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Tweetchats: Are They Good For Doctors?

[Recently] some of us participated in the flagship physician Tweetchat (MDChat). Or better, I tried to participate between finishing up some calls and choking down a bean burrito.

When the idea was initially proposed to me I committed only to supporting its initiation with the occasional role of host. I’m simply overcommitted, but wanted to support Phil Baumann and those who were willing to try to break new ground. So I lurked, chewed, and pondered.

Doctors or not, everyone knows I’ve been a pretty lukewarm proponent of the tweetchat. I think they’re noisy, difficult to follow, and too abbreviated for constructive dialog. As early adopters I think we tend to put the novelty of the medium above its practicality.

With that said, chats can be fun. It’s a situation where I feel comfortable while at once restless. Kind of like at a medical staff meeting where the agenda doesn’t hold me quite as much as just being among my friends.

At the end of the day I might agree with Dr. Anonymous that the average physician new to social media might not find a twitter chat as the best way to spend a precious hour. For me that hour represents the better part of a blog post which, over the course of a month, will influence hundreds of readers and live forever.

But I suspect that there will always be those among us looking for companionship over content. And it’s hard to argue with that.

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Video Interview: Roche’s Social Media Code Of Conduct

Last month I reported about the Social Media Code of Conduct released by Roche and I also shared my opinion on the issue. Now Sabine Kostevc, Head of Corporate Internet and Social Media at F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, gave an interview to Silja Chouquet:

*This blog post was originally published at ScienceRoll*

Social Media As Personal Therapy

Last week Robert Scoble announced on Cinchcast the news that his son, Milan, had just been diagnosed with autism. I often listen to his Cinchcasts, and the disappointment in his voice was heartbreaking.

Then I began to wonder: If one of my children were to receive a devastating diagnosis, would my first impulse be to share the news on a public platform? Probably not. And that, among a number of obvious things, is what differentiates me from Robert Scoble.

Everyone’s got their transparency threshold. You can see it with attitudes surrounding location applications. The importance of community to each of us varies tremendously. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

The Difference Between “Passion” And “Psychosis” In Social Media

What’s the difference between “passion” and “psychosis?” Passion enables you to seek out the things that help you get things done. Psychosis drives you to see things that aren’t there, or to think in ways that are disconnected from reality.

A lot of people today are passionate about social media. And there’s good reason: These media are creating new ways of connecting and sharing and communicating. There’s also a lot of misunderstanding, though, about the nature, promises and limits of these technologies which indeed are reshaping the way we do things. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Phil Baumann*

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*

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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