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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As physicians and particularly surgeons, we deal with consent all the time. The process can be complex particularly for pediatric surgeons because we obtain it from the parents and the participation of the child in that process varies. For example, it is not unusual to be confronted with a parent who wants their child to undergo an elective operation. Yet that child, being 15 years-old, may have zero interest in ...

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The power of social media is clearly evident in cases such as the Russian influence on our election and Mark Zuckerberg‘s realization of the need for transparency on his powerful platform of Facebook. However, maybe not so evident, is the transformative power of social media on health care trends and misinformation. A popular new term for the misinformation regarding medical topics has arisen: pseudoscience. It has run rampant on sites such ...

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