“A guide to online professionalism for medical practitioners and medical students”
The Australian Medical Association Council of Doctors-in-Training (AMACDT), the New Zealand Medical Association Doctors-in-Training Council (NZMADITC), the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA), and the Australian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA) are committed to upholding the principles of medical professionalism. As such, we have created some practical guidelines to assist doctors and medical students to continue to enjoy the online world, while maintaining professional standards.
Not a bad start. Not sufficient for the purposes of most, but not a bad start. Hope others will build on this.
Ratcatcher’s comment below reminds me that I should also link to a similar attempt by the American Medical Association. I agree with Ratcatcher on the relative merits of these two efforts.
In my previous post about social media endeavors at the CDC and HHS, I should also have mentioned the United States Department of Agriculture.
Are there other government agencies (related to health and/or healthcare) with social media projects I haven’t noticed yet? Please let me know in the comments?
Does it say something that these .gov agencies have formal social media operations and policies?
Centers for Disease Control
CDC Social Media Tools Guidelines & Best Practices
Front page for social media at the CDC:
Health and Human Services
The HHS Center for New Media, Standards and Policies
Front page for HHS Center for New Media:
Brief “interview” from AdAge with Andrew P. Wilson, web manager for HHS:
Pblackshaw: So Andrew, does the Health and Human Services Department really have a social-media team?
AndrewPWilson: Yes. See http://tinyurl.com/accz97. The social-media outreach effort is being directed by the department’s new Social Media Center.
Pblackshaw: What does that mean — Social Media Center? Just you? A full team? A body of activity?
AndrewPWilson: People in the department have been working with social media for some time, e.g., http://tinyurl.com/bsrtt8 (and others). Now we’re starting broader initiatives.
Pblackshaw: But just you? What’s your role?
AndrewPWilson: It’s still evolving but much more than just me. To start, developing resources and expertise in the dept to help HHS understand and use new tools.
Bleah. Yet another article about Web sites for rating doctors.
Is anyone else really tired of seeing these articles and pretending these sites matter? They might one day, but they don’t now.
Anyway, the Pew Internet and American Life Project (Please tell me I’m not the only one who quietly thinks “pew-pew-pew!” to himself every time Pew is mentioned?) says:
Nearly half (47%) of internet users, or 35% of adults, have turned to the internet for information about doctors or other health professionals.”
Nothing surprising there.
“These health information seekers, however, are not likely to post their own reviews of doctors: just 7% of those who looked for information about doctors online (and 4% of all internet users) report posting a review of a doctor online.”
Well, nothing surprising there, either. The vast majority of Wikipedia’s users (or Digg’s) are there to read, not to contribute. Isn’t this the overwhelming trend in most “social media”? (And wouldn’t noting this context be important? What does this item from Pew mean without such context?)
I’ll state again that I think every physician rating site I’ve seen is useless. When patrons (or friends) ask me how to find a good specialist, I recommend avoiding these sites. The advice I gave one family member was to get in touch with local, regional, and national patient support groups for the diagnosed (or suspected) condition necessitating a visit to a specialist. If you want the opinion of informed patients, that’s where you’ll find it.
Just for good measure:
I like lolcats. Sue me.
Welcome to another installment of Web Geekery in Recent Literature, where we point out recent articles in the indexed literature of potential interest to the Geeky and Web-obsessed.
Plagiarism of online material may be proven using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (archive.org).
Many writers and researchers are reluctant to publish online for fear that their work will be plagiarized and used without attribution elsewhere. For example, junior or freelance researchers may worry that their ideas will be ‘stolen’ and published under the name of professional or senior researchers; and that then it could be hard to convince people that in fact the idea had originated elsewhere. However, if this happens, plagiarism may be objectively proven by a service called the Internet Archive Wayback Machine (archive.org). Archive.org permits clarification of the issue of dates – and allows the reader to draw their own conclusions about authorship, whether charitable or otherwise. In sum, archive.org is a little known, freely available and potentially very useful mechanism for defending intellectual property rights.
I’d be willing to be that there’s not a single librarian reader of this blog who wasn’t already quite aware of the Wayback Machine.
Medical professionalism in the age of online social networking.
The rapid emergence and exploding usage of online social networking forums, which are frequented by millions, present clinicians with new ethical and professional challenges. Particularly among a younger generation of physicians and patients, the use of online social networking forums has become widespread. In this article, we discuss ethical challenges facing the patient-doctor relationship as a result of the growing use of online social networking forums. We draw upon one heavily used and highly trafficked forum, Facebook, to illustrate the elements of these online environments and the ethical challenges peculiar to their novel form of exchange. Finally, we present guidelines for clinicians to negotiate responsibly and professionally their possible uses of these social forums.
Huh. This seems somehow familiar…
Informed patients are not a threat.
