White Paper: The Social Physician

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Bunny was one of the earliest people to explore the how social media would impact practicing doctors. Having worked with doctors for nearly two decades, she wondered whether they could embrace such an open, two-way platform, when medicine traditionally had been a closed circle where they spoke to each other but were not as comfortable airing views publicly.  In November 2010, she released The Social Physician, a widely acclaimed white paper, in which she interviewed ten doctors around the country who were actively engaging in social media. These included well-known bloggers like family physician Dr. Kevin Pho and thought leaders like medical oncologist Dr. Richard Just. The Social Physician generated buzz and was featured in iHealthBeat, Smart Blog on Social Media, KevinMD and Better Health. An excerpt appears below, but you can read the entire piece here.

A New World

There is a profound change sweeping the world of medicine. Technology is the driver, but it has nothing to do with a new drug, device or procedure. Rather it is about the change in physician behavior and mindset that technology—the Internet more specifically—has unleashed. Today, physicians of all ages and specialties are online, whether via laptop, desktop, or mobile.

With physicians’ acceptance of technology has come a new type of openness among a small but growing number. In the past, the only doctors who were likely to air views publicly were medical journalists. But, today, there are physicians who blog, tweet, email with patients, post videos, even check-in on Foursquare.

Medicine has traditionally operated as a closed society, where physicians talk to each other about medical topics, but generally not outside the circle. What is driving this change? To find out, we decided to go to the source by interviewing ten physicians around the country who are actively embracing the social sphere. Continue reading