Posted on July 20th, 2012 by Admin
Editor's Note: Traci R. is a patient/caregiver who submitted the following essay as part of the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media Patient, Caregiver Scholarship Contest. To vote, simply use the Facebook "Like" or Twitter "Tweet" buttons at the bottom of each post to share or leave a positive comment. The top vote-getters will be finalists.
I am an individual that has been a Mayo Clinic patient for many years. Recently, I was diagnosed with a very specific type of wrist injury, one that was discovered not long ago by a Mayo Clinic physician. I had surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN to treat the injury. I was fortunate to have the surgery performed by the Mayo Clinic physician who discovered the injury and developed both the surgical repair and the post-op protocol.
But, because my wrist injury is so new, there is not a great deal of information about it in medical journals and written publications. Therefore, when I was making my decision about whether or not to have surgery, I had difficulty in finding information about the injury. Fortunately, I was able to find several very good videos on YouTube and a good article on the Mayo Clinic blog called “Sharing Mayo Clinic.” The videos featured the Mayo Clinic physician who discovered the injury. In these videos, the physician described in detail the process that led to his discovery of the injury and the surgical protocol used to repair the injury. The additional videos that I found followed a patient with the same type of wrist injury as she progressed from initial consultation to surgery to post-op rehabilitation. The Mayo Clinic blog featured an article from this same patient. In the article, this patient described her wrist problems and the process behind her decision to seek care at the Mayo Clinic.
I will be the first one to admit that I do not know a great deal about social media tools, including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. I don’t have an occupation that allows for much exposure to these tools. But, I do believe that these social media tools are a very important part of today’s culture and way of life. With recent change in the entire healthcare system, patients need to take a more active role in finding health information. Physicians will be forced to spend less time with patients, leaving patients responsible for finding answers on their own. Social media tools will be one of the ways that patients find that information.
As a patient that has had to use social media tools to find health related information, I know how important these tools can be. I would like to have the opportunity to learn more about them from a trusted source, like the Mayo Clinic. I believe that the Social Media Summit can provide that opportunity. I also believe that I can provide a unique perspective to the Summit, one that comes from a very common ordinary patient who would like to help family and friend find health information and have a more active role in the delivery of healthcare information.
I sincerely appreciate what Mayo Clinic represents, and I would like to have the opportunity to learn more about the social media tools that have become so important not only to the execution of the goals of the Mayo Clinic but also to the exchange of health information throughout the world.
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