I woke up this morning and found this comment in my Twitter feed. It was part of a conversation thread surrounding doctors and Twitter.
“Surgeon spouse is far too busy considering patients’ real needs to even think about creating a Twitter presence”
So what are a patient’s real needs? This depends on time and place. Sometimes it involves the laying on of hands or the drawing of a scalpel. Other times it involves the use of a telephone, email or other tool. All of these encounters are real, however. Communication and hands on care should not be seen as mutually exclusive.
The tweet is important as it showcases our increasingly dated view of the digital world as separate from the virtual world. We see technologically-mediated interactions as not part of what doctors do. Not real.
But going forward the real work of a doctor won’t always happen IRL.