Sermo – Connecting Doctors Across the Country

12 03 2011

For my next couple blog posts I am going to feature each of the guests we have coming to our event on April 1st – “Harnessing the Power of Social Media in Healthcare Communications.” Ashley Serotta from Sermo will be the first. Ashley is the senior director of membership at Sermo. She leads all membership acquisition, engagement, product and support activity for the physician-only community.

Unlike most social media platforms that target people of almost all age groups and income levels, Sermo is specifically for physicians. Similar to the idea that was presented in my Grey’s Anatomy post on March 1st, Sermo is a community where practicing physicians from all different disciplines across the United States can collaborate. With over 115,000 members it is the largest online physician community in the US.

Before doing research on Sermo for the panel I had never heard of such a company. I loved the idea that doctors would have a place to talk about different issues they were facing, learn from each other, offer tips and even possibly lend life-saving equipment that was presented on Grey’s Anatomy but as I said I did have some reservations. There would definitely be some legal issues involved regarding privacy and also about whether or not a doctor would be giving the patient full attention if they were narrating tweets to an intern. But is a community such as Sermo the solution? Many privacy issues seem to be taken out of the equation when it is a private community that isn’t open to the public. And maybe doctors won’t have the app pulled up on their phones during an actual procedure like Dr. Bailey did, but they could still use it to seek advice while prepping for a surgery or when just stuck on a difficult issue in a case. From the very beginning of our schooling we are taught to work in groups, learning that many minds are better than one. It seems to me that Sermo has found a way to connect some of the greatest minds in the country – forging a makeshift study group. If this is just the beginning I can’t imagine the places where it could go. This is a great example of how social media is connecting people to really improve our systems.




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