By Stephanie Bonne
This month, AWS is exploring social media and it’s use. While I’m no expert and others have certainly had more experience, I have learned a great deal about social media use as I’ve participated in and managed the communications committee for AWS. You can read my how-to guide in this month’s Econnections, but here on the blog I’m discussing the ways in which social media has helped me personally.
Facebook: I joined Facebook way back in 2007, and shortly thereafter realized that I needed to make sure my privacy settings were pretty tight if I was going to use it. As physicians, we are searchable to our patients and privacy is of utmost importance.
More recently, however, private and secret groups on Facebook have enjoyed a fair bit of success and in these groups I’ve found support. There are groups for physicians, moms, surgeons, surgeon moms, and for nearly every outside interest I might have. These groups are useful for those who are planning events or executing causes. They are similar to the “chat rooms” of days gone by, but with better privacy. I recommend trying out Facebook just to be part of these groups, but just remember – things are never completely secure or anonymous.
Twitter was much harder for me to “wrap my brain” around. But once I did, I find that it’s a great little tool for my soapbox. Follow me on twitter (@scrubbedin) and you will find everything from posts on women in surgery and trauma surgery to political support for my preferred candidates and comments on my most compelling issues.
Follow me during meetings and you’ll find me connecting with colleagues and live posting the meeting for those at home. It’s been a great way to connect with colleagues and mentors and a nice icebreaker when I recognize fellow twitter users at networking events. I also recommend it for professional networking, but for me, it’s too public for personal photos, support, or open mentoring.
I’ve never used Instagram (I hate selfies and photos of food) and occasionally use LinkedIn, but my husband, a business world guy, uses LinkedIn frequently and proficiently to make professional connections. There is definitely a future here, but it’s only as useful as the number of people using it, and LinkedIn has been slow to gain traction in the medical community. I’m going to stick with it though, as I find it useful to connect with those outside of medicine.
You can follow AWS on any of the above social media platforms: @womensurgeons. Look for a private AWS facebook group for members only in the months to come!
Dr. Bonne is a board-certified general surgeon with additional training and certification in Surgical Critical Care. Her clinical interests are in trauma and injury prevention, trauma epidemiology, and infections in the surgical intensive care unit. She participates in the American College of Surgeons, the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the Society of Critical Care Medicine. She leads the American Medical Women’s Association Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. Dr. Bonne is the current Communications Chair for the AWS, and also serves as the faculty advisor for the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School chapter. She is a wife and mother to three young children.
Our blog is a forum for our members to speak, and as such, statements made here represent the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinion of the Association of Women Surgeons.