I frequently hear the term online doctor. When I hear it I have to wonder if there are offline doctors in contrast?
Increasingly our networks are moving digital. Most docs use FB. Twitter use is in line with the general population. And it’s hard to believe that there’s any doctor who doesn’t consume information from the web. I suspect that at some level we’re all online doctors.
The term suggests that our online and offline worlds are separate. Nathan Jurgenson has called this digital dualism. His description is a bit heavy but worth a peek if you’re into this sort of thing. I have to agree that the divide between virtual and IRL will ultimately fade and the ‘online’ modifier will become a charming bit of history.
Until then, perhaps we should somehow start discriminating doctors who quietly consume from those who curate, create, converse and contribute. Because in 2012 vernacular, these are our online doctors.