Doctors Embrace Social Media
By Tyler Longview, KYTX CBS 19, June 27, 2012
EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -- Few people remember that doctors used to make house calls back in the 40s and 50s. But, the spirit of that service is still alive and well thanks to social media.
As expectant mom Kristi Francisco nears her due date, time with her obstetrician, Dr. Jeff Livingston, is at a premium.
But the Grapevine mother knows a way she can ask him any question, any time, any where.
"If my grocery store and my favorite restaurant is on Facebook, then my doctor should be as well," she said.
And Dr. Livingston agrees.
He's one of only a few North Texas doctors who has embraced the social media world.
"If we want to make a connection, we need to talk to them in the way that they want to talk to us," Livingston said.
In between delivering babies, and seeing patients, Dr. Livingston hops onto the MacArthur OBGYN Facebook and Twitter pages to answer questions posed by patients.
Like this one: How soon can you find out a baby's gender, or can you eat fish while pregnant?
"In one post on Facebook, I was able to reach 2,000 people and people got the health information they needed," Livingston said.
Dr. Livingston travels all over the world in an effort to educate other doctors about incorporating social media into their practices.
He says it can only help bridge the gap between doctors and patients and make everyone more comfortable talking about health-related issues.
"The more our patients understand that we're human, that we're people I think the easier it is for us to connect in the office," Livingston said.
"He's not this scary doctor person that you only see when something is going wrong...but you know he's just like you."
For Dr. Livingston, learning through social media is a two-way street. He also uses Facebook to ask his patients what they'd like to hear from their doctor.
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