Magazine article Medical Economics

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Magazine article Medical Economics

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Social networking can be a powerful tool

The article "Getting patients to 'Like' your practice" (by Morgan Lewis, Jr., senior editor, December 3 issue) has come at an opportune time, as the mere mention of terms like Facebook and Twitter conjure up images of only young people using these tools. However, these media have seen exponential growth and widespread adaptation. With this growth comes change, and unlike previously, this change affects all facets and sectors of life.

Unlike other phenomena that have taken place through human development, these social networking sites require each and every individual to stand up and take notice of them. As reported in the article, this requires medical professionals to start utilizing and understanding them. The old adage of the doctor-patient relationship is now changing. Whereas once the doctor was seen as the "oracle" in terms of his or her health knowledge, now patients turn not just to the World Wide Web, but to their social networking sites, where they have access to the minds and opinions of all those on their friends list and their followers. Thus, it is now imperative that medical professionals start thinking differently about patients after each visit. As much as the patient is empowered, the medical professional should feel just as empowered by being able to utilize the power of these social networks.

Power comes from being informed, and with social network sites, information is now developed through collective wisdom. It can become either beneficial or detrimental to the patient or the medical professional.


Dunedin, New Zealand

Practicing solo can reap rewards

I am a solo family medicine physician, and I have been out of residency for 4 years and in my own practice for 1 1/2 years. I want to congratulate Russell Bacak, MD, and thank him for the honest tone of his article ("The good, the bad, and the ugly," December 3 issue). …

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