Happy Canada Day to our newest SERMO members!
This week, we are excited to announce SERMO’s latest international expansion, as we open our doors to Canada’s 77,000 physicians. Following the recent international UK launch in April, SERMO is well on its way to becoming the largest global medical social network exclusively for physicians.
New to SERMO? Here’s what it’s all about…
SERMO is a virtual doctors’ lounge, teaching hospital and international medical conference all in one. Doctors gather in this unique online meeting place that facilitates authentic discussions, virtual learning and medical crowdsourcing. Medical crowdsourcing is a disruptive new healthcare phenomenon which enables doctors to pool their collective wisdom online to solve patient cases. It works particularly well on SERMO versus other social networks due to its large, and now expanding international membership.
The appetite for international collaboration is ripe as demonstrated by a SERMO poll showing 85 percent of international doctors want to join the leading US social network.
Dr. David Schindler, a Canadian physician, speaks to the value of virtual collaboration with peers, “Medical knowledge can be very isolating. Yes, medical breakthroughs happen every day, but that doesn’t mean every doctor has access to these innovations. I think SERMO can change that. With a click of a button, doctors can tap the wisdom and experience of thousands of doctors. There’s comfort in seeking a second opinion from your peers when you’re faced with a tough medical decision. No one likes making decisions alone – especially when a patient’s life is on the line.”
Canadian Physicians & Social Media
A National Physician Survey (NPS) released the results of a survey of 10,000 Canadian physicians, showing few Canadian doctors are using social media for professional purposes.
- Less than 1 out of every 10 Canadian physicians use Facebook for professional purposes.
- Less than 5% use Twitter, blogging, or discussion forums for professional use, and 10% tweet for personal use.
- Only 40% of physicians overall (72% under the age of 60) use Facebook & LinkedIn for personal reasons.
These figures echo the trends presented by the Canadian Medical Association (CMA).
Pat Rich, Managing Editor of Member Communications for the Canadian Medical Association, said in his blog, “Given the degree to which social media use has become the norm in Canadian society as communication and networking tools, this refusal of Canadian physicians to use the tools represents a serious omission. The reasons Canadian doctors are not using social media in their practices are clear and obvious – they see no benefit and several perceived and real risks to their professional lives.” This information should “cause us to redouble our efforts to inform and educate physicians about how social media can safely be used to help them gather information, disseminate information, and most importantly interact with the rest of the world that sees social media use as the norm.”
This is why Canadian physicians need SERMO.
An anonymous screen name allows verified doctors to collaborate without fear.
SERMO relies on world-class identity verification to validate a member’s identity. This, combined with a robust credential verification process against multiple sources, ensures that SERMO maintains the integrity of its exclusive global physician community. On SERMO, doctors can choose to maintain their identity or to be anonymous. Most doctors choose anonymity, enabling them to safely voice their opinions and to seek and share clinical input with their peers without fear of repercussions.
Medical crowdsourcing has already helped improve and save patients’ lives. Doctors readily admit that medicine is an art form and that many of their clinical decisions fall into a “grey zone,” an unclear space where physicians have several clinical possibilities and must make a judgment call to solve the case. A recent SERMO poll with 3,420 doctors found that the majority of physicians reported that at least 20 percent (1 in 5) of their patient cases were in the grey zone.
Until now, doctors haven’t had a virtual channel to collaborate across borders. With differing medical practices across the globe, the ability to exchange medical wisdom with speed and security in a doctors-only social network is highly valuable for doctors and potentially life-changing for patients.
“Practicing medicine in today’s fast-paced world is extremely complex and having a direct line to other experts for tough patient cases is an important resource,” said SERMO CEO, Peter Kirk. “Canada has a conservative perception towards social networks but now, with a secure and anonymous physician-only network, Canadian doctors have a place to practice ‘safe social’ and connect with each other and international colleagues.”
If you’re a physician, please join us inside SERMO.