Social Media| Volume 158, ISSUE 3, P857-862, September 2015

Social media is a necessary component of surgery practice

      Social media is a necessary component of the practice of surgery. Each surgeon must embrace the power and potential of social media and serve as a guide or content expert for patients and other health care providers to facilitate and share responsible use of the various media available. Social media facilitates rapid communication of information not only across providers but also between patients and providers. The power of social media has the potential to improve consultation and collaboration, facilitate patient education, and expand research efforts; moreover, by harnessing its potential, the appropriate use of many of the avenues of social media also can be used to disseminate campaigns to increase disease awareness and communicate new research findings and best-practice guidelines. Because its reach is so broad within as well as outside the censorship of medical experts, professional oversight and engagement is required to maximize responsible use. Staying consistent with our history of surgery, rich in innovation and technologic advancement, surgeons must get to the front of this evolving field and direct the path of social media as it applies to the practice of surgery rather than take a passive role.
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