Pseudoscience On Social Media

Check this out. Pseudoscience. Sort of the healthcare equivalent of “fake news.” According to this blogging physician’s observations, with which I wholeheartedly agree, most healthcare “information” available to consumers on social media is pseudoscience, posted by people with no credentials, a financial conflict of interest or both of the above. Why? Real physicians are notable by their absence on social media. Why? Because many doctors work for institutions or practices that, for legal reasons, prohibit the doctors from going there. Bottom Line. So, what is to be done about this set of circumstances? I’m thinking two things. First, we must make consumers very aware that they must be very careful in evaluating healthcare information that they find on line. Credibility of the source needs to be a major evaluative criterion here.  Second, we need to find ways to change the employer policies about physicians contributing to social media. We need to determine what are the real risks to employers here, and how can they be ameliorated.  Maybe emphasizing the potential PR benefits to the employers might help? What else?

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