The Art of Surgery involves the skillful use of multiple diagnostic and treatment tools for the benefit of our patients. So when I started my surgical training, I had to attend several surgical courses where I learned to use different tools, equipment and techniques. However, my adventure into Social Media was very different. I had no one to teach me how to use it effectively. It became a personal experiment to see what works and what doesn’t, what’s effective and what’s not. In fits and starts, I made lots of mistakes and wasted a lot of time and effort. I felt ineffective.
Attending the excellent Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency was like attending a surgical boot camp. I loved it and I’m ready to employ the skills I’ve learned. I spent about 4 hours doing the pre-requisites and then an intensive one-day immersion program at Mayo Clinic. There were 20 people in my group. Four of us were clinicians and others were in education, management, communications and non-clinical support teams.
Though we came from different perspectives, we had the same goal: to learn to use Social Media effectively to enhance patient care. The Residency program started with the ‘Why’ of Social Media, and then delved immediately into the ‘How’ of Social Media. At the end of the day, we came home with very specific tips and techniques on the use of multiple social media platforms and measurements tools. These platforms included Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogging, YouTube and others. Most importantly, we each had formulated our Social Media strategy and tactics.
Here are a few random personal thoughts that were clarified and solidified during the Residency:
Social Media is inevitable and is an indispensable communication tool.
Social media enhances patient care.
Using Social Media to educate patients is the same thing as picking up a pen to write a health article. The medium changes, the message remains.
We have a moral obligation to be on Social Media, to educate the public and protect patients from misinformation.
Social media use is increasing in epidemic proportions. As a doctor I need to learn how to intervene in such a significant public health trend.
And these two:
— Dr Eric Levi (@DrEricLevi) December 7, 2015
— Dr Eric Levi (@DrEricLevi) December 8, 2015
Next week I will write more about the role of social media in my practice.
What about you? Do you use Social Media in your clinical practice?