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Medicine in the age of Twitter

New York Times, June 