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Physician Social Networks: Are Doctors Liable For What They Say?

Last week I invited a local pediatrician to connect with me on a physician social network. I thought it would be cool to see how it might improve our ability to stay in touch and share information. In a return email she was enthusiastic, but qualified it by saying that she wouldn’t want to be held liable for anything she said.

It raises an interesting concern: Can a physician be held accountable for rendering an opinion in a clinical scenario casually presented in a physician network?

Water Cooler Risk

The question of liability for casual dialog is interesting, but not a new question. Doctors have been talking for years. At lunch conferences, in hallways, and in surgical lounges -– the curbside is a way of life for all of us. Good physicians, after all, almost never work alone. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

The Top Doctors On Twitter





Twitter Doctors is a new site that lists and ranks all the doctors who are active on Twitter based on the number of followers, retweets, etc. Currently I’m in the top 5 (, and I hope to stay there for awhile. If you aren’t included in the list, tweet about the website and follow @dawson to be included.

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Unease About Blogging And Social Media In Medicine

Although it happened a few weeks ago, I only recently learned of the “retirement” of the blog called “Medic999” by EMS social media superstar Mark Glencourse who works in the United Kingdom. I only learned of Mark and his blog (which was recognized as the 2009 Fire/EMS Blog of the Year) in the past few months in association with the hugely popular Chronicles of EMS project (see the first episode on video here).

In stating why he was stopping his blog, unfortunately, I find similar thoughts being shared by the medical colleagues I know about why people either stop blogging or don’t ever start in the first place:

I find it a shame that the reason for this blog ending is the general lack of understanding of blogging and social media. I feel that I have promoted best practice, shared my passion for the job that I do, and hopefully have shown all readers what it is that makes EMS and those that devote their lives to it so special.

However, there still remains a general unease about social media and blogging in the health service. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*

Evidence-Based Social Media In Medicine And Healthcare

I’ve started  a series on evidence-based social media in which I share peer-reviewed articles that focus on using social media in medicine or healthcare:

The key words used as well as the number and geographic location of searches can provide trend data, as have recently been made available by Google Trends. We report briefly on exploring this resource using Lyme disease as an example because it has well-described seasonal and geographic patterns.

Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

7 Reasons Why Doctors Should Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn logoI recently wrote about why doctors don’t use LinkedIn. While the post intended to break down why doctors weren’t inclined to use LinkedIn, I never meant to suggest that it can’t be helpful for practicing physicians.

Enough people messaged me and commented that I feel I should address the issues of doctors and LinkedIn with a broader perspective. So how could LinkedIn be important for the average physician?

1. Dig your well before you’re thirsty. I remember reading Harvey Mackey’s book back in the day which suggested that you should always have options lined up in the event that things don’t work out. Times are definitely changing. Different practice environments and models of care may favor those with an unusual element to their background. The evolution of the healthcare environment may force you to change what you do. Think about your skill sets and what you’ve accomplished — how does that define you? LinkedIn is a good place to showcase that part of you. 

2. LinkedIn is one element of your digital footprint that you control. Too many physicians are not concerned with their professional digital footprint. That is, the record of stuff that appears when you conduct a vanity search on Google or Bing.  In fact, it’s been suggested that Google has replaced the CV. When I search myself I find interviews and keynotes long forgotten that never made my CV. And unlike other searchable sources, the information on LinkedIn in in your control. Think about LinkedIn as home plate for your personal brand. If you don’t think of yourself as a personal brand, perhaps you should. LinkedIn will force the issue for you. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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