Why Are So Many ER Doctors on Social Media?

Posted on June 4, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Thanks to Greg Matthews for pointing out this article on 33 Charts that talks about why so many ER doctors are blogging and on social media.

Dr. Vartabedian brings up some interesting points about the early ER doc social media leadership, the FOAM movement and the resourcefulness of emergency medicine doctors. Those are good points, but I myself think that there are two reasons that ER doctors are so involved in social media.

First, an ER docs life is full of interesting stories. There’s a reason that so many medical TV dramas centered around the ER. While the drama of an ER isn’t ever as exciting as what they portray on TV, it is true that an emergency medicine physician has no idea what might come through the door next.

At the core of social media and especially blogging is the ability to tell a good story. ED docs have new stories entering their departments every single day. It’s much harder to write a great blog post about your 14th colonoscopy or 10th cough and cold.

Second, I think many ED physicians see themselves as a little bit renegade. There’s a reason why the ED is the only department in the hospital that continually can make the case for why they need their own EHR as opposed to the massive enterprise EHR which they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars to use. The culture of the ED is that we’re different and sometimes we have to do things that are different than the rest of the hospital.

While healthcare social media has become more mainstream, when it first started you had to be a little bit of a renegade to start using it. Most doctors were just afraid. I don’t think you can work in the ED and be afraid, can you?

Although the GuntDoc might have said it best in the comments, “ER docs are some of the most interesting people you’ll meet. There has to be a touch of something off in you to go into EM anyway.”

Social media definitely loves interesting!