It’s common for serious, professional types to question the role that social media plays in the world. However, as trivial as one may deem it, social media stands to incentivize family practice physicians to partake in resolving one of the world’s biggest healthcare crises - the physician shortage.
An infographic recently reported on locumtenensdaily.com illustrates how social media use among physicians has continually skyrocketed since 2008, particularly for doctors perusing Twitter and YouTube. Aside from these two channels, roughly 90 percent of the physician population now uses at least one social media platform for either personal or professional use.To put this figure in perspective, only 65 percent of the remaining adult population uses social media by the aforementioned terms. Uprooting the assumption that physicians are either too busy or too introverted to maintain contact with friends, family and colleagues, these statistical trends shed further light on an opportunity to meet healthcare demands in a line of work burgeoning with as much speed as social media itself—locum tenens physician-ship. The lesson is clear—those best equipped to provide the world with the healthcare it needs have the digital connections necessary to maintain social life amid traveling conditions.
With an ever-increasing physician shortage, hospitals and family practice physicians alike must respond to this shortage with the flexibility and responsiveness that locum tenens positions give. These opportunities afford adventurous physicians the opportunity to travel and meet healthcare facility needs in government operations and privately-owned enterprises. Social media, a great tool for familial interconnectedness, can help physicians enter locum tenens positions while maintaining contact with family members and friends as they travel.
Although the typical family practice provider may have entered his or her line of work due to a strong bond held with his or her own family and other ties upheld by immediate, proximal contact, the physician shortage presently calls for family providers who are willing to travel for work. Family practice, a medical discipline that focuses on access to care for all, can be improved in the areas that need it most if physicians find ways to mitigate the minor hassles associated with traveling—social media being one of these roundabouts.
Although adequately-staffed facilities may lose a doctor who seeks locum tenens work as a family provider, resources must be reallocated to meet the most pressing needs on a much larger, geographic scale.
The first step has been made: family providers are already immersed in social media, but they must now test that immersion’s ability to uphold relationships amid travel for locum tenens work. Resolving the physician shortage issue depends on it.
- Locum Tenens Daily - http://www.locumtenensdaily.com/physicians-the-use-of-social-media-an-infographic/