Why family medicine needs social media
A social media-savvy doctor blogger tells why he thinks the family medicine community should embrace social media.
I wasn't able to attend the Annual Leadership Forum (ALF) and the
National Conference of Special Constituencies (NCSC) meetings in person
This is an annual meeting in Kansas City put on by the American Academy of Family Physicians
(AAFP). I know that it
can be hard to believe that someone actually likes going to a meeting.
However, for me, these meetings always re-energize me and connect me
with a passion for Family Medicine.
In 2010, there were only a few of us utilizing social media tools like Twitter and Facebook (including my blog posts fromThursday & Friday).
However, just a year later,
there seems to have been an explosion of people utilizing these
platforms to a point yesterday when I saw a bunch of people signing up
for the first
time during the meeting. Even members of the AAFP Board of Directors were creating
twitter accounts yesterday. Wow!
I really believe that this year, 2011, is when the Family Medicine
community will more fully embrace social media, not only as a means of
socialization, but also as a means of advocacy for our specialty. Here
are some other reasons why I believe that Family Medicine needs social
Maintaining The Meeting Momentum:
How often does this happen to you? At the meeting/event, you're all
psyched up and ready to conquer the world! Then in the car and/or on the
ride home, you get overwhelmed with the reality of returning to work
and all that energy from the meeting is gone - yielding to the status
home. Well, that doesn't need to happen with social media. You can
remain connected with all those great people you met. In fact, what I
is that those great people keep you motivated through all those
day-to-day challenges. Why aren't you signed up for twitter or facebook
Join the #FMRevolution:
Dr. Jay Lee, the 2012 Conference Chair/Convener for the NCSC meeting, wrote a compelling essay called " #FMRevolution - Family Medicine Revolution"
back in March. In my opinion, this
has picked up a lot of traction in the Family Medicine social media
community. If you haven't read this blog post, you must. In fact, the
California Academy is going to unveil an entire website on this topic coming up on Friday, May
13, 2011 and undoubtedly this premiere will be a social media event. Join the revolution!
Letting The World Know About Family Medicine Events:
Even though I was in my office seeing patients yesterday, I was able
to track the activities a the ALF/NCSC meetings through twitter. The
prior, I was part of a group of people tweeting out
at the Annual Spring
Conference at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM)
meeting in New Orleans. On Monday & Tuesday, May 9-10 in Washington
AAFP has an opportunity to broadcast to the world the Family Medicine
Congressional Conference. (Just a suggestion, please don't use #fmcc as
hashtag, as people will not know what that is. Gotta use something like
#FamMed or #FMRevolution. The EMS folks used #EMSOnTheHill recently and it worked out well for them)
What Is A Family Physician?:
Social media gives the opportunity to start an online dialogue. At
the previously mentioned STFM meeting, we got into a great discussion
Family Medicine really has not done a great job of defining who we
are and what we do to our own patients, to the public at large, to
to legislators? Mark Ryan, Family Physician from Virginia, carried this
discussion onto social media with his post " How Do I Define Family Medicine?"
(including a comment
from a medical student) Can you imagine that? Crowdsourcing the
definition of Family Medicine. What an incredible way to do it via
social media. It
is discussions like this that need to take place to help our
There are so many more reasons why Family Medicine needs social media.
Feel free to jot your reasons below in the comment section. Are you new
social media? Did you just sign up for twitter at the ALF/NCSC
meeting? Welcome! As you start using this stuff more, please feel free
to let us know
your questions. There are already a lot of knowledgeable people in the
Family Medicine community using this stuff.
Once you start becoming more familiar with how things work, I
challenge you to get your voice out there by writing a blog post (like
my post entitled "
What Is A Family Medicine Leader?
"), by recording a YouTube video, or by whatever means you feel
comfortable with. Family Medicine needs us, and more importantly, our
patients need us!
Let your voice be heard!
This story originally ran at Family Medicine Rocks.