Fully half of Americans now participate in social media — and the impact of Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and other new media is growing every day.
Given those numbers, it’s especially surprising that there are very few doctors who take part in social media.
One happy exception to that rule is Deanna Attai, M.D. a noted breast surgeon and head of the Center for Breast Care, in Burbank, Calif. She’s proof that even a very busy doctor can find time to be online.
Like many MD’s, Dr. Attai has a website (http://www.cfbci.com). But her online presence extends well beyond that.
She participates daily on Twitter (@drattai) where she has more than 750 followers. She’s on LinkedIn and has a channel on YouTube. She’s a guest blogger for the integrative medicine site http://www.morrisonhealth.com, where she recently blogged about a gluten-free diet.
“I like the ability social media gives me to reach a wider audience and do what I love to do, which is teach and educate,” she says. “I try to keep my online activities within the realm of things I would talk to my patients about,” she says.
But Dr. Attai’s realm is broader than that of many breast surgeons. Taking a more holistic approach, she’s just as likely to write about general health and wellness as she is to talk about specific breast cancer issues.
Dr. Attai is one of the pioneers in physician social media.
“It’s all about getting information out,” agrees Dr. Attai.
Not one to limit her activities to simple tweets, she’s been quick to expand the Twitter platform. For example, she’s a regular participant in the weekly, live Twitter chats about breast cancer and social media, which you can track on Twitter through “#BCSM.”
Like everyone who is active on social media, however, Dr. Attai notes that there are limits. She’s careful to keep her personal life out of her social media postings. And her medical office, where she spends at least 10 hours a day, is officially a “no twitter zone.”
Look for her social media profile to continue to grow. She firmly believes that one way to be an even better physician is to communicate online, adding: “It gives patients a way to see another side of me.”