Do you use professional networking sites to discuss medical and practice issues?

March 1, 2009

I've never used them. I didn't even know they existed.

"I've never used them. I didn't even know they existed.

For tricky medical issues, I'm in a call-group of six urologists who have varying strengths. If I don't feel comfortable, I'll just send the patient to a colleague who is more familiar with particular conditions. We also have Johns Hopkins, George Washington University, Georgetown, and University of Virginia: world-class care right here. So I don't need them for that.

I might use those sites for looking for a position out west."

Philip A. St. Raymond, MD
Sterling, VA

"I've never used them. First, I never knew about them. Second, I guess when I have a question, I tend to discuss it with urologists I feel close with, either in the hospital or ones we interact with regularly. There haven't been great issues I've needed to go online to discuss with others.

There's no question there are issues on which urologists should get together to address as a group. I could see myself taking a look at those sites, now that I know they are there, to see what they're discussing, but I really hadn't even heard of them."

Mark A. Respler, MD
Brooklyn, NY

"I haven't really looked at those [web sites]. I have 14 people in my office and that's sort of an internal network, if you will. We swap a lot of ideas in our office, and we do look outside our office for ways to run our larger practice, such as a nationwide meeting for larger urological groups, so I don't use the discussion web sites at all.

If I were in a smaller practice, or was the only person practicing within the confines of a certain subspecialty in our area, I would probably use them more."

Roger M. McKimmy, MD
Springfield, OR

"Our office manager uses those kinds of sites to look at how other people are dealing with Medicare and office issues.

I haven't really used them except for one place, which I've only used very loosely. The Sexual Medicine Society has a web site where they actually raise an issue about an unidentified patient. It's more international and has more information on what people are doing in distant places, like France or Turkey, where I might have more difficulty getting information.

If I need information here in the United States, I know enough people, I have enough e-mails and phone numbers, that I know who I would want to talk to and who I have confidence in.

Internationally, I don't have that same feel, so I will occasionally look at that. It is interesting to see how people in other parts of the world are dealing with some troublesome issues."

William Clark, MD
Anchorage, AK