Programme no. 506-WS
Professional Development
WhatsApp, Doc? An Overview of Current Recommendations about Online Medical Professionalism and How to Tackle Obstacles
Ulrik Kirk*1, Katrina Tibballs2, Elisabeth Mathilde Stura3, Kalle Saikkonen*4
1Quality Unit of Region of Zealand,Sorø,Denmark, 2Vinderen Legekontor,Oslo,Norway, 3Dalen legesenter,Fyllingsdalen,Norway, 4Helsingin Kaupunki,Helsinki,Finland
* = Presenting author
Objectives: This workshop will explore and identify strategies and tools that promote, encourage and assist General Practitioners to achieve effective and time efficient use of Social Media. It also aims at building skills in online medical professionalism and providing an interactive PDF to support the participants in successfully participating on the Web 2.0.
Background: Following the initial slow growth of Social Media, we now find ourselves in a world in which they are hard to escape. Increasingly our patients employ them, not just to find information, but also to interact with their doctors. It is therefore imperative that doctors not only respond to the 2.0 paradigm, but that we learn how to use them effectively and efficiently for collaborative, educational and advocacy purposes, both with other peers and in partnership with our patients. Research shows that training and education support available for GPs using Social Media is limited and evidence proves that inappropriate online behavior can damage personal integrity, doctor-patient and peer relationships, and career opportunities. Education and training on online medical professionalism is therefore quintessential, especially for GPs, who have to balance their community-oriented services, patient-centeredness and accessibility, with the needs to establish a relationship over time through effective communication, ensure the longitudinal continuity of care, and maintaining professional boundaries at all times.
Content: The main content will be practical, GP-tailored tips that allow participants to enjoy the online world and safeguard their social media use, while motivating them to think, communicate and share experiences freely and openly on those media. By laying out some simple principles we also aim to make the use of social media less threatening, reassuring current users and empowering latecomers. Having identified tools and strategies that promote and allow efficient and effective use of Social Media, participants will be better equipped to harness their power and potential and incorporate its use more fully in their working lives.
Method: We will set small groups to discuss the perceived obstacles to online medical professionalism and how they could be addressed; we will then provide an overview of current recommendations and how they tackle such obstacles. Where possible we will draw upon real life examples based on our own experiences on the social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube), in order to illustrate common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Other considerations: Although targeted at GP trainees, the workshop focuses on practical issues also of interest to more experienced doctors, other specialists and patients.