Social Media in Primary Care: Interview

In my new series I ask medical professionals and e-patients about how they use social media presented through practical examples and suggestions (so far: a rheumatologist, a diabetes blogger, and a pediatrician answered my questions, each of them is proficient in using social media). Now please welcome Dr. Mike Sevilla, the social media guru of primary care. He launched the Dr. Anonymous Show years ago, an online radio show in which he invited me to be the guest and I woke up at 3 AM and talked with him about social media for an hour. He is the real voice of the primary care community and he kindly told me how he uses social media day by day.

  • What social media channels do you use in your work and for what purposes? How do you keep yourself up-to-date and connected?

For me, I use twitter and facebook the most (meaning daily) in my work. I use twitter to find the hot topics of the day. I also use it to share links. I use facebook to keep connected with friends and family (not for clinical work). I don’t blog or podcast much as I’d like, but I utilize blogs and podcasts to state opinions and to connect with my social media audience.

  • What do your patients think about social media? Do they use it?

My patients use social media a lot. I get asked every day about information that they learn on the internet. My patients share with me facebook pages to like and sometimes I get links from twitter. As I have said in blog posts and presentations in the past, I really believe that our patients will drive physicians to utilize social media.

  • What social media sites do you think point towards the future of healthcare?

Even though Google Health is now offline, I really think that it was a service before its time. People will  have a more of a interest in the near future of having their personal health record available to them and the next generation of Google Health type sites are coming soon.

Another site that is very interesting to me is Wolfram Alpha. This site will grow in presence and popularity because of the iPhone Siri service. Since Wolfram Alpha searches are more driven by data (as opposed to questionably bias algorthms of Google & Bing), I predict that people will use this search engine more in healthcare related searches.

Webicina has done a great job of gathering the major Family Medicine social media resources out there including blogs, podcasts, news, and others. If someone wanted to quickly learn about what is out there for Family Medicine, I direct people to check out webicina’s curated selections first.

I admit that I should really use this resource more to review the feeds that are most important to me. It’s great that it is multi-lingual and it has the most popular RSS Family Medicine journals here. Great job with this!