We’ve all been there; the embarrassing realisation that, despite being a so-called health-care professional and the supposed fount of all knowledge, a patient or relative knows more about a condition than we do. Some of us can take it on the chin and defer, after all, the internet and modern media has made access to information that much easier – anyone with a PC and a spare half an hour can find out exactly how Dengue fever is transmitted (by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, in case you are interested). Not everyone can be that magnanimous though – as a student, I remember being intensely annoyed by a woman who told me that I was being impatient with her husband, a man with Alzheimer’s, and that I needed to adopt a calmer approach when I took him to the toilet. She was right, of course – but I was simply furious.
Say it with me, clinicians: “Informed patients are not a threat.” Make it your mantra.
(This comment dedicated to e-patient Dave.)
Radiopaedia (previously mentioned here) has made available (at no charge via the iPhone App Store) a Radiopaedia Radiology Teaching File of “50 CNS cases comprising 170 images, questions and detailed text.”
Neat. Still, I’d like to know how many health infomation wikis are set up to deliver a mobile version for a variety of mobile browsers.
This reminds me: I’m going to need to do an update on my list of medical wikis in the near future. If you know of any that I don’t have listed, please leave a comment or drop me an email?
Some interesting numbers. Not sure about the rest.
The idea behind rateadrug.com is for users to rate drugs.
Our goal is to provide unique user-generated data on side effects and subtle side effects of medications. We want to know how these prescription drugs make you feel.
I’ve seen stupid applications of social media in healthcare, but this may take the cake as the dumbest I’ve seen in a good while.
[Update] One’s FriendFeed feed needs to be public in order for IntenseDebate to pick up the comments and bring them onto the blog. IntenseDebate isn’t perfect, but I love the threaded comments, I like quickly moderating comments via email, and I like the sidebar widget for comments (if you’re reading this via RSS, visit the blog and check out the left sidebar). I’ll keep it for now. Thanks to those who helped me test it![/Update]
I’ve installed a plugin/service called IntenseDebate on this blog. Among the things it is supposed to do is pick up comments people make on my posts in FriendFeed and import them as comments. I’m curious to see if it will find those comments even if my FriendFeed is set to private. If you’re seeing this post through FriendFeed, please leave a comment in FriendFeed (not a ‘like’) so that can be tested?
Check it out, see if there are any librarians listed you want to follow and consider adding an entry to help others find you.
New to me- and a good idea to put all of this on one page.
I decided I should definitely follow the CDC’s Twitter feed for Health Professionals, which is for “…Health Professionals interested in staying up-to-date with CDC’s interactive media activities…”
They’ve also got a widget to help consumers search for products impacted by the Peanut-Containing Product Recall (embedded below).
- eMail Subscriptions
- Mobile Information
- Online Video
- RSS Feeds
- Social Networks
- Badges for Social Networks
- Virtual Worlds
- Web Sites
Hat tip: Maura Sostack
A friend recently asked for clarification. What is the difference between social media and social networking?
Yours may differ, but here’s my take:
“Social Networking” is an activity. When you go to a professional conference or gathering, you’re engaged in the activity of social networking. People you know introduce you to new people you don’t know. You exchange business cards and, now acquainted, may contact each other in the future directly without the common intermediary who introduced you.
The activity of social networking can take place anywhere, any place, and any way people establish and maintain these connections.
The activity of social networking has been amazingly facilitated in recent years by the appearance and development of online tools built with the specific purpose of illuminating and illustrating the complex web of relationships between people. I refer to these as online social networks
Lee LeFever does a great job explaining how online social networks facilitate social networking in the CommonCraft video embedded below, “Social Networks in Plain English.”
I think that online social networks are a subset of social media. Often, “social media,” “new media,” “the social Web,” or “the read/write Web” are used as interchangeable synonyms. For the most part, I’d argue that “social media” is anything that makes information move in a more multidirectional manner.
There’s no doubt that a kind of networking can and does happen on YouTube or Slideshare or del.icio.us
Put another way: I think of online tool/site/service as an “online social network” if it exists primarily for the purpose of exposing or maintaining the web of interpersonal connections that already exist or the purpose of facilitating new connections. In my venn diagram, online social networks would all be inside the “social media” circle.
Still, this is sort of just thinking aloud. What do you think?
(Started drafting this post on 10/12/2008)
We’re well past the point where there is an online social network for every community. We’re at the point where there are an absurd number of online social networks for every community.
A selection of online social networks for nurses:
NurseConnect is an online nursing community and networking site for nurses and other healthcare professionals interested in advancing their education, careers and personal lives by sharing experiences and knowledge with others. NurseConnect is owned and operated by AMN Healthcare, Inc.
I asked Arlton Lowry, the director of SocialRN, to make a case for what sets his site apart from the other online social networks for nurses.
Many of the other nursing social networking sites that are operating are built with one key objective in mind – profit. When sites are designed solely for the acquisition of profit, the design of the site and features suffer. We built socialRN for the nursing community and we have no other objective in mind.
The site offers many of the features that the other nursing social networks offer – like, photo sharing, blogs, status updates, file sharing, groups, ext. But what sets socialRN aside is how it integrates other Web 2.0 applications within the users profile. A user can display their flickr photos, what music they have last listed to – through last.fm, their position with Google Maps, and even their Twitter update. It allows users to bring all the other Web 2.0 services they are using together into one location.
Also, the design of a site is crucial for a pleasant user experience. There is no clutter within socialRN. We have developed the site so that it is easy for a user to navigate content and socialize with other users.
It’s worth noting that the site is built on Open Source software that will is upgradable and expandable in the future. It will allow us to add additional features and grow the site as more users are added.
In the category of Online Social Networks with Very Unfortunate Names, we have TNA LinkUp.
Liz: Whatcha’ looking at?
David: A site called “TNA LinkUp”
Liz: …You’re looking at porn?!
See? Unfortunate name. ‘Nuff said.
I was interested to find there’s a social network just for travelers, HealthCare Gypsy.
Nurses Lounge interests me because it is made up of lounges that are specific to metro area or nursing specialty.
CampusRN2RN is for nursing students.
I know I’ve missed some- please let me know?
I know I’m way behind on such things, but this article from the Annals of Pharmacotherapy deserves a mention, even one this belated:
The article compares drug information in Wikipedia to drug information in the Medscape drug reference.
“This study suggests that Wikipedia may be a useful point of engagement for consumers looking for drug information, but that it should be supplementary to, rather than the sole source of, drug information. This is due, in part, to our findings that Wikipedia has a more narrow scope, is less complete, and has more errors of omission versus the comparator database.”
And I loved this:
“…health professionals should not use user-edited sites as authoritative sources in their clinical practice, nor should they recommend them to patients without knowing the limitations and providing sufficient additional information and counsel. If these sites are recommended, it should be in the form of a permanent link pointing to the specific recommended version of an entry. Finally, the issues raised in Web 2.0 are not novel, nor are the approaches; consumer education, watchful editors, alert health professionals, and ethical online behavior remain, as ever, the foundation for the safety of Internet health information.”
Added to the list:
- Clinical Research Informatics Wiki
Self-description: “…devoted to topics in clinical research informatics…exists to facilitate collaborative development of articles covering the breadth of the CRI domain.”
Intended Audience/Users: Not listed.
Contributors: Anyone who registers
Editors/Administrators: Listed only by User ID.
Editorial Policies: None listed.
Self-description: “This project aims to give professionals, policy makers including health authorities, researchers, educators and representatives of migrant and minority groups easy access to a dynamically evolving body of knowledge and a virtual network of expertise.”
Intended Audience/Users: “…professionals, policy makers including health authorities, researchers, educators and representatives of migrant and minority groups.”
Contributors: Anyone who registers and who is approved by administrators.
Editors/Administrators: Not listed.
Editorial Policies: Other than these copyright disclaimer notes, none listed.
Note: This is the UK Wiki of MIGHEALTHNET. Other Wikis serving a similar purpose for other nations can be found here.
So the book is getting some attention!
Internet Cool Tools for Physicians is in Google Book Search
Stephen Francoeur made this little video:
The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the MLA mentioned it on their blog.
The MLA’s Taskforce on Social Networking Software posted about it, calling it “…an accessible, illustrated and contemporary guide to online tools in medicine.”
Dr. Shock (MD, PhD) gave it a very nice review.
Gosh- Brandi blogged about it way back in August– well before it as released!
The President and CEO of Community General Hospital blogged about it.
It has gotten some buzz on Twitter.
We’re anxious to hear any feedback you have about the book- please let us know what you think….and what you think needs to be added or changed for the second edition! 🙂
Got my hands on my copies of the book today! How exciting!
You can buy a copy from:
I’m looking forward to eventually seeing it in WorldCat. 🙂
Congratulations to Melissa Rethlefsen (who wrote a heck of a lot more than I did)! You should really go email Melissa now and tell her how much she rocks.
My apologies to the awfully nice folks who attended the CE course I taught at UNYOC a couple of weeks ago! I’ve taken far too long to get these slides posted:
Also: I’ll be on a panel at NYLA tomorrow (Friday, 11/6/2008) afternoon at 4:00 PM- please say hello if you’re going to be there! As usual at these sorts of things, I’ll know almost nobody. But hey- I might get to meet Polly Farrington!
Eugene Barsky and Dean Giustini wrote an editorial for Physiotherapy Canada on practical tips and useful Web sites for physical therapy that is short, practical, and chock full of resources I know and like. It isn’t comprehensive by any means (and doesn’t seek to be), but I think it provides a really good, digestible introduction to some useful tools for those in physical therapy.
Barsky E., & Giustini D. Web 2.0 in Physical Therapy: A Practical Overview. Physiotherapy Canada, 2008; 60(3): 207-215.
Available at either of these URLs: