HealthCare SocialMedia Review #3: The Digital Doctors Edition

Posted by: in Healthcare Insights, MDigitalLife, Medical Communications on May 2, 2012

Welcome to the 3rd edition of the Healthcare Social Media Review!  I’ve been incredibly inspired by the wonderful work that’s been submitted on the subject of “Innovative Uses of Social Media By and For Physicians.”  As you’ll see, there’s some great new work from some folks who are likely familiar to you, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some new voices here as well.  Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best of the best:

To begin, John Mandrola‘s piece, “Six Reasons Why (I) Doctors Blog…” is a great, easily digestible primer for physicians who are asking themselves the big “WHY” – and was followed up nicely by Ves Dimov in “Reasons Why Doctors Blog.”

Well-known author, chef and physician John La Puma has a great take on the importance of doctor-generated social media on patients’ wellness (as opposed to “sick care”).  His piece, “Physicians Innovative Use of Digital and Social Media,” nicely illustrates that different angle.

Seattle’s Linda Pourmassina has written a great post, “MDs: Advice for the Next Generation,” for future doctors that includes some great advice about how to think about their social networks both on- and offline.

I like that fact that more and more doctors are taking advantage of different types of digital media to communicate. Neelesh Bhandari, in his post “3 Reasons Why Healthcare Professionals Cannot Afford To Give #hcsm a Miss,” incorporates a nice embedded slideshare presentation.

Mark Morgan, a family physician for the Indian Health Service in Arizona, has been crowdsourcing physicians’ resources on SoapNote for over three years.  His recent article, “Sharing clinical efficiencies online,” is a great introduction to his method.

Dave Chase has done a lot of good writing about the changing role of doctors.  In his Forbes piece, ‘”Primary Care Spring” unleashed by IBM,’ he argues that an IBM study on Patient Centered Medical Homes is inspiring revolutionary thinking about primary care.  I’m not so sure about the role that IBM has played in the movement, but I like the concept. Check out Jay W. Lee’s initial #FMRevolution post from back in March; this movement seems to be picking up steam by adding high-profile docs like Mike Sevilla to its revolutionary “membership.”

Speaking of Mike Sevilla, he recently gave a talk at the Northest Ohio Medical University.  In that “NEOMED Social Media Talk” he’s distilled the five essential social media tips for physician leaders.

Kate Crawshaw’s recent post, “Better ways to engage nurses online,” gives a nice look at how another incredibly important player in the continuum of care can be more effectively integrated.

Marie Ennis O’Connor has gone straight to the heart of the reason many doctors are considering the use of social and digital media in, “Using Social Media to Market and Brand Your Medical Practice.”

It’s always good to recognize a contrarian voice.  Dike Drummond ( makes the bold declaration that “Healthcare Social Media is a Waste of Time for Most Doctors.” This is worth a read for everyone as a sanity check; if you’re going to use social media, at least make sure you know why – and the reason shouldn’t be “because everyone else seems to be.”  I happen to disagree with the much of the premise, but then again, I’m one of the “social media consultants” that Dr. Drummond is talking about! 😉

Ted Eytan has long been among the most passionate and prolific advocates of digital communications in medicine.  In his piece, “Giving the voiceless a voice using social media, family violence prevention, and a walk with Brigid McCaw, MD” he touches an important subject: The fact that social media is enabling new voices to emerge in the healthcare system … voices that include both patients and doctors.

There are two doctors I know who have taken their social media thinking to an entirely different level, and are literally training other physicians on the day-to-day tactics associated with various types of social media activity.  The first, Howard Luks, recently posted a piece oriented to his own specialty; “What is the Future of Social Media for Orthopedic Surgeons?” The second, Bertalan Mesko, has introduced a series of self-study courses designed for doctors who are preparing to engage in social media: “Digital Literacy in Medical Education: Please Spread the Word!

It’s physician thought leaders (like many of those profiled here) who are leading the way for others. Bryan Vartabedian (in my opinion, the most advanced thinker on the role of social media in medicine), published a great piece on the future thought leading MDs, “Physician Thought Leaders in the Digital Age.”

I hope that the work by these brilliant folks has inspired you as much as it has me – I must say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my hosting role this week!  Thanks to all those who submitted their work – and stay tuned for the next edition! HealthCare SocialMedia Review has information about the next edition’s host and instructions on how to submit your posts for review in future editions.


By: Greg Matthews

Greg Matthews is the the creator and Managing Director of the W2O Group's MDigitalLife - Understanding, Engaging and Activating Physicians in the Digital Age

Find me on: Twitter
Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on! Join the conversation #precommerce.

3 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Great line up! Thanks for including my post on physicians using social media to brand and market their practice – it is great to see the examples of those doctors who are leading the way in their field.

  2. To get a first hand account of physicians using social media, check out the physicians listed in the health sprocket list; Ten Physicians to Follow on Twitter (2012)

  3. Nice review to view. Thanks

Some HTML is OK


(required, but never shared)

or, reply to this post via trackback.