Last fall I banded together with a small group of colleagues to learn a little more about how doctors us social media. When you look at doctors and their social practices you might find a few categories of interaction: Doctor to patient, doctor to patient population and doctor to doctor. We thought it would be interesting to drill down on this last category and ask how doctors are using social media to share information with one another.
So we put together a study that specifically looked at oncologists and primary care doctors with attention to the tools used and the factors that might predict their intention to put them to use. Our data went public August 15th and we’ll formally present our findings at the Medicine 2.0 Congress at Stanford next week. You can burrow through some of what we learned here on the Medicine 2.0 site.
There’s lot’s to talk about and over the next couple of weeks I intend to focus on some of the specific finding and what they may represent.
I thought this was interesting: When it comes to sharing information with other doctors, facilitated networks and email still seem to rule the day. Video, blogs, real-time micro-blogging, and wikis be damned, it seems doctors prefer to circle the wagons in tight MD verticals or keep it one-to-one/few on email. 70% of physicians in our study use email for professional sharing of information and 50% use facilitated networks like Sermo, Doximity, and Physician Connect. We found that 7% of PCPs and oncologists use Twitter to share amongst themselves. This figure is consistent with Twitter adoption by the general American public.
To me this isn’t surprising based on what I see and hear from my colleagues. What isn’t clear is whether physicians truly prefer closed networks and email or is it that they’ve yet to try and judge the utility of other platforms (I’ll put my money on the latter). I suspect that if we were to look more specifically at the type of content shared doctor-to-doctor we might find that physicians ‘profile’ platforms for different types of sharing.
Let me know what you think. Better yet, tell us what you think by joining Brian McGowan, Molly Wasko, Bob Miller and myself at the Medicine 2.0 Congress at Stanford on September 17th. The mikes will be open and we’re looking for a lively discussion.