Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

7 Observations About The Next Generation Of Physicians

For the last 4 years, I’ve been teaching medical and public health students about the use of social media and generally digital technologies in medicine and healthcare and I got a good picture of what kind of medical professionals they would become soon. They represent the new generation of physicians.

Here are my points and observations:

  1. They are technophile. I remember the time when there was no internet, I remember the first website I first saw online. They were born into the technology and internet-based world. For them, websites, Facebook, Twitter and blogs represent the basics. They love gadgets and devices.
  2. They are fast. They use smartphones, read news online, follow blogs and know what RSS is, they are familiar with multi-tasking. They are much faster than the previous generations, therefore they need different tools and solutions in their work.
  3. But they use the technology for non-professional purposes. Even if they know a lot about social media, they use it like everyone else outside medicine. As long as they don’t have professional motivation regarding the use of social media, they keep on using it for personal reasons. We must help them find the way to use the web in an optimal and efficient way.
  4. They like balance. They don’t want to become “Gods” for the patients even if they are trained like that and hate hierarchy. They soon realized common hierarchies are missing in the online world and what matters is the quality of work you do (just see Wikipedia). They need informed patients and want to work with e-patients. They are not afraid of them as they see such patients day by day in the circles of their families, friends and relatives. For them, the concept of being an empowered and enabled patient is absolutely not new.
  5. They live on the internet. They not only accept the dominance of the online world in almost all processess and activities, but it’s so natural for them. They have been doing banking, messaging, reading, studying and even shopping online their entire life. It’s obvious they want to use the internet when practicing medicine and they don’t really understand why they cannot use it right now in many areas of medicine.
  6. They are mobile. They don’t feel they should stay in one place and they are not afraid of moving to new places or even countries. They are also mobile because of their smartphones through which they are connected all the time to those who are important to them and to the information they need.
  7. They are the future. And as it strikes me, they don’t even know it (fortunately). They just want to use the online word in medicine and healthcare as well.

I’m trying to help them become better doctors who can meet the specific needs of e-patients, the new generation of patients. In this long process, I will make my course totally online this January. So then any students, medical professionals or e-patients could take and finish my course and know more about the medical segments of social media and the entire world wide web.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »