Symposium Addresses Impact of Social Media on Clinical Medicine

Dr. Farris Timimi, medical director, Mayo Center for Social Media, addresses Einstein faculty on the importance of social media.
Dr. Farris Timimi, medical director, Mayo Center for Social Media, addresses Einstein faculty on the importance of social media.

Earlier this year, Dr. Farris Timimi, medical director for the Mayo Center for Social Media, was the keynote speaker at a symposium held in Einstein’s Lefrak Auditorium. Dr. Timimi addressed the impact of social media on clinical medicine.

The event, which was hosted by Dan Myers, principal associate in psychiatry and behavioral sciences and assistant professor of family and social medicine, was part of a larger focus at Einstein on social media in medical school curricula that is supported by a two-year grant from the Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation.

The grant’s principal investigator, Dr. Elizabeth Kitsis, associate professor of clinical epidemiology & population health and of clinical medicine, introduced Dr. Timimi, who directs a first-of-its-kind social media center focusing on healthcare at the Mayo Clinic. Approximately 60 faculty members listened as he explained how patients are spending more time online seeking healthcare information concerning doctors, diseases and diagnoses.

“Social networks can be used as tools that allow for engagement between doctors and patients,” he said.

Dr. Timimi then outlined examples of social media applications that can be used by healthcare providers, along with some of the current uses of social media by healthcare consumers. He also described strategies for using social media in the practice of medicine.

His lecture was followed by a brief, informative question-and-answer session, stimulating a number of lively interactions at the reception afterwards.

The symposium was organized and run by Mr. Myers, Dr. Kitsis and a multidisciplinary team, along with Dr. Marti Grayson, senior associate dean for medical education, and Dr. Christine Coyle, assistant dean for faculty development. Other members of the team include Mimi McEvoy, Patrick Herron, Dr. Felise Milan, Dr. Jacqueline Weingarten, Paul Moniz, and David Flores.

On Friday, October 18, 2013, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., this same group will host a second Social Media Symposium, “Social Media and Medicine: Perfect Match or Perfect Storm?.” This symposium, which offers attendees CME credits, will feature presentations by Susannah Fox of the Pew Internet Project, and Dr. Kevin Pho, founder of It will be followed by interactive workshops. To register, visit the office of faculty development website.


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