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Doctors train on social media

Social media have become a vital communications tool in the health-care industry. Recent surveys show that more than 40 percent of consumers say information on social media affects the way they deal with their health, and another 41 percent said social media would affect their choice of doctor, hospital or medical facility.

With that in mind, Hootsuite, the most widely used platform for managing social media, and the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media recently announced a joint initiative to create an industry-leading social media credential for medical and health care professionals.

“It’s important for physicians and other health care professionals to understand how online social networks matter to them,” says Dr. Farris Timimi, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist and medical director for the MCCSM. “Even if they’re not yet active online – or maybe even particularly if they’re not involved – what others say about them affects their practices.”

Students can take the course through a Web-based format or from a fully optimized mobile experience. Among other things, students in this course will learn:

• The basics of major social networks.

• How these social networks fit into the health care industry.

• The basics of social media monitoring and analytics.

• How to maintain professionalism as a health care worker on social media.

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