This is the first in a series of profiles highlighting the physicians that are part of the #BCSM Community.
Why does connecting on social media matter to you?
Because social media is growing as a communication tool, I believe to be up-to-date we must engage in social media. I have really appreciated being involved in the #bcsm chats, both learning from others and answering questions. Reading tweets from conferences is a great way to stay current with the latest data. I’ve learned from physicians such as Pauline Chen and Kevin Pho. To quote Dr. Pho from a New York Times article “The biggest risk of social media in health care is not using it at all.”
Can you really counsel patients online?
One has to be careful not to overstep the boundaries and treat online. I can direct to resources and articles. Many of the august bodies such as the AMA have social media guidelines, it’s important not to stray from them.
What is your responsibility beyond the patients you see in your office?
To teach and to learn. My responsibility is to disseminate reliable, trustworthy information. Twitter is the ideal medium to do that. When I come across an interesting article on ASCO News for example, I want to share that. It’s curation, a way of using my platform for good.
Where can patients find reliable information in your speciality?
Medivizor is a great resource. I recommend it. Patients receive articles pertinent to them rather than searching through material that does not apply to their situation. The National Cancer Institute website is another valuable online resource.
How important are second opinions?
If a patient wants a second opinion, they should feel free to get one. Sometimes hearing the same recommendation from a different source can be very reassuring for the patient and their family. I give recommendations of whom they should see if a patient expresses that wish.
Dr. Diane Radford is a breast surgical oncologist practicing in St. Louis. More information including her Health & Wellness and Creative blogs can be found at DianeRadfordMD.com. She can also be found on Twitter: @dianeradfordmd