Bertalan Meskó, MD, PhD, became a medical futurist, he says, "to merge my two selves - being a doctor and being a geek." As he comments in a recently released Stanford Medicine X video, "There was no profession for that; I designed one."
As a young medical student, Meskó would look for genetics information on the web but realized it was difficult to find "quality, dynamic, changing resources online." So he built Webicina.com, a curated source for social media resources in medicine and health care, comprising more than 6,000 resources on 140 medical conditions and specialties in 20 languages. He also began teaching online courses on social media for medical students and physicians, with a current attendance of 3,000 worldwide, to teach them how to use Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube and blogs efficiently and to communicate with e-patients using these tools and e-mail.
Meskó, who taught a course at this year's Medicine X, summarizes his work as a medical futurist in a changing, dynamic world: "It's about medical communication, not social media." Do online as you would do in person, and social media can help to bring doctors and e-patients into a closer, more productive relationship.
Previously: Bertalan Meskó discusses how mobile technologies can improve the delivery of health care, A conversation about digital literacy in medical education and The importance of curation and communities when crowdsourcing clinical questions