The question of physicians and renumeration for social participation makes great cocktail party, or Twitter, conversation. If you cornered me around a plate of hors d’ouvres, here’s what I might say:
I think we have a responsibility to be part of the conversation. All of us should be participating in some way. Optimally we should be making the stuff that starts conversation. At a minimum we should be contributing to the dialog.
But bandwidth is limited. The translation of great thinking and experience into digital media requires time, energy and rest. Caring for the sick is backbreaking work. For most of us, there’s little time for the generation of clever 4 minute videos following a full clinic day and family obligations.
The reality, however, is that this kind of participatory work is increasingly part of maintaining a professional reputation. I suspect that market forces will ultimately favor those with the capacity to translate what they know and the footprint on which to share.
I believe that some providers should be paid to participate professionally. It would be smart for large hospital systems and medical schools to create time for one or a small number of staff to be front and center sharing, curating, talking and making. Beyond serving as brand ambassadors for their institutions, their talents and expertise would represent something of a resource for the online community.
Public communication and patient care should not be seen as mutually exclusive, but rather as complementary. Whether a doctor’s public presence represents the best use of their time is a difficult question. I suspect it will depend on how we come to value the voice and wisdom of the physician. Or perhaps it will depend upon the value that they create beyond their traditional role.
What do you think?
h/t to @Cascadia for making me think put my head to this.