More and more surgeons are turning to social media platforms not only to connect with their peers but also to share experiences on new techniques and practices.
Facebook and Twitter are just two of the platforms that surgeons are using to replace face-to-face interactions, write assistant professors from Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School and Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety & Quality, Tufts University School of Medicine and the University of Michigan in a piece for Harvard Business Review.
The medium offers learning opportunities to further surgical education as the practice of surgery continues to evolve, the authors say.
Indeed, their study in the August issue of the Annals of Surgery on how robotic surgeons used a closed-membership Facebook group found that surgeons post the most and comment more on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday than other days. This suggests that the surgeons have incorporated the social media group into their weekly workflow rather than using it on weekends when they have more free time, the authors say.
Surgeons who use the social media platforms say that it allows them to hear from other experts in the field and helps them learn about surgical techniques and options that they may not have considered.
The authors say that hospital and healthcare system leaders should embrace the potential of the medium to augment in-person learning opportunities.
Peter Alperin, M.D., vice president of connectivity solutions at Doximity, the largest secure medical network, with more than 70% of all U.S. physicians as members, also wrote in a recent piece for Hospital Impact that many physicians have found that they’ve been able to expand their referral network to specialists by making use of networking on social media.
“Ultimately, partnerships like this allow physicians to share their expertise and help patients connect to the best treatments available, which is a win for both physician collaboration and patient outcomes,” Alperin says.