I like media: digital, social, analog, print, pictures in the sand. I think social media will transform public health and promote better relationships between doctors and patients. I think the Quantified Self movement will move into the mainstream of medicine, and body hackers from Tim Ferriss to Jerome Radcliffe are going to help move it there.
Neither, however, are physicians. Both are finding ways to go outside of medicine and inspire techies and people curious about their own body and how it works, to DIY, and DIT (do it together).
Although twitter, facebook, linkedin, google plus, youtube and pinterest are actually synergistic, marketing experts tell me, you should prioritize, and that’s what physicians as a whole seem to be doing: BlogWorldLA interviewed me about this last Fall, here.
The best data show that physicians are more active on Sermo, Doximity and other closed networks than where their patients are…and when doctors participate in 23andme.com, tudiabetes and other patient community sites, it is as a community member, not as a doctor.
Yet there are physicians who love social media and have made it a daily part of their world, and I admire them for their leadership.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta makes good use of CNN resources with multiple streams in multiple media on one page.
Dr. Kevin Pho has created a powerful brand, which re-verbs between media properties, and developed deep digital assets, now branching to offline properties too, like USA Today.
Dr. Mehmet Oz has invested heavily in social media, using the power of ShareCare and RealAge to even offer a personalized message from him to you or your BFF, with just a few clicks.
Arguably Peter Frishauf started it all with Medscape, now a crossover site between professional and public, much like WebMD, which I think is more clearly in the latter camp.
Yet I think physicians should continue to look outside of medical models to people like Ferriss, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Mari Smith and Guy Kawasaki to see how they extend social media and help others use it, for their own good health. Yes, each has some help. But physicians do too: the more we use that help to communicate, the better for patients.