Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Now More Than Ever...

 In essentials, unity; in differences, liberty; in all things, charity~ Philipp Melanchthon

Doctors are a quiet lot. They reside in their own private worlds. Individualism is bred, since decisions have to be made in real time when lives are at stake. Individualism also espouses the strength of the many minds to meet and discuss the disease riddled human body, leading to a confluence of thoughts for a proper management of an illness. This precise individualism is the reason that many doctors do not ascribe to a united front. They also don’t have the time or inclination to merge in social format to promote a cause. Most leave the social interactions to the bean counting beavers that have risen to the top in various circles of Management of Medical Care. In fact when only 18% of the doctors have membership in the AMA a society that purportedly speaks for physicians, that should tell you that something is not quite right with the state of that art.

Now however things are about to change. What is becoming clearer over the past year or so is that many doctors are using different forms of social media to communicate with others. It seems to have brought a new religion into the field of medicine. A fractured coalition of similarly thinking individuals is about to find a common thread. This thread will change the color of the fabric in the very near future. The benefit will be felt in the larger context of the society. Patients will learn and be educated, families will learn how to monitor their loved ones and each individual will be empowered to take better care of him or herself. Now that is a worthy cause. A platform to do good, that will vacate the ignorance of one and challenge the many that aspire to prey upon the vulnerable. Yes there is hope! Yes there is a way! And yes it will be done. And interestingly there will be no monetary strings of control attached. It will be a human to human connection for promoting and enhancing life.

Commonality in thinking leads to a common purpose. As physicians, that purpose is to provide the best and most efficient health care for the patients. This time, hopefully the unity will be bereft of all the “movers and shakers” the “advisory committees’ and the “money changers.” A direct communication at all levels will create a social network amongst the physicians that will propel the banner of “Good Health.” Unity of thought occurs when ideas are discussed in the light of the day and not behind closed doors in the ivory towers and beside expensive lamplights either. A social network fits the menu perfectly! And in that union of thought the physician will learn, what is perceived as lacking; to know the mind of a patient.

When 22% of all online experience is shared via Social Media and 40 million tweets a day exchanging glances, 750 million faces glaring through Facebook and 75% of the population over 13 years of age just in the US wirelessly connected, the moment is well past inception. It is now!

It is time! Social Media or So Me as it has come to be known, is calling all physicians. One can choose from a potpourri of chat lines scheduled at different hours on different days of the week to communicate with fellow-common-thinkers. Participate, communicate and learn from others the nuances of how the society unlocks its barriers in lockstep with each expression. Now more then ever…

The “chat” list is long but here are a few, worth considering: #hcsm, #bcsm, #MDchat, #meded, #mhsm, #RNchat to start with. 

But the perception of life as an organic unity is a slow achievement, and depends for its growth on a people's entry into the main current of world-events. M Iqbal

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