Is your doctor on MySpace, Facebook or Twitter?
Social media is expanding as a health information source for women as e-patients, consumers and caregivers with almost half of women on-line seeking health and wellness information and product reviews.
But, have you ever thought that your physician might be using social media?
If the thought frightens you, you might not be alone. However, there are patient privacy laws which protect patients from their MD’s inappropriate use of social media in the practice of medicine. This is a much debated topic which was extensively covered in the New England Journal of Medicine last March.
However, there are a growing number of doctors who are, in fact, using social media to benefit their patients and their practices.
Meet two exceptional physician innovators who are using social media to provide “personalized patient centric care”. Jen Dyer, MD and Jeff Livingston, MD have embraced social media as a professional medium – beginning with the teen population for diabetes management and teen pregnancy, respectively.
And, I know Jen and Jeff have much to opine on that subject so make sure you listen in or download to learn more!
Dr. Dyer is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus Ohio. Her current clinical and research interests include the developmental origins of insulin resistance, mechanisms of nutrition-induced oxidation, gestational diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, childhood obesity prevention, and health communications. Jennifer recently completed a text-messaging project with diabetic teens that improved accountability and, as a result, compliance with insulin intake.
She can be reached @endogoddess on twitter and has over 2,000 followers.
Jeff Livingston, MD work at MacArthur OB/GYN, in Irving, Texas, and has a Facebook account with over 700 fans. The practice wanted a place to provide information on women’s health, however most new moms used the site to say thank you and “show off pictures of their newborns.”
Dr. Livingston, one of five doctors at MacArthur, monitors their Facebook account once a day. One question a patient posted on the wall was “Can my fetus acquire an infection if she swam in a public pool?.” Dr. Livingston thought maybe the question was too personal, until he remembered that many women have asked this question. So he answered her on Facebook.
Dr. Livingston’s goal with social media is to make the experience more personal through technology such as his MySpace page. His role model is more Marcus Welby than Sanjay Gupta. “If you go back two generations, doctors came to your house. They lived in your community. They probably went to the same church. With social media what we’re really doing is going back and creating a more personal experience with technology.”
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