As reported by Science Daily, a study published recently in the Journal of Medical Internet Research finds that about one in four physicians uses social media daily or multiple times a day to scan or explore medical information.

Findings from the survey of 485 oncologists and primary care physicians include:

  • On a weekly basis or more, 61 percent of physicians scan for information and 46 percent contribute new information.
  • Over 50% use online physician-only communities.
  • Only 7 percent use Twitter.
  • 14 percent use social media each day to contribute new information.
  • Oncologists are more likely to use social media to keep up with innovation, while primary care physicians are more likely to use social media to get in touch with peers and learn from them.

Surprisingly, the survey was conducted a year and a half ago. Per Robert S. Miller, M.D. (@rsm2800), an assistant professor of oncology and oncology medical information officer at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center,

…[I]t’s likely that more physicians are using social media now, says The amount of information required for medical practice is growing exponentially and social media provides very valid construct for physicians to keep current.

Bottom line, physicians saw social media as a vehicle to make them better docs and improve patient care.

Nearly 60 percent said social media is beneficial, engaging and good way to get current, high-quality information; enables them to care for patients more efficiently; and improves the quality of patient care they deliver.

Many lawyers and law firms look at social media solely as a means of enhancing one’s reputation and growing their businesses. Nothing wrong with achieving both through social media.

But social media is so much more. As Dr. Miller says social media provides a very valid way to stay current.

As with medicine, the amount of information required to practice law is growing exponentially (assuming you are looking to stay current not only on the law, but on information relevant to the industries and people you represent).

The amount of relevant information available to lawyers has never been greater. Social media is what enables lawyers to receive this information from trusted sources in a time effective fashion and grow their network by contributing new information.