2014: Year of the Family Physician (Part XXIII)

On May 21st, the UC Davis Health System hosted a faculty workshop discussing the role of social media in academic medicine. Dorsey Griffith from public affairs and Vicki Bencken from marketing were kind enough to include me on the panel. Approximately 100 faculty members from nearly all disciplines attended. My panel co-members included a thoracic surgeon, a pathologist, and a urologist. I incorporated a Twitter chat into the workshop to demonstrate the value of social media in real time. After I decided on #UCDSoMe4all as the hashtag, I immediately invited @KPSDFMR, @drkkyu, @ReneeCrichlowMD, and @drmikesevilla to legitimize and enliven the chat. As the discussion moved past the logistics and mechanics of social media participation, Dorsey and Vicki projected the chat transcript onscreen. Some of the audience were stunned that people [Renee Crichlow and Mike Sevilla] were chiming in from the Midwest [Minnesota and Ohio, respectively]. Then, Kaiser Permanente San Diego and Kim Yu brought the juice and the heat. They tweeted at such a feverish pace that the transcript was trampling the screen like the bulls at Pamplona.

The chat moved the audience from dos and don’ts to the wonders of social media. Dorsey and Vicki came away inspired by the energy that rocketed off the transcript screen. Upon the workshop’s conclusion, they were sketching out the next health system social media event. At the core, the workshop exceeded expectations in large part because family physicians around the country responded to the call for help from a fellow family physician. Family physicians not only take care of patients of all ages, they take care of their own.

I hope that #2014YearFP plays a small part in how family physicians utilize social media to share our realm with the world. It has connected me with family physicians, medical students, an Irish folk band, local coffee shops, and friends who were waiting to enter my life.

Author: Ronald Fong, MD, MPH

Dr. Fong's opinions are his own and do not represent UC Davis. He can be reached at ronald.fong@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu.

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  1. Great session Dr. Fong. Would you mind if we corrected my twitter handle, it is actually @ReneeCrichlowMD . Thanks, and anytime you need a tweet chat member, let me know. Smiles. Renee Crichlow

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