Clinical Curbside

A blog for physicians, by physicians, offering thoughtful and thought-leading commentary on physician collaboration and diagnostic accuracy.

Opinions reflected here are those of the physician authors and are not necessarily endorsed by Best Doctors, Inc.

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image  Eric Glazer
  Vice President, Physician Engagement
  Best Doctors, Inc

Dr. Miguel-Angel Perales, Deputy Chief of Adult Bone Marrow Transplant Service and Director of the Adult Bone Marrow Transplantation Fellowship Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, said recently on a webinar about online physician collaboration:

“It’s a responsibility of ours to participate in the online medical discussion because there is a lot of ‘bad science’ out there. As physicians, we need to participate and educate, and social media can help us do that.”

Social media’s advantages in fostering patient-physician communication have been often and duly noted, but Dr. Perales’ quote can be applied to physician-physician communication as well. By connecting with peers on social media sites like Twitter and even LinkedIn, physicians can harness the “wisdom of crowds” to both learn from and advance the collective knowledge of the medical community.

Three Tips for Physicians Using Social Media Channels

If you’re interested in using public social media channels, like Twitter of Facebook, Dr. Garry Choy, Dr. Matt Katz and Dr. Ryan Madanick, all panelists on the webinar referenced above, recommend the following:

  • Start small.
    With so many social media channels out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Choose one, or maybe two, channels based on what you’d like to accomplish on social media.

  • Define objectives.
    Are you using social media to connect with other physicians, or to increase your practice’s visibility? Defining your objectives will help you decide which channel to use, and what messages you’d like to convey through it.

  • Be smart.
    Keep in mind that, while the social media channels available are fantastic tools for connecting you with peers and patients, it is always advisable to err on the side of caution when discussing professional matters on a public social media site.

This Physician’s Guide to Twitter can help you determine if that’s the channel for you, and there are several webinars on Best Doctors YouTube channel that can help you explore how best to use social media in your practice.

Benefits of Private Physician Forums

Private forums can help avoid some of the privacy concerns of social media. Cloud-based platforms like Medting, powered by Best Doctors, offer a customized, gated software solution to physicians for case collaboration and knowledge sharing. You can think of it as a LinkedIn group, but in a secure environment purpose-built for clinical collaboration.

In a private forum, doctors can curbside peers or give advice on challenging cases. They also offer the distinct advantages of purpose-built clinical collaboration tools, such as high-quality image sharing and viewing, and the ability to compile a dedicated case library for use in medical education or research.

But be careful: not all physician communities are created equal. Look for online physician communities that can deliver:

  • Focus on case collaboration, not just linking physicians socially in an attempt to be a “Facebook for physicians”
  • User profiles that are vetted and informative, meaning you know exactly who you’re collaborating with
  • Gated workgroups, managed by you or your healthcare organization, for collaborating on cases within your own community

This Physician’s Guide to Online Medical Communities can help you choose the forum that’s right for you.

If you’d like to learn more about Medting, contact me at or 617.226.3623 and I’d be happy to give you a demonstration.

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