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While they don't contact patients directly with personal social media accounts, physicians are aware of its importance with keeping patients updated.
"Our hospital uses Facebook and a couple of our docs have Twitter accounts they post on, but I don't have anything, certainly not for patients or the outside world.
The other difficulty with social media is that when I am at work, I'm at work; when I'm not at work, I'd rather not be, and it's just time consuming to try to keep up with those conversations."
"I live and practice in a rural area where it just wouldn't be used all that much.
I don't even have a personal Facebook page. I work in a community of 11,000 people who are all related to each other. I'd have to have 11,000 friends.
The hospital has a Web page, but they've just run the cables that give smartphones a signal in the past couple months. We don't even have a pager system that works out here in southern Illinois. Once that gets up and running, I may start using social media, because that is the way people communicate these days."
Mary Waller, MD
"Of the 11 partners in our practice, three use Twitter. One uses it regularly, mostly about prostate cancer issues. He's younger and very media savvy.
I use it infrequently. I wrote a book about men's sexual health, and I tweet primarily to promote my book. My son actually does most of my tweeting for me.
I don't know how effective it is, but if you want to keep up with what's out there, it's another way of getting your message out.
I'm much more active in blogging. If you're promoting your practice, it's all about name recognition. It's important to get your name in front of the public, potential patients, and potential referring sources. So the more you tweet or blog, the more likely someone will remember you name when it's time to go to the urologist or to refer a patient."
Dudley Danoff, MD