A doctor is recruiting medical professionals to drown out fake news which inundates social media on a daily basis.
Austin Chiang, the first chief medical social media officer at a top hospital, is hoping to overcome untrustworthy content with reliable information from experts in the field.
Too often, misinformation about things such as vaccines and mental health are spread via social media, something Chiang hopes to put an end to.
As well as being a Harvard-trained gastroenterologist, Chiang has a passion for social media and boasts an impressive 22.8K followers on Instagram.
Referring to himself as a ‘GI Doctor,’ the gastroenterologist is succeeding in being one of the most influential doctors in the real world, making him the perfect person to make a change.
Chiang puts himself at the heart of his Instagram page, sharing pictures of himself in his scrubs most days alongside informative captions. Some days, he’ll be talking about the latest research. Others, he’ll be providing advice to patients and tackling fake news rumours.
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For the past few months, a group of Board of Directors scattered across the country have poured thousands of dollars and volunteered hundreds of hours in meetings, communication with lawyers, preliminary content and website creation. This effort is culminating in @ahsm_org launching tomorrow. 🚀 _ Creation of the Association for Healthcare Social Media is an example of the power of social media and what we are doing here for public health and healthcare. Tomorrow is just the beginning, and we invite you to build this with us. . . . #ahsm #health #doctors #nurses #dentists #students #healthcare #medstudent #nursing #dentist #healthprofessionals #professionals
As Chiang pointed out to CNBC, most people don’t have time to read the latest scientific research regarding healthcare. Hence why it’s so important, now more than ever, that medical professionals get online and share their knowledge in an accessible way.
Experts in the field, Chiang states, need to start connecting with people on Instagram and Facebook – or else fake news will continue to spread.
So, the gastroenterologist is working alongside the Association for Healthcare Social Media to recruit an army of physicians, nurses, patient advocates, and other health professionals to counter misinformation.
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Today @ahsm_org goes live! But beyond a huge thank you to the founders and high-fives for the hard work seeing this to fruition, the pragmatist in me is fully aware that today marks the beginning of major work to be done.🙌 . We are a medical society with rotating leadership (yes I personally hope for more diversity among disciplines!): your ACP, ACC, ANA of health professional social media use. Through resources, best practices, advocacy BY health professionals (some of whom are decade-long social media veterans – check out leadership team) to meet the general public where they get are: on social media. We aim to move the needle in creative ways to encourage and incentivize health professionals to use social media productively, without falling victim to the various pitfalls of an evolving social media landscape.🤓 . My dream for AHSM is for academic institutions/societies to adopt AHSM best practices for their social media know-how for health. I hope institutions will recognize the time/effort that goes into productive social media use with our advocacy and reward its adoption as the resource it has become, to incentivize professionals to get online and share knowledge with the public. The result, I hope is a reduction in health misinformation.🙏 . Check out ahsm.org today to make an informed decision whether you’d like to help build this together. . . . #ahsm #socialmedia #publichealth #health #healthy #change #nursing #nursingschool #nursepractitioner #np #medschool #doctors #paschool #dentistry #pharmacy #leadership #medical #teamwork #movement #thebeginning
Chiang states the ‘biggest crisis’ in health care today is people spreading false claims about certain ‘cures’ or preventative measures.
For example, the doctor references some vendors who are reportedly selling so-called cures such as industrial strength bleach to ‘eliminate’ autism in children. It’s also impossible to avoid anti-vaccination content online, which has become far more prominent in recent years.
Without health care professionals such as himself, Chiang warns this information could slowly begin to become more widely accepted than medical facts – purely because it’s what everyone has access to.
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Not your ordinary giveaway… this is💰to your fave charity, and I will be one of the people judging entries! Campaign by @alokpatelmd 🙌 READ BELOW: ⬇️ Social Media is a powerful tool for good. So we’ve teamed up with Medelita to build a social media campaign to spread awareness about charities and raise the voice of those who are out there changing the world. ▪️ THIS GIVEAWAY is all about leveling the playing field for all medical professionals and students to highlight your #charity in an authentic way. _ 🥇1 GRAND PRIZE WINNER: $1000 Donation to a charity of the winner’s choice + Full Medelita Makeover (Includes Medelita white coat, scrub set, scrub jacket, and ERKA Finesse stethoscope – all with custom embroidery) + Feature On Medelita Blog and Social Media. ▪️ 🥈x 4 SECONDARY WINNERS: $500 Donation To Charity of the Winner's Choice + $200 Medelita Gift Card. ▪️ 🏅x 10 HONORABLE MENTIONS: Feature on Medelita Blog and Social Media. ⬇️ HOW TO ENTER: RIGHT HERE OR on @medelita_gram, Tell us what your charity is and how it’s related to healthcare. Tell us why it’s meaningful to you, how you’re involved, and you’ll use the money! And end your entry with #MedelitaGivesBack. ▪️ You can also post your answers on your facebook or Twitter feed with the hashtag #MedelitaGivesBack. ⬇️ QUICK RULES: ☑️ Must use the hashtag #MedelitaGivesBack ☑️ Must have a public account for consideration (or else we won't be able to see your entry!) ☑️ The charity must be a 501(c)(3) organization that is in some way related to healthcare or public health ☑️ Entrants must currently be a medical professional or student enrolled in a health program ▪️ The contest will be running from 4/7 to 4/14. SO COMMENT AND TAG SOMEONE WHO IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD! #socialmediaforgood ✌️
Despite doctors historically being reluctant to use social media, either because they think it’s a waste of time or fear they might get in trouble with an employer, Chiang says now is the time to change this.
Hats off to Chiang for hopefully creating something which will be the start of a change for the better.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).