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CHEST 2014 photoMatthew Stanbrook (right in picture) is Deputy Editor at CMAJ, currently at the CHEST 2014 annual meeting in Austin, Texas.

 

While social media and its intersection with medicine may evoke both interest and anxiety among physicians, medical organizations are paying increasing attention to its potential. Therefore, I was not surprised to find that the American College of Chest Physicians, one such organization has been actively growing its social media presence recently, chose this topic for a plenary address at this year’s CHEST Conference. The keynote speaker was one of the most influential physicians on social media today, Dr Kevin Pho (left in picture). Pho was born in the United States, but grew up in Toronto, before returning to the U.S. to complete medical school and specialty training in Internal Medicine at Boston University, after which he set up practice in New Hampshire. His foray into social media began in 2004 when he created his medical blog, KevinMD.com, which subsequently has become one of the most prominent and popular examples of its type. He joined Twitter in 2007, where his presence has been equally strong, amassing 112,000 current followers.

Pho presented a compelling and entertaining case for why physicians need to participate actively on social media. Here are his reasons:

1. We’re way behind. Physicians in particular lag behind much of the rest of society in their adoption of social media. As Pho said, “A few years ago, the only people who had pagers were doctors and drug dealers. Today, it’s just doctors.”

2. Medical misinformation has become widespread ...continue reading