The great debate about whether physicians and medical professionals belong on social media has been raging for a while. On the one hand, social media is where their patients are. It offers an easy way to connect with patients (and potential patients) at a very low cost. BUT, many social media platforms are unsecure, and it’s relatively easy to make a misstep. It’s also easy to blur the boundary lines between a patient and healthcare professional. Unless, of course, you limit your professional social media exposure to the platforms that are more, well, professional. Unlike Facebook, Youtube, tumblr and Instagram, these professional social media platforms are really about professional networking, instead of sharing family photos videos and personal interests.
Professional platforms are more accountable. They actually take the worry out of social media, because they verify credentials, are HIPAA-compliant and are encrypted, adding another layer of security. They let physicians network with one another, collaborate on difficult cases, share resources and ideas and exchange observations. These include:
- Mendeley.com that use to be BioMedExperts.com: Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network. Make your own fully-searchable library in seconds, cite as you write, and read and annotate your PDFs on any device.
- Linked-In: offers professional networking across all industries
- Doximity.com: offers networking for physicians in the U.S.
- QuantiaMD.com: Practical Advice for Practicing Physicians offers a collaboration platform for physicians
- Sermo.com: users can collaborate on difficult cases, exchange observations, get help with patient care and practice management and be anonymous if you chose. Medical crowdsourcing in action. Global community talking about real world medicine.
- MedicalMingle.com: offers blogs, job postings and career resources for those working in or studying in the medical and health care field
- Twitter: Makes it easy to follow accounts of official associations like AAP @AmerAcadPeds, JAMA @JAMA, the Lancet @The Lancet, AMC @AAMCToday, ACR Radiology @RadiologyACR, CDC Global Health @CDCGlobal, Modern Healthcare @modrenhealth, Hospital Review @BeckersHR, Kevin Pho, MD @kevinmd, Atlantis Worldwide @AtlantisLLC and more.
We’ve all seen the stories, where someone is fired for making a negative comment about their boss on Facebook. In the long run, it’s just plain better to play it safe.
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About the author: Vikki Harmonay