We are a connected society, we talk to long lost friends on Facebook, we chat with family members on Twitter, heck we even keep our “frenemies” close by through a digital portal of faux friendship. With that being said some relationships are probably better left alone. For example doctors are now grappling with friend requests from patients. While giving medical advice to an online community or saying hi to a patient is one thing, forming friendships still remains a questionable act. Google+ of course allows for “circles” to be created which is a great way to isolate certain people but it is not necessarily a problem solver.
The team at Mesothelioma Page have attempted to address the issues of Physician use of social media in the 21st century. The study points out that many of today’s top “TV doctors” are engaged online, for example Dr. Oz has over 1 million twitter followers.
On the one hand information can be sensitive and confidential but as the infographic points out, as more doctors hop online and share their studies, beliefs and other information they may actually be helping advance medicine through a shared and open network of suggestions that can only be truly amassed through social media data collection and discussion.
And not all social media data sharing is bad, as the infographic clearly demonstrated the best medical tips that actually work are shared from a doctor to their patients and then spread around Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks.
The most interesting fact? 33% of US based physicians have received friend requests on Facebook and Twitter and 75% of those requests have been ignored.
Here’s the full doctor-patient social media infographic: