Social media: Physician's friend and foe

Connected coverage - selected articles on trends, challenges and controversies in the changing world of medicine

Posted Dec. 10, 2012

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Websites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have provided physicians and aspiring doctors with new ways to connect with others and find information — and more opportunities to get themselves into trouble. American Medical News has covered the evolution of social media and physicians' use of it since the infancy of these sites. Over time, doctors have become savvier about how to use social media for their benefit. But others, often inadvertently, find that their social media history can come back to haunt them.

Med school applicants might want to rethink that last tweet

A study finds that medical schools and residency programs are increasingly using an applicant's social media postings to consider whether to accept that person into their program. More than half of program administrators surveyed said applicants could hurt their chances of acceptance based on what is found under their name online. Read more

Doctors tell how they use social media as professional watercooler

The physicians' lounge has found a place online, with doctors using Twitter and Facebook to get tips on which journal articles or clinical research pieces are the most worthwhile, and to connect with colleagues around the world to talk shop. Read more

4 ways social media can improve your medical practice

Although physicians are catching on to the idea that social media can let them chat with colleagues and patients, other uses are less known. For example, physicians can monitor social media to find out what patients think of certain medications. Read more

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Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

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American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

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Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

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Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

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Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

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How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

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Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

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Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

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