Transcript of the First MDchat for October 5, 2010

Well, today marked the inaugural Twitter chat for physicians – #MDchat. There were a little over 500 tweets this first round and the topics included:

  • Why did you become a physician?
  • What is your vision of Healthcare in the 21st Century?
  • What are the promises and pitfalls of the intersection of the Internet and Healthcare?

Below is the transcript for the chat, which you can also view here:

You can also view a contextualized live-stream of ongoing tweets on #MDchat here. Also, for a newspaper-like view of the tweets of people which @MD_chat follows, check out our Daily here.

It was a pleasure moderating today’s chat – the turnout was higher than I expected for a first chat. It certainly was much higher than the launch of RNchat in September 2009 – but Twitter was still coming into mainstream attention then.

There was a diverse mix of participants. I will sort through other data get an idea of how many physicians took part.

My hope is that physicians will become the core group of participants – it’s not an easy thing to do, especially since the relative proportion of clinicians to the general population is rather slim.

There was great discussion, but I do hope to see more participation of doctors, so we can hear their voice – that’s one the major purposes of MDchat.

We shall see: that’s my role (and anyone else who moderates): to lead and shape the chats, and then step away and let natural processes go their way.

Can’t know unless you try. For some constructive criticism from a physician’s view, see @DoctorAnonymous’ post here.

Nobody has actually tacked this matter yet, so I’m happy to be brave enough and lead the way. You’re welcome to help out, whoever you are.

I’ll be curious to see how the chat evolves – who participates, how topics are addressed, what feedback is received, and if the community enables physicians to be the core group around which ambient conversation with the rest of the public can orbit.

I’m grateful to all the participants – this is the first- pass at using Twitter’s platform to foster these kinds of discussion and ambience. They may not be for everyone – there are varying opinions on their value, etc. – but the reaction I’ve been getting through back-channels has been enthusiastic and supportive.

In order to accommodate physicians’ schedules, I plan on offering other times. I’m also planning to help others moderate these chats in order to bring up topics through the eyes of physicians.

If you have any topic suggestions, please email them:

The next #MDchat is Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 12:30pm EDT.


One response to “Transcript of the First MDchat for October 5, 2010

  1. One point – I will post some thoughts about Twitter chats in general, and how clinicians can get the most out of them.

    Twitter can be a mess, but it does offer its unique propositions in terms of people-to-people connection, sharing of knowledge and exchanging of ideas.

    The odd thing about using Twitter for these chats, is that there isn’t one way to look at them. Twitter isn’t one thing: its parts of other things. It’s a serendipitous experience.

    “Old-time” Twitter users understand this. But for clinicians who are new to this, it’s worth pointing out.

    – Phil Baumann

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