Conference Coverage

Social media can help doctors stay up to date



Want to have influence on social media? Dr. Amber Yates advises physicians to be authentic.

“People want to see that you’re a person and not strictly a physician,” said Dr. Yates, a pediatric hematologist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, who has had an active Twitter presence for the last few years.

Dr. Yates – whose Twitter handle is @sicklecelldoc – said she dipped a toe in the social media waters because she wanted to bring accurate medical information to patients in the arena where they are seeking information.

“I want families to understand their condition as well as they can on whatever level they can, and so I just found this to be another way to do that ... outside of my clinic,” she said during an interview at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

But beyond correcting misinformation and serving as an advocate for patients, Dr. Yates said she gets professional benefits from being on Twitter. For instance, she uses the platform to find relevant articles as soon as they publish, without wading through all the journals.

“It’s allowed me to kind of streamline what I read,” she said.

Dr. Yates said Twitter is her social media platform of choice because it provides a simple, succinct way to communicate and provide links to more in-depth resources.

While social media can be fun and rewarding for physicians, Dr. Yates said think before you post. Ask yourself, “would you tell your chairperson this?”

Dr. Yates reported having no relevant financial disclosures.

Next Article: