Phil Baumann (@philbaumann), creator of the popular #RNchat Twitter hashtag, recently announced a new Twitter hashtag specifically for doctors. A growing number of health care industry insiders have been participating in various Twitter discussions for a couple of years now. However, this is the first organized Twitter chat targeting physicians. In my opinion, it’s a great idea and it fills a void in the Twitterverse for physicians looking to find a community outside of the traditional healthcare discussions at #hcsm, #hcmktg, etc.
According to Phil, the basic idea is for physicians to benefit in the following ways:
- to be more involved online
- to understand and use social media
- to network with each other
- to cross pollinate with others in health care
The chats began in early October and participation has been promising. Both the volume of participants and the quality of conversation has improved over time. Transcripts from previous Twitter chats can be reviewed by visiting the MDchat website. The next scheduled chat will be tonight 10/26/2010 at 9:00 EST so please help spread the word.
To give you an idea of what you can expect from #MDchat discussions, I pulled the topics of a previous chat on 10/12/2010 from the transcripts.
- What media technologies do you use most often? Why? What would you like to see come to market?
- In reference to a New York Times article, are examination basics being lost? Or improved?
At the moment, the topics are chosen in advance by Phil or through submitted ideas. Occasionally, spontaneous topics emerge due to the fact Twitter chats are an open forum. If you would like to suggest a topic for future #MDchat discussions, simply fill out the available web form.
Ultimately, the goal is to grow the #MDchat discussions over time and find physicians willing to moderate the conversations. This may lead to multiple chats per week in order to accommodate busy schedules and even the potential for specialty specific chats.
Phil hopes #MDchat will attract more physicians to Twitter creating an environment where they address issues such as physician led innovation, reliable sources of medical content, discussing research with patients, health care reform and more. Twitter chats can be confusing – even for people with a strong understanding of Twitter. For those physicians new to Twitter or Twitter chats, the use of a service such as TweetChat.com goes a long way in making the process simpler.
Other resources from Phil Baumann: