How to Make the Most of Online Physician Forums

Online Physician Forums

We live in a time where more information is available daily than we could possibly digest in our lives. For example, it has been said that a single edition of the Sunday New York Times contains more information than a person alive in the 1700’s processed during his/her entire lifetime. That said, information is essential to our existence. If you’re a physician, it is critical to your professional success.

Doctors must constantly update their knowledge to continually provide the most up-to-date, effective care and treatment. As well, being a physician subjects you to other challenges related to your profession such as practice management, negotiating malpractice insurance, even career burnout. The information available to you is limitless; your time, however, is not. Solution? We suggest online physician forums.

What types of physician forums are there?

There are, as you might imagine, numerous physician forums available online. The challenge is to determine how to make the most of them. Determining what interests you and what content you seek is the first step towards maximizing the utility of whatever forum(s) you choose to use.

The following lists just some of the online physician forums to which you can turn:

Maximizing physician forums

There is clearly an abundance of online physician forums. The question is: How do you make them work for you?

1. Choose wisely. If it’s general information you are after, you’ll have more than enough choices that will suit your purposes. However, unless time is an unlimited resource for you, picking the forum(s) most likely to suit both your needs and interests should be your priority. So ask yourself: What do I want?

  • Do I want physician forums that cater to my area of practice/specialty and provide me with technical and practical content?
  • Do I want a forum that provides me the opportunity to collaborate? Problem solve? Or one that gives me a place to socialize with other docs?

2. Be discriminating. Even if you’ve found the ideal forum for you, chances are that it will have more info than you know what to do with. It may take a conscious effort on your part not to become sidetracked by content that, while it interests you, isn’t related to why you accessed the resource in the first place. Remember that physician forums, even those designed for a single specialty, are intended to cater to a wide audience. Don’t get distracted by issues peripheral to your search.

3. Manage your expectations. Be clear in your own mind why you are accessing the forum.

  • Is this the best use of your time?
  • What do you expect to find?
  • Would another resource be more efficient (such as calling a colleague or referring to a medical journal)?
  • Is the search even necessary?

Collaborate. Problem solve. Stay informed. Socialize!

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