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Social Media for Doctors

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter....media becoming more and more popular with people all over the world. But these are only for people to catch up with each other right? WRONG. I resisted joining or participating in any of these forms of communication until recently I took the plunge. Why? I saw it as another way to communicate with not only my patients but people everywhere. According to kevinmd.com 24% of Americans read blogs and there are a combined 120 million monthly visitors to Facebook and Twitter. 120 million!! More than half of people that use Facebook and Twitter are under the age of 34. It stands to reason that as this population ages, they will consult social media outlets for medical advice.


The power of social media....as reported by The Globe and Mail - London Health Sciences Centre launched a public information campaign about a dying infant in its care. The case went viral, videos sprung up, petitions and campaigns started, a website and facebook page were created and within a short period of time the page had 13,300 members! Amazing.


Lets say you tear your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and you see your doctor a few weeks later - your doctor recently came across a new technique for ACL Reconstruction or even the rehab afterwards....but forgets to tell you. With social media, that content can be posted or updated almost realtime and you have instant access and knowledge. And so do your family and friends.


But there are concerns, privacy being the biggest. I do not recommend discussing individual cases or providing patient advice via blog, facebook or twitter - a clear violation of HIPPA. Rather I envision it being a forum for education on general medical and orthopedic topics, from health care reform and medicare to rotator cuff tears and ankle fractures.


It has been said that doctors who are not on facebook, twitter, and blogs risk becoming irrelevant (kevinmd.com)....so I took the plunge. Follow me on Facebook (Amit Sahasrabudhe), Twitter (DrAmitSports), and my blog (www.doctoramit.com).


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