Living on Twitter in 2013 has produced the usual mixed bag of insights and feelings – the enjoyment and intellectual stimulation of interacting with old and new acquaintances globally and live tweeting numerous conferences tempered by the frustrations of seeing the use of social media continue to make limited penetration into the physician community and health care system.
As with all journalists at this time of year, the temptation to try and summarize and catagorize the year into a compilation or list is impossible to deny. However, in the interests of blogging brevity I will limit my list to just three videos and one commentary that I think stand out as providing perspectives of how social media and new technologies can or should shape the Canadian health care system.
* First of note is Dr. Ali Jalali’s (@AliRJalali) short video produced for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada explaining why physicians should consider using social media professionally. A professor of anatomy at teaching chair at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Jalali has been in the forefront of the noticeable attentions paid to the role of social media in medical education in Canada this year. I think the video does for Canada what Dr. Farris Timini, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist did for the use a couple of years ago when he produced a video providing an articulate rationale for the use of social media by physicians in that country.
* The second video does not have the production of values of the first, but is a thoughtful and comprehensive explanation of how new media tools can reshape the delivery of health care in Canada. The video just shows British Columbia family physician Dr. Eric Cadesky (@drcadesky) addressing an arthritis conference in Vancouver and focuses on one video conferencing tool available in that provice. However, Dr. Cadesky using the time well to express his passion and insights into how new technologies will transform the doctor/patient relationship.
* The third video – a patient education presentation on flatulence – serves to highlight the whole ongoing series of excellent videos produced by Toronto family physician Dr. Mike Evans (@docmikeevants) and the skilled team of graphic designers and artists he works with. Dr. Evans and the team are leading the way in using the “white boarding” video technique that have taken patient education to a new level. The flatulence video is just one of the latest in a series that has included dealing with issues such as opioids, IBD and concussion. Internationally, Dr. Evans is showing what being a physician as communicator really means.
* I have written about the commentary before (‘Out of Bounds‘) but I feel it is so important that it needs to be singled out again. In their August editorial in JAMA (Social Media and Physicians’ Online Identity Crisis” Aug. 14 v.310, no: 6, 581-582) authors Matthew DeCamp, Thomas Koenig and Margaret Chisolm (@whole_patients) confront and rebutt the whole concept of physicians maintaining a false boundary between professional and personal life on social media. The authors provide a succinct and elegant suggestion has to how doctors should act on social media that is fully in keeping with how.Given how the boundary issue continues to reoccur and intimidate physicians interested in using tools such as Twitter I really feel this commentary warrants more attention.
So – three videos and a commentary. Hugely inadequate for encapsulating all of the vibrant conversations about health care that are going on in the social media space in 2013 – but hopefully an appetizing morsel for end-of-year digestion.