Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One-Third of Physicians Say They'll "Never" Use Twitter

Interesting findings from some research done in part by my friend Bryan Vartabedian, MD, the Houston-area pediatric gastroenterologist and one of Texas' leaders in the health care/social media field. (Check out, actually suggest that you subscribe to, Bryan's blog at http://www.33charts.com/)

Being a simple-answer kind of guy, I was overwhelmed with the info in the chart below that shows one-third of physicians say they will "never" use Twitter "to share medical knowledge with other physicians," and more than 25 percent say they will never use Facebook.

Bryan, however, looked at what they say they are using now, and he wrote this in a blog post:

When it comes to sharing information with other doctors, facilitated networks and email still seem to rule the day. Video, blogs, real-time micro-blogging, and wikis be damned, it seems doctors prefer to circle the wagons in tight MD verticals or keep it one-to-one/few on email. 70% of physicians in our study use email for professional sharing of information and 50% use facilitated networks like Sermo, Doximity, and Physician Connect. We found that 7% of PCPs and oncologists use Twitter to share amongst themselves. This figure is consistent with Twitter adoption by the general American public.

To me this isn’t surprising based on what I see and hear from my colleagues. What isn’t clear is whether physicians truly prefer closed networks and email or is it that they’ve yet to try and judge the utility of other platforms (I’ll put my money on the latter). I suspect that if we were to look more specifically at the type of content shared doctor-to-doctor we might find that physicians ‘profile’ platforms for different types of sharing.

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