The following February I began writing a blog on my professional frustrations as well as the occasional reward. Shortly after that I discovered Twitter--first as a "lurker" listening in the background, then as an active participant. I met so many interesting people--physicians, e-patients, Social Media gurus, pharmacists, nurses, other healthcare providers, patient family members, the list is endless. Through Twitter my office knew early on about the multi-state fungal meningitis caused by tainted steroid vials, the Newtown shootings (unfortunately) and the Open Notes study. If Mayo and Cleveland Clinics were using Social Media to reach and teach their patients, it was likely that Social Media was not just a passing fad. Meanwhile my fascination with the phenomenon grew.
I began a master's level course on Social Media that is mind-blowing (and free) developed by +Bertalan Meskó, an MD-Phd from Hungary who is a Medical Futurist.
|The Social MEDia Course|
In the process I found new ways to engage myself and my patients--using QR codes, putting up a white board in the exam rooms, recommending apps.
Last year's experience served to recharge my professional gusto. Patients are more interesting, I deal with the non-stop frustrations with more aplomb and less emotional exhaustion. I look forward to seeing my new friends on the #hcsm tweetchat on Sunday night. Suddenly the future of medicine looks a lot less lonely and a lot more interesting.