Social Media Makes Me A Better Pediatrician

Almost two years ago I started writing more regularly- reflections on being a new mom, thoughts on my changing perspective as a pediatrician. I kept a notebook that quickly filled with thoughts that occurred to me during clinic, questions parents asked, things that came up with my son. I started reading more- both on-line and off. I realized that friends who were parents had the same kinds of questions I did. They too were googling questions and looking for credible sources of information. So, one year ago I started sharing the things I was writing about. My Two Hats was born. What I didn’t know then was that this little blog would open a new world to me. That it would start to shift the way I think about medicine and make me a better doctor. Here’s how.

  • I write more. I have written, on average, a post a week. All of this writing has made me a better doctor, and mom, in many ways. If a parent asks a question on a topic I’ve recently researched and written about I can direct them to useful resources without a moment’s hesitation. And, writing makes me read more too. If I haven’t written about something, I now have a set of go-to sources that I know will provide me and my patients with quality child health information.
  • I think more. Writing makes me think. Insightful comments from readers make me think. Listening to the amazing on-line community of patients makes me think. My point of view is challenged. My mind is opened. I am a better doctor.
  • I make more connections. After I started blogging I joined Twitter. I thought it might be a good way to share my work. But, I’ve found that, for me, that’s not really what Twitter is all about. For me, Twitter is about the thoughtful, generous, intelligent community of people that I follow. Every day, they bring me the latest information in medicine, child health, parenting, and general news. They enable me to say to my patients’ parents, yes I did read that study on sleep that just came out, and here are some thoughts. Or, there are some new car seat regulations and here’s what you need to know.
  • I am a more effective child advocate. I’m more aware of the current policy issues affecting kids and can help spread the word.
  • I’ve started to become more “digitally literate.” Since this is where health care is going, it’s good to be in the thick of it.
  • I have more hope for health care. Thanks to social media I have met- both on-line and in real life- people who are working every day to make health care better. People with amazing ideas and incredible drive who I am excited to join. People who give me hope that, with the help of new technology and hard work, we will improve this broken health care system of ours.

So, My Two Hats has brought me a lot. And, I’m still learning. During the next year I will keep writing and perhaps make a video blog or two. I’m starting to think about how I could make the blog bilingual. I’ll definitely keep learning (especially about health literacy and how I can use new mediums to advocate for under-served kids) and keep building connections. Hope you’ll be along for the ride.

Close runner-up was the recent The Leukemia Slayer and my own sentimental fave is Campaign for Kindness.

Follow My Two Hats via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

As always, thanks so much for reading. Have topics you’d like me to write about? Let me know here or at mytwohats[at]gmail.com. I love to hear your thoughts.

*Credit to Dr. Finalle for coining “tweetiatrician.” 🙂

5 thoughts on “Social Media Makes Me A Better Pediatrician

  1. Congratulations Dr. Roman! So great to connect with you and I too, feel the same way about why I blog and will continue to do so. It has made me a better mom and pediatrician. Love your blog and your words…looking forward to the next great year of blogging and social networking 🙂

  2. Some really beautiful thoughts. I particularly like your first two points. They are great examples on the benefits of blogging and social media. I think the challenge for many doctors is that you can’t put an ROI on those first two things. However, they make life and your work so much better. Plus, many don’t want to admit that they could benefit from the first two things. As if doing so is some acknowledgement that they’re not reading other material or their not thinking. They can’t see how it’s an improvement thing as opposed to a condemnation on previous practices.

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