Social media in the OR (operating room) is a wonderful tool for our practice. I recently wrote about the 5 ways social media has transformed my practice here and here. But for every 5 reasons to utilize social media in one’s practice, someone will find one way to ruin it for everyone.
Social media in the OR
Using social media in the operating room was and in many cases, still taboo. It’s certainly unorthodox to record a surgical procedure and then broadcast it in such a non-medical venue as social media. But that’s precisely what makes it so effective. It breaks down the shroud of mystery surrounding surgery and presents it in an open and educational way to people that may never know the inside of an operating room until they’re asleep in one.
Since surgery on social media has a potentially negative connotation, it needs to be presented “above board,” in a professional way. That may mean different things to different doctors, but I’m confident it doesn’t mean the surgeon is dancing and singing while a patient is under anesthesia.
If you watch me operate on my social media channels (@realdrbae on Snapchat and Instagram Stories), hopefully you’ll appreciate the educational aspect of our “broadcasts.” My motto is, whatever you would normally do in the OR, that’s what you should do on social media. I normally explain to the OR staff what and why I’m doing something in the procedure. Sure we listen to music but we don’t normally sing and dance. Similarly, this is how we conduct ourselves on social media in the OR.
While surgery on social media may be entertaining, that doesn’t mean it’s not educational. The two aren’t mutually exclusive of one another. But there is a line. Sometimes that line may be blurred. However, there are times when one doctor clearly crosses the line. And when that line is crossed, it makes all doctors that use social media for educational purposes look equally negligent.