If you want to let others say who you are, don’t dive into social media.  If you are too shy about the prospect, then don’t complain when surveys like this are published:

Cardiologists, for the most part, drive Japanese cars, believe in a higher power, and are moderately savvy when it comes to social media. Those are just some of the pearls from a lifestyle survey of physicians conducted by Medscape and published online today.

Asked to rank their level of happiness outside of their work on a scale of 1 to 5, the 762 cardiologists who replied to the survey provided an average happiness score of 3.92. That puts them 15th out of the 25 specialties surveyed, where rheumatologists, dermatologists, and urologists were the happiest, with scores of 4.04 to 4.09, and neurologists were, it seems, the glummest about their nonworking lives, with scores of 3.88.

Poor neurologists…  They get slammed by a WebMD poll that only received a 10% response rate from physicians.

Westby G. Fisher, MD, (aka Dr. Wes) is a board certified internist, cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist practicing at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, IL. He is also a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. He blogs at Dr.Wes, where this post originally appeared.

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5 Responses for “The Risk of Avoiding Social Media: Others Get to Say Who You Are”

  1. john irvine says:

    I don’t put much stock in online surveys and I don’t think many people do, other than marketers and people hoping to build interactive bells and whistles into their websites. if this is rousing call to action to participate in more online polls, I’m not sure I’m buying what you’re selling ..

    On the other hand, the logic here (basically, don’t sit on the sidelines and let other people take over the conversation) applies perfectly to online rating sites for physicians, as it does in life. Too many people sit out the fight in the fear that something bad may happen, hoping perhaps that the problem will eventually go away. Guess what? Something bad IS happening and the problem isn’t going to go away. (Problems rarely do, it seems.) For the most part only people who are suitably annoyed — in our current example, pissed off patients — are logging on to sites like ratemds and yelp and leaving ratings. Think of how different the ending to the story might be if they took a more positive approach and actively encouraged customers to leave feedback.

    In this day and age, there is no reason why your provider shouldn’t hand you an IPad on the way out the door and say “we value your opinion. really. we’re not making this up. us what you think. seriously.” – we use Yelp / RateMD / whatever-it-is. You’re completely anonymous. Think of the insights we’d get. Think of the improved relationship between patient and doctor. Sure, there would certainly still be a fair number of snarky comments about nurse jenny and the mean-receptionist-who-looked-at-me-funny, but my guess is we’d get a lot more that that.

    Remember the first step to starting a good dialog is almost always to ask a good question.

    Listening to the answer is usually a good idea too.

  2. Doug says:

    Social media is the scientist participating in the study he designed. Until we can observe natural behavior, who cares except marketing types…

  3. MD as HELL says:

    I don’t really care what the patient thinks. They are in no position to determine quality of care, only if they liked it or not.

    “Tell me if I told you about the death of your child in a Press Ganey-satisfying way., Mrs. Smith. How was the CPR?”

    “You are drinking yourself to death, Mr. Daniels. Not that there is anything wrong with that.”

    “That’s right, Mr. Head. Cocaine may cause you another heart attack. Dying young would save a ton in disability paymenyts”

    “She is old and nonverbal,in a nursing home for the last decade, has pressure sores and has overwhelming sepsis and pneumonia, but I see your point about putting her on life support because it is what she wanted.”

    “Really Mrs. Dolor, your chronic pain does not need the emergency room. We don’t prescribe 5000 percocets each week for fibromyalgia.”

    Here’s your Ipad. We value your opinion.

  4. MD as HELL,

    Your comment is one of the most outrageous and offensive statements I’ve ever read by a physician. I cringe at the thought that you out there “caring” for real people.

    I’ve been thinking for a couple days how to respond.

    So…

    I want to thank you. You present your viewpoint articulately and clearly. I assume you represent a substantial minority of physicians. People need to understand your POV exists. Thanks for speaking out.

  5. This particular is definitely an great site you’ve going here. The difficulty is extremely beneficial along with immediately to the level. Thrilled to read simple things more details on your blog the next occasion.

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