Presentation: Social Media and Today’s Physician: Partnering to Improve Care Delivery

Yesterday, I got to co-present with colleague Laura Dunn, MA (@CUGirl481) on the topic of “Social Media and Today’s Physician” at the National Conference on Health Communication, hosted by the CDC, in Atlanta, Georgia.

(You’ll notice in the last photo that my colleague Jennifer Matthews caught me in a moment of midsentence passion….)

The first part of the title is something we came up with when we proposed the session. The second part (“partnering to improve care delivery”) I added the night before.

Why? Because I know myself and I know the organization that I work in.

The myself part is that I always leap beyond the traditional bounds of you-name-it. For that reason I always look for a partner in everything I do. In social media, my colleague Vince Golla (@vincegolla) referred to me and handful of physician colleagues as “canaries in the coal mine.” They know that we’re out there, they know that the way to be out there is not always crystal clear, they know that we may occasionally go too far, they’re there to support and protect us.

The organization part is how we are aligned in financing health care and delivering health care. There is creative tension in the physician/nurse/business/communication professional relationship, we use it to innovate more and teach each other.

Laura and I got to emulate that yesterday, as we conspired with our co-panelists and willing moderator (@WorkSteven) to rearrange the room and join our audience on the floor to have a real discussion about new ways physicians and leaders are interacting with the world around them. And Laura was there as a communications professional/partner with great aspiration for her nurse and physician colleagues to use technology well, rather than as one who was afraid of them to use technology.

Presentation is below, the theme is that physicians (and nurses) have always wanted their patients to be informed, supported, and in a trusting relationship.

…and here’s a quote from an e-mail I received this morning from Susan Wieczorek, Professor of Communication, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown:

I promised to send her (Laura’s) boss my professional assessment of her talk – an A!

Partnership is bi-directional, promoting, supporting and protecting those who do the same for us.


Ted Eytan, MD