Friday fun: Is ur #MD 2 square?

Is your doctor a technophobe? A recent article from the Minneapolis StarTribune asked that question while discussing physician use of social media.

There’s a stereotype that says doctors shun technology that might threaten patients’ privacy and their own pocketbooks. But a new breed of physicians is texting health messages to patients, tracking disease trends on Twitter, identifying medical problems on Facebook pages and communicating with patients through email.

Most physicians are comfortable using technology enough to communicate with their peers and manage patient care, but avoid online communication with patients. Indeed, the American Medical Association advises that when it comes to social media, “physicians must maintain appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship in accordance with professional ethical guidelines just, as they would in any other context.” However, a new breed of physician might be bucking that role:

The famed Mayo Clinic holds “Tweet camps” to train its doctors how to use Twitter appropriately, said Lee Aase, director of Mayo’s Center for Social Media in Rochester, Minn.

Says Aase, “If we can trust doctors with sharp instruments and narcotics, we can trust them with Twitter and Facebook.”