Mar 1 2009

Move Aside, Twitter! Drs. Have Their Own Social Networking Sites.

In one on my February 25th posts, I talked about the emerging use of Twitter by surgeons in the operating room.  But this morning I learned, courtesy of KevinMD, that physicians are using other sites tailored to their profession, to do everything from requesting advice on making a diagnosis, to what wine to serve with particular dishes.   Of particular concern to Kevin is the potential fodder for medical malpractice lawsuits that exchanges on such sites could provide if they reflect poor practice. 

Reporter Brandon Glenn, of Medical Economics, discusses the sites themselves:;; and, and shows how they have become useful in the every day practice of medicine.  While clearly beneficial to many physicians, Mr. Glenn points out that some remain wary, and not just because of the medical malpractice implications.  There is concern about Sermo’s practice of “selling access to investment firms and other outside groups to observe physician interactions.”


8 Comments on this post


  1. Howard said:

    and what are your views of these sites for physicians?

    March 2nd, 2009 at 12:05 pm
  2. Andrew Barovick said:

    I think the sharing of information in any profession is, in general, a good thing. It used to take place through meetings and printed publications, and now it can take place instantly throught the internet. I am also a big proponent of electronic medical records, which can educate a physician new to a patient about her medical history, medications she is allergic to, and other pertinent information that should make healthcare a little more foolproof.

    March 2nd, 2009 at 4:38 pm
  3. Andy said:

    The Medical Economics article raises a number of important issues regarding physician social networking, especially with concern to Sermo. While I earnestly believe sites like Ozmosis and iMedexchange can improve access to medical information, I am truly disappointed with what I have learned about Sermo.

    March 4th, 2009 at 12:15 pm
  4. Len Smith said:

    Agreed. Let’s be honest and describe Sermo for what it really is, a market research firm. AlphaMD is run by Sermo and allows pharma and financial clients to monitor physician discussions. To make this business model work, Sermo needs to make its users anonymous to “protect” their privacy for fear of litigation. In reality, all this does is create a false sense of security because Sermo already knows which physicians its clients are watching behind the one-way mirror.

    While Sermo argues that its anonymity is a good thing for its users and clients, has anyone actually looked at the discussions this results in? Besides way too much negativity in many of the posts, how do physicians find any useful information hidden within all the noise and anonymous chatter? Do doctors really have time to sift through anonymous discussion boards? And since users have no idea whether doctors are being paid to post by pharma, how can they trust what is being shared?

    March 4th, 2009 at 3:11 pm
  5. Jonathan said:

    It sounds like what physicians really need is a social network where real names and credentials are shared. I guess I would think of it like an authenticated version of LinkedIn or facebook, but just for licensed physicians. I mean, shouldn’t a physician social network, where doctors are consulting on clinical cases, make absolutely sure its physicians actually know who they are discussing clinical issues with? Based on what Ozmosis and niche physician sites like RadRounds and SpineConnect offer their members, they seem to provide networking platforms that might actually be useful.

    March 5th, 2009 at 4:59 pm
  6. Medical Websites said:

    Sermo has about 10x the traffic of any of these other sites – and I’ve read about physicians being ‘addicts’ of the site. I agree with Len Smith, How many doctors really do have time to surf discussion boards?

    March 19th, 2009 at 1:29 pm
  7. MedGoline said:

    Check out MedGoline. MedGoline with change the way social medical networking offering segment allowing users to control, share and collaborate with their family, friends, neighbors and the world about medical information and knowledge that they have which will help others know more.
    The computing technology under the covers will create the intelligence network that will allow smarter and contextually related conclusions for people and also help create a wider reach with smarter and related information gathering from more the Internet and dedicated medical and healthcare related networks. MedGoline is at a pre-launch phase now.

    April 29th, 2009 at 10:10 pm
  8. Aaron said: offers physicians an exclusive website developed just for doctors to keep them connected and enhance their careers. From finding all of the latest journal articles to connecting with fellow physicians to purchasing a time share, has it all, and more!

    MD Contacts – allows physicians to communicate easily with other members. MD Forums – physicians can post questions and engage in discussions within their area of expertise. MD Education – contains a wide range of articles, journals and medical videos that are easily accessible to all members. MD Practice Management – offers practical solutions and expert advice for the day-to-day problems all medical practices face MD Marketplace – allows physicians to buy, sell or even post a job opening

    August 28th, 2009 at 4:41 am


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