The Physician Blogger: Not that Strange

by Bradley Jobling on April 26, 2011

If you ask a doctor if they should participate in social media, it seems as if the same excuse comes up time and time again. That such involvement would create a breach of physician and patient privacy. This is said even though most doctors have been marketing in one form or another for many years.

Communicating with a doctor outside of the office is not new or unknown. So the notion that social media involvement would open up a Pandora’s box of inappropriate entanglement just doesn’t make sense. Social media is just the newest adaptation of marketing and external communication. The only caveat to this is that the physician should handle themselves online as the ultimate professional.

The Physician Blogger

The Physician Blogger

I admit it is much easier to cross the line online. There aren’t any marketers, PR consultants, or other gatekeepers to protect any of us from making a very public mistake. Yet, any sort of prestige or professional advancement involves projecting your voice and putting your reputation on the line. If this is not done no one will know that you exist.

Scientists have always known they need to flog their expertise to obtain recognition. These is why peer-review medical journals such as JAMA and BMJ exist. Within this publication process the researcher answers questions and responds to criticism. It’s foolish for that professional not do this within a social media environment such as blog thereby taking advantage of the new media technologies and the advantages they can bring. Those who take this leap and and innovate will be the ones that thrive.

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