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October 10, 2012

Dr. Social Media

There's a New York Times article that was published a few days ago called Redefining Medicine with Apps and iPads and I can't bring myself to read it. The ugliness of the title is too much for me. "Redefining" medicine? What does that mean? "Apps"? You mean a trendy new fake-word for computer programs? "iPads"? You mean a registered trademark for a type of portable computer? Is this an advertisement? When I first got into the medical education game, everyone was convinced the PDA (remember that term?) would change medicine. Now it's "Apps and iPads?" Nope.

Doctors still carry pagers. Chew on that one for a bit.

But even so I'm pretty sure social media is going to be a big deal in medicine. It probably won't change anything about the clinical examination or treatments, but it definitely will change patient-physician interactions. But it will only have an effect if institutions allow doctors to use it. Patients really want doctors to use it. Doctors (at least those below a certain age and of a certain disposition) are eager to use it. But institutions have things like "legal departments" and are wary of things like "ethics violations" so there is resistance.

All this to say that this is a very good thing.

Posted by rbrent at October 10, 2012 07:22 AM

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