I have finally had time to explore and engage with social media.
Like many people my age (40+), I dabbled with Facebook when it first came out but soon got fed-up. I was wasting hours on it without ever achieving much. I felt that I would be better off seeing my friends and family face-to-face or speaking over the phone.
Fast forward 10 years. I now see the immense value of social media.
I have been able to connect with other like-minded people that I never would have met otherwise. My mind and whole world has opened up. I have discovered new ways of thinking, a forum to share ideas and concepts that I never would have otherwise missed.
I am not saying that it is not without its downsides and is not a distraction, but for me the educational and support I gain from it far outweighs the negatives.
How to get started if you are a novice like me
My learning came through play & practice and finding free on-line resources to help me start. The one I used was the 101 social media quickstarter by Constant Contact.
The NHS also offers a free IT skills pathway which covers most of the Office products. You need to have an nhs.net account and to register at a local site before doing the learning at home in your own time.
Facebook groups that I have found useful sources of support and knowledge are:
- Tea & empathy
- I cannot recommend this group highly enough. It is a “national, informal, peer-to-peer network aiming to foster a compassionate and supportive atmosphere throughout the NHS”
- The support and compassion shown by all the members to those in the group who are struggling or just need advice is immensely powerful. I would highly recommend that anyone struggling should join this group.
- Resilient GP
- A forum for GPs sharing stories and best practice. Their strap line is”Standing Up for General Practice”
- National association of Sessional GPs
- Set up by the legendary Dr Richard Fieldhouse, this is “an informal Facebook group for freelance locum, salaried, returner and retainer GPs working anywhere in the UK.“
On her website, Other options for doctors, Dr Evgenia Galinskaya emphasises the importance of having a linked-in profile to all doctors considering their options. In business it is now becoming a common way to recruit so a strong profile can often lead to work opportunities.
I have found this a great resource; it enables you to listen to the thoughts and ideas of people or themes that you are interested in on a real-time basis. You can also connect directly to inspirational people that you might otherwise not meet in your own circles and so opens up a whole new world of opportunity.
Instagram for doctors is fantastic example of using social media in an educational way – by crowdsourcing diagnoses.
Figure 1, “the medical photo-sharing app lets doctors and medical staff send images of diseases and injuries safely” is not widely used in the UK yet according to a recent article, but figures are expected to rise. There are safeguards in place and consent must be obtained from the patient before sharing.
Do you know of any other useful groups or networks through social media?
What are your thoughts about doctors using social media?