White Paper: The Social Physician

In November 2010, Bunny 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.

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.  

The exploration was fascinating and led her to findings that she had not expected. Physicians embrace the social sphere for many reasons, but the majority do so to connect with patients.  It’s not about practice marketing or patient acquisition, though. It’s about being able to use their hard-earned knowledge in a way that helps people and pushes medicine forward.

The Social Physician signals a change in physician mindset – the willingness to engage publicly about matters of medicine from health delivery to reform to health literacy to patient responsibility. Read the white paper here.