I’ve come across so many helpful and insightful articles on medical and science professionals’ use of social media lately that I’m compelled to share a few. Last week on Wing of Zock, Cynthia Floyd Manley, associate director of public affairs and marketing at Vanderbilt University, shared nuggets from a recent conference on digital professionalism and reminded readers why maintaining a digital presence is so important for doctors. (She quoted Bryan Vartabedian, MD: “Physicians have two choices, really. They can participate in the discussion that is happening online and frame the story, or they can let someone else frame the story for them.”)
Earlier in the month, the PLOS blog Mind The Brain published a Q&A with a young scientist who uses Twitter to connect with other researchers and learn more about what’s happening in her field. She provided concrete tips for those scientists who want to dip their toes in the Twitter waters and also shared how the platform connects her with other academics:
I feel that with Twitter, my academic world expanded to include many colleagues I wouldn’t otherwise meet. I am now able to keep my finger on the academic pulse better. The information shared on Twitter is so much more current than you would find on journals or conferences. For instance, academics I follow post their latest articles on Twitter that would otherwise probably take me months to learn about. I can then ask questions of the authors themselves and chat with them. I think we all love to talk about our work!
And just today, MedCrunch featured a piece singing the praises of Twitter (which prolific blogger and social-media expert Kevin Pho, MD, calls here “the most powerful application for listening and for keeping informed about what’s happening in the science and medical communities”) and encouraging physicians to – at a minimum – create and maintain professional profiles on LinkedIn. As Susan Williams writes in her post, “defining your reputation by illustrating your credentials and your authority in your field affects two of the most important patient-doctor relationship traits: respect and trust.”
Previously: How should doctors respond to negative reviews?, A reminder to young physicians that when it comes to social media, “it’s no longer about you”, How using Twitter can benefit researchers, Advice for physicians when interacting with patients online and How can physicians manage their online persona? KevinMD offers guidance