2019 this weekend. The picture above was the Q&A session in the exhibit hall after the keynote. As you can see, there continues to be tremendous physician interest in navigating the health care-social media intersection. Next weekend, I'll be in Chicago keynoting Becker’s Health IT + ...

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As first reported by The Wall Street Journal late last month, the war against anti-vaccination propaganda now has a new battlefront. Pinterest, the social-media platform where users discover images and information, has begun blocking vaccine-related search terms on its site. Anti-vaccine content contradicts evidence-based science and established research, the company told WSJ, while cautioning that the search ban is only 
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This article is sponsored by Careers by KevinMD.com. We live in a time when social media isn’t just about sharing pictures or ideas with a close circle of friends and family. Between our Facebook statuses, our Twitter profiles and especially our LinkedIn pages, we are always public, all the time — no matter what your privacy settings may have you believe. For ...

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People often say that they can die happy if … Well, I have no intention of dying, but one of my goals in life was achieved recently. Historically, Facebook moms groups have been the bane of existence for many physicians, particularly pediatricians. We are often rated and compared like hotel mattresses. Well, last night one of my friends texted me, “Your practice is getting a lot of love on Facebook.”  Now, ...

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“In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.” - Abraham Maslow. The New York Times recently published the op-ed “Dr. Google is a Liar,” written by cardiologist Haider Warraich, MD. Dr. Warraich describes the rise of fake medical news and the adverse consequences of a population who gets their medical information from social media. He shares that ...

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The internet truly is a wondrous invention. It has evened the playing field with a wide swath of people now having access to information that used to be possessed in the hands of only the elite few not too long ago. However, as with most things, there can be downsides associated with any tool of progress. Yelp Yelp is a powerful social tool that allows individuals to share experiences, good or bad, so that ...

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From the beginning of medical school, one of the first things “instructional videos” that we had to watch during orientation was about “social media” and what “not to do.” There began this stigma, and it was frowned upon to use social media if you were a clinician. There are the obvious things that physicians should not do, such as post private information about patients, show a patient’s face without their permission, ...

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I am certain that many of you might be familiar with the intelligent, vibrant young lady named Brittany Maynard. Brittany's story was so compelling to the world that it reached the most outstanding and historic numbers through digital media. Ms. Maynard was only 29, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and decided that she would end her own life "when the time seemed right." Maynard was an advocate ...

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For Apple iPhone users, the release of iOS 12 included a new feature called “Screen Time.” Although a number of productivity apps that offered a similar snapshot of phone usage were available before this update, I was never interested in quantifying my usage. Now, on a weekly basis, I get a reminder of the exact percentage breakdown of how I’m using my phone. In true millennial fashion, a review of my ...

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During rounds, in between seeing patients, the medical student pulls out his phone and scans a dating app for new matches. In the team room, a resident opens Facebook before responding to a non-urgent page. Each of these instances may seem trivial enough, but I’ve seen both lead to poor evaluations, reprimands, or others whispering terms like “unprofessional.” In the medical world, there’s an implicit understanding that while you’re at work, ...

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An opinion piece published in JAMA suggests the latter: "Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and 'Fake News'" The authors argue social media poses a threat to science in several ways:

  • Unfettered publication of unvetted information by sources of unknown reliability.
  • An emerging tactic of decrying disagreeable content as “fake” or part of a “conspiracy.”
  • Opponents of evidence-based research who perpetuate ...

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I use social media.  Specifically, I use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.  In the beginning, I did so for utilitarian purposes.  As a columnist and aspiring writer of books, these were (and indeed are) useful marketing tools. I have, in the past, carried around a note-pad to jot down ideas.  I was never without my note-pad.  I always wanted a small legal-pad with a blue or black gel-ink pen.  It was my ...

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Facebook. Where else could I stumble on a video of a baby hippo taking a bath, or Toto’s Africa performed on solo Harp? But among the shares and silliness and talent, there’s a dark side to Facebook. It’s become a fast way for quacks to push their scams and empty your wallet. Just today in my feed I received a promoted post about a “food sensitivity test.” I’m not going to link directly ...

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A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. It is not uncommon for my patients and their family members to ask for my credentials at the end of our preoperative interview. Despite reaching my forties, my Asian genes have allowed me to maintain a youthful appearance – often causing apprehension about ...

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