Skip to content

Social Media for Healthcare Professionals

I was happy to share my story, “Becoming Dok Bru” at the Philippine General Hospital Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism Alumni Hour last November 25 at the EDSA Shangrila Hotel.

Whoa, I really need to change this picture. You know it’s my graduation picture from the endocrinology fellowship taken in 2002! This is Luisa in the pic with me, a former student.


I used the same slide set but I changed the title because I also presented this at the plenary session of the annual convention of the Philippine Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery 1 Dec 2015.


Luisa also shared this picture with me on Facebook. It was taken after the alumni hour. It is important because the woman on the left most side is Dr. Mary Anne Lim Abrahan, the original Endocrine Witch I am proud to call my mentor!


I am sharing the presenter notes (and added comments) for some (not all) of the slides in this post as this is my story of becoming Dok Bru. By talking about my journey, I hope to inspire other doctors to at least try out social media in other ways.


ORL_2015.002I’ve been quoting Dr. V since I started on social media! This quote is my answer to Why am I on social media? I’ve tried social media in different ways and found value. This is my story. [Cue in some dramatic music, hahaha!]


ORL_2015.005I started blogging in 2010. I was finishing my MS in health informatics and felt that I needed online presence. After 5 years, my blog is a finalist in the 2015 bloggys. I won People’s Choice award in the health & fitness category. My blog is under a creative commons copyright. My disclaimer says any medical information is for the general public and not a personalised recommendation. What I write is solely my opinion and not of the institutions I am affiliated with. My disclosure says I do not accept advertising or payment for any post. Just offering some tips to the audience in case they want to start blogging.


ORL_2015.006Why do I blog? Let me borrow Dr. John’s six reasons. Doctors blog because the practice of medicine inspires, to educate, to better mankind, to give a look behind the curtain, to archive useful information and to display our humanness.

ORL_2015.007SidneyEve Matrix who made this slide says that blogging is a living resume and part of one’s personal academic branding. The Endocrine Witch is my brand and because of it I’ve met Dr. Mesko, a medical futurist!

ORL_2015.008In my health informatics graduate class I ask my students to blog about their assignments. They learn new tools, make positive footprints as digital citizens, and share what they learn with their family and the world.


ORL_2015.009This is how I view blogging as a learning experience.


ORL_2015.010A Facebook friend had shared this picture. I commented – I am a physician and I find this picture offensive. My comment was deleted. I wrote this blog post in protest. Why does self-diagnosis annoy doctors? I won Best Blog post at the #Bloggys2015 for this post.


ORL_2015.012I started tweeting in 2010. I was going to miss a health informatics class with Dr. Alvin Marcelo to attend an endocrine meeting in the US. He asked me to live tweet from the meeting as an assignment. My Twitter feed is my notebook for what I see & hear at conferences. If I am unable to attend any meeting abroad I just follow the hashtag and learn vicariously from others.


ORL_2015.013Do you have a favorite author? It is possible to follow them on Twitter and interact with them as I have here with Scott Berkun. Twitter is my personal learning network.

ORL_2015.014Dr. Zack Berger is an internist from Johns Hopkins. We met on Twitter and he gave me a free copy of his book! Thanks 🙂



ORL_2015.015Dr. James Legan is an internist from Montana. He advocates projecting the electronic health record to a wall-mounted TV so patients can see what the doctor writes. He painted this portrait and sent it to me.

I’m sharing with the audience the wonderful people I’ve met on Twitter!

ORL_2015.016Last February, I won the 1st UP Gawad Pangulo competition for progressive teaching. I had help from mentors on Twitter.

ORL_2015.017From Dr. Chuck of the University of Michigan School of Information, I learned about internet history and security on Coursera, a free online learning platform.


ORL_2015.018I follow him on Twitter so I was able to meet him when he came to Manila for a talk.




ORL_2015.019I copied his lecture recording set-up which helped me win the teaching award. Dr. Chuck was kind enough to answer my questions about this set-up on Twitter.


ORL_2015.020One day I tweeted that senior faculty tend to be more resistant to change espoused by younger faculty. Deirdre Bonnycastle tweeted me back and said I’m in my 60’s and I’m still innovating! She blogs about medical education from her experience in Canada.

ORL_2015.021From her I learned about connectivism, that knowledge is distributed over a network of connections and learning is the ability to construct and traverse those networks. As a teacher I am a network facilitator. This approach helped me win the teaching award.

ORL_2015.022Twitter is my go-to resource when I need help on just about anything. Ask and someone will answer. Hashtags let me reach people interested in what I want to learn more about. In this example, I found both the book and author of netnography!

ORL_2015.023In 2013 I co-founded a tweet chat #HealthXPH with Dr. Narciso Tapia, Dr. Remo Aguilar and Dr. Gia Sison. It is the only Filipino tweet chat registered in Symplur’s Healthcare Hashtag project. Every Saturday we chat about the intersection of technology, social media and Philippine healthcare on Twitter. Just follow the hashtag. The HealthXPH tweet chat is a global community with participants from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland generating around 7 million impressions weekly.

ORL_2015.025Dr. Helen Madamba joined our group when we held the First Philippine Healthcare & Social Media Summit in Cebu with support from PCHRD. It was attended by 450 participants.

ORL_2015.026Pat Rich of the Canadian Medical Association, a regular #HealthXPH tweet chat participant, was our keynote speaker for the summit. He wrote about the summit in a CMA publication, Future Practice.


ORL_2015.027At the summit we launched the #HealthXPH manifesto for social media and medical professionalism. I invite you to read and sign through this link.

ORL_2015.030Through Twitter, I also found the Stanford Medicine X & Symplur social media analytics research challenge. My team was a finalist. Our paper was a content analysis of tweets of women with diabetes in pregnancy. This paper will be a poster presentation at the ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies meeting in Malaysia soon.


ORL_2015.031HealthXPH had its own symposium at the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health last August. That session was seen around the world as we were live on Periscope, a live video streaming app connected to Twitter.


ORL_2015.032Also at the global forum, I invited Marc Smith to give a presentation about NodeXL, a tool for social network analysis. I also met him on Twitter and he kindly invited us to attend his workshop at the Ateneo.

Hopefully I convinced many doctors in the audience to try Twitter!





Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.