Social networks “have the capacity to revolutionize medicine”


September 28, 2021

3 minutes to read


Cawcutt K. Using social media to revolutionize medicine. Presented at: Women in Medicine Summit; 24-25 Sept. 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Cawcutt does not report any relevant financial disclosure.

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During this year’s Women in Medicine Summit, Kelly Cawcutt, MARYLAND, MRS, discussed the importance of using social media correctly to network, promote important work, and educate anyone interested in getting involved, saying it can “revolutionize medicine”.

“We’re thinking about how to revolutionize medicine, and the truth is it starts with us,” said Cawcutt, infectious disease physician and co-director of digital innovation and social media strategy at the Medical Center ‘University of Nebraska. “I truly believe that social media has the ability to revolutionize medicine.”

Source: Adobe Stock.
Social media is an important tool for networking, sharing work and finding opportunities in the medical field, according to a presentation by Kelly Cawcutt, MD. Source: Adobe Stock.

The concept is not new to Cawcutt, who published an op-ed on the potential importance of social media to medicine in 2017. In the article, aptly titled “Twitter Me This,” Cawcutt explained how the media social can be used to share work and amplify the skills of others.

She explained that at that time there weren’t many medical divisions or departments on social media, and there weren’t many healthcare workers on social media who were professionally engaging.

“I think one of the key aspects when we think about how to bring about revolution and change is to remember that social media is not what revolution is; social media is the tool we use. It’s something in our arsenal and Revolutions are the person behind the social media account, ”Cawcutt said.

With this concept in mind, Cawcutt used his presentation at the Women in Summit meeting to delve deeper into how to best use social media to “revolutionize” medicine.

A major part of social media is creating an appropriate personal brand, which “tells the story of who you are going to become”, understanding who you are, what you do and how you do it, to advance your professional status. proactively, says Cawcutt.

“The best part of knowing your brand is that you spend the rest of your life as a leader being yourself against someone you’re not,” she said. “You have to remember that leadership does not require a title. We are all leaders who have the capacity to change and lead a revolution in social media and in medicine. “

After understanding your brand, Cawcutt said that’s when you can start to understand how social media can work best for you.

According to Cawcutt, in general, men and women in the medical field use social media in slightly different ways. Cawcutt explained that men tend to use social media to learn about new research topics and to build a professional network, while women tend to use social media more for motivation and networking. support. (Another presenter at the meeting reported that most of the doctors verified on Twitter are male.)

“We, as women, or our allies who are men, need to think about how we use social media to really advance women and build these meaningful professional networks and use that capacity for education and academic advancement. and professional for ourselves, ”Cawcutt said.

To do this best, Cawcutt explained that before considering using social media, someone needs to understand the different platforms and think about what kind of content they want to share.

Twitter, for example, has been “fantastic” for the medical community in terms of connecting through meaningful hashtags and sharing important work, she said.

When choosing the best platform, you have to “be thoughtful,” Cawcutt said. “Think about what you want to do, what you are passionate about when it comes to communication, who is the other end, who are you trying to reach and how you can best choose a platform to really meet your needs. a particular audience. “

Establishing a successful social media presence can lead to many meaningful connections and opportunities, Cawcutt said. In her presentation, she described a few opportunities, including opportunities to collaborate, educate and advocate for patients and colleagues. Cawcutt has also secured professional opportunities through social media, including an invitation via direct messaging on Twitter to be a section editor for a healthcare post.

“People no longer go to the news on television or in the newspapers. People are flocking to social media, including medical fields, ”Cawcutt said. “I urge you not to be shy, not to hold back on social media to engage with others, network, reach out to someone you don’t know and haven’t had the opportunity to meet. Take this opportunity to build collaborations for your specialty, your organization and to diversify your portfolios.

The references:

Cawcutt K. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2017; doi: 10.1017 / ice.2017.242.

Cawcutt K. Using social media to revolutionize medicine. Presented at: Women in Medicine Summit; 24-25 Sept. 2021 (virtual meeting).


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