Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Physicians' Love Affair With Social Media Outpaces Public's

Survey data compiled early in 2010 showed that 41.6% of physicians said they were social-media users, but a trickle quickly became a torrent. Data from a survey in April and May of this year indicated that 84% of physicians have joined the social-media bandwagon, saying that they use Facebook, LinkedIn, and their relatives for personal purposes, and by last month that figure had soared to 90%. For the general public, in contrast, social media are being used by 65%, according to a report posted September 26 on amednews.com, the Web site of American Medical News.

Physicians' embrace of social media does not, however, mean that it has changed the way the vast majority practice medicine. The most recent survey, by QuantiaMD, found that only 67% used social media professionally, and physicians seem to be reluctant to use these sites as a way to communicate with patients. One-third said they had received requests to "friend" a patient on Facebook, but of those, 75% did not accept those invitations.

To read about psychiatrists' use of social media, including potential pitfalls, see Psychiatric News at http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/17/6.full and http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/46/11/12.full.

(Image: Kheng Guan Toh/ Shutterstock.com)


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