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Skilled Medical Forum: Social Media and the Medical Profession

February 2013

On February 18, Skilled Medical hosted a forum on social media and the medical profession at our offices in Collingwood. Hosted by Dr E Robyn Mason, Skilled Medical’s Senior Medical Advisor, the evening featured presentations from Jenni Beattie and Jhaike Braham of the Cancer Council NSW.

The rise of social media has presented a challenge to professionals in all disciplines, largely due to the blurring of the traditional lines between private, public and professional information. This is particularly the case with Australian medical practitioners, for whom the risk of social media usage conflicting with professional standards, confidentiality or advertising guidelines frequently proves a deterrent.

Recognising how difficult it is for busy medical practitioners to navigate this emerging social shift, Skilled Medical devised the forum to help clarify some of the confusion ahead of AHPRA’s formal social media policy, due later in 2013.

Former Director of Digital Democracy, Jenni Beattie chaired the inaugural Social Media in Health Care conference in 2012 and has developed social media strategies for the government, private and not-for-profit sectors. Her presentation ‘Social Media and the Medical Profession’ provided a detailed introduction to the current social media and health landscape, social media usage by patients and medical professionals and the benefits and pitfalls of using social media. Some of the key suggestions made on the night include:

  • Google yourself to discover how potential employers, patients and others may perceive you
  • Provide clear and professional information about yourself to others by creating a solid LinkedIn profile (large sites rank highly in web searches)
  • Monitor the use of your name on the web by setting up Google Alerts
  • Become familiar with privacy settings when using social media accounts and restrict all public access to your personal details and online interactions

We were pleased to have Dr Stewart Morrison attend and participate in the ensuing discussion. As co-author of ‘Social Media and the Medical Profession: A guide to online professionalism for medical practitioners and medical students’, one of the first documents on social media tailored to Australasian medical professionals, Dr Morrison has made a detailed contribution to the topic.

After a discussion led by Jhaike Braham, Marketing Manager of the Cancer Council NSW, we enjoyed some vigorous discussion between presenters and doctors about the topics raised.

We sincerely appreciate the contributions of Jenni Beattie, Jhaike Braham, Dr Stewart Morrison and thank Dr E Robyn Mason for hosting the event.

Useful links:
Social Media and the Medical Profession
HCSMANZ (Healthcare and Social Media in Australia and New Zealand) on Twitter
Cancer Council NSW
Croakey – health and social media

Skilled Medical is an international medical recruitment, placement and services firm that delivers qualified medical professionals wherever they are needed in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

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