One Physician’s Journey on Social Media:

DigiDoc Series: Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson @seattlemamadoc | Blogging

Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBe, FAAP is a board certified pediatrician, blogger, freelance journalist, and mother. Dr. Swanson believes practicing physicians have an ethical duty to move science forward by telling their stories and sharing opinions online. She maintains a busy pediatric practice while exploring and using social media to expand her impact.

Dr. Swanson started “Seattle Mama Doc”, the first pediatrician-authored blog for a major children’s hospital at Seattle Children’s Hospital only a year ago, but she is already highly regarded as a model for how physicians can use social media to have meaningful dialogue with patients.

“My journey in social media is just about extending the walls about what I do. I feel very obligated to improve the way families understand and listen to health information,” she explains.

Dr. Swanson spoke at Swedish’s 2010 Health Care Symposium and outlined her story, her successes and challenges about her journey through social media. It is definitely worth your time to view and learn from this powerful 50-minute presentation as Dr. Swanson shares her story.

“I’ve been really interested in how what people say on the news or what they write about in Parenting Magazine, how that changes the way a family comes into the pediatrician’s office and interfaces with a doctor. What exactly they feel, what are all the myths, what are all the truths and what’s the knowledge that they come with. It’s very relevant where our conversation starts,” she explains.

Dr. Swanson says her blog actually saves her time because it helps educate her patients about relevant and timely issues. By reading about issues they may be concerned about on her blog, Dr. Swanson’s patients already have the information before they come into her office. Patients will often tell her, “You don’t have to tell me about that, I already read about it in your blog.” It then allows Dr. Swanson to spend the valuable time they have discussing the patient’s individual questions about the issue.

“What I love about the Seattle Mama Doc blog is that Dr. Swanson is candid,” according to Mommy Goes Green. It is Dr. Swanson’s authenticity that makes this work.

“I’ve always been a sharer … This is just the fabric of who I am.” says Dr. Swanson.

Dr. Swanson uses her Blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and her voice to improve pediatric health care communication.

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