This tweet thread from a physician suggests that social sharing is dangerous play:
Sharing opinions online seems kinda risky for docs…IMHO tweets are more frequently taken out of context and tweet opinions by docs get passed along as fact. We have to be so careful.
But perhaps what we should fear most is complacency. In fact, I believe that the failure of a doctor to share their knowledge represents a unique form of professional negligence.
Think about that for a minute.
I’ve been publically sharing my views for some time. But like a responsible provider, I never offer patient-specific medical opinions outside of a privacy-protected environment. Dialog and opinion surrounding general medical issues, however, is how we learn from one another. The contrast that arises from physician debate offers dimension to the complex medical issues patients face. Patients should have the opportunity to experience this discussion first hand.
Regarding the fear of misinterpretation, I was taken out of context long before real-time 140 character dialog existed. And I suspect that I’ll be taken out of context long after Twitter becomes a fond piece of history. I try to be clear but fear of being misunderstood is hardly a passing thought. But in support of this doctor’s concerns, however, it’s safe to say that there may be certain platforms better suited for certain types of dialog.
What we should fear most is the dissemination of dangerous thinking – thinking that has us hiding under our exam tables rather than out with our patients. Physician fear based on misinformation about public dialog keeps smart doctors from those who need them most.