Robert West, PhD, Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Upstate Medical University at SUNY, teaches social media to medical students.
Bob, as he likes to be called, had seven students, last year.
This year? 25 percent of the class.
Be his student for the next five minutes in this engaging #MedDevice chat.
Joe Hage: Thank you for joining us, Bob. You shared you are teaching #socialmedia to medical students. Tell us about it.
Bob West: Thank you for having me. Social media is important for budding docs for many reasons, but the biggest may be the fact that PATIENTS use it.
Joe Hage: What is the curriculum? Do you cover HIPAA, etc?
Bob West: Course syllabus maintained @ Google Sites (log in). All lectures video taped/ archived. Broad range of topics (what I tweet!).
Joe Hage: I attended a @MarkRaganCEO event where @SeattleMamaDoc said “we need more physicians using social media.”
Bob West: Familiar with @SeattleMamaDoc and both of us are External Board members of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media (#MCCSM).
Joe Hage: You are preparing tomorrow’s doctors to use #socialmedia. Do you think it is “too late” for most practicing doctors to start?
Bob West: Never too late for practicing Docs to start! CME courses should emphasize, as was tweeted yesterday by @CMEAdvocate.
@Audacity Inc: Any reason you think it’s taking them so long to adopt social media?
Bob West: @AudacityInc Yes. It’s taking time in large part cause med schools only now starting to teach SM. Lots of apathy from entrenched.
Joe Hage: To what do you attribute “apathy from the entrenched”? Is there a “silver bullet” to get them interested? #ACO maybe?
@TheHealthMaven: Apathy? Med schools are cloistered societies. Hard to teach a old dog new tricks. Esp w physicians (apologize for that!).
Bob West: Silver bullet? My strategy was grass roots: start with med students who appreciate tech and change and once they’re on board… cc @TheHealthMaven
Joe Hage: My #MedDevice clients would want to know: Is there an “angle” here for us? How can we use SM to “get in” with med students?
Bob West: That’s a tricky question and outside my areas of expertise.
Joe Hage: I think the angle for #MedDevice companies is to follow physicians on social media and interact/comment, etc. It’s a very long lead time and may not be worth it on a return-on-investment (time) standpoint. Another possibility is the #MedDevice company’s SM interactions yields conference or editorial opportunities for larger audiences. But I don’t think one-on-one interactions with physicians as a go-to-market strategy is scalable. Would you agree?
[See Dr. Luks WON’T See You Now, Unless … where Howard shares how he’s been assaulted on LinkedIn!]
Bob West: Scalable? Not in near future, but over long term it might be the best strategy. Suggest starting now, then find other options.
Joe Hage: That’s fair. Tell us, might you make your class available virtually? I imagine there could be an audience for it.
Bob West: Good question, never really thought of it. I’ll get back to you in a couple days…
Joe Hage: Excellent. I know I (for one) would like to see your coursework! Before we wrap up, any closing thoughts that might sway an on-the-fence physician to give social media a go?
Bob West: It’s very rewarding in terms of INFORMATION, as well as socially, providing Doc can discipline his/her time properly.
@Audacity: Thank you again for taking your time out for this. It was a pleasure to get your insights on #hcsm #meddevice #mdchat
>>> Click to review the archive of #MedDevice chats you missed! <<<
Join the Medical Devices Group on LinkedIn to network and grow your business. #MedDevice is held most Wednesdays, 4 p.m. EST. We interview the medical device industry’s best minds and cover issues including sales, reimbursement, distribution, EMRs/HIT, regulations, and Marketing Medical Devices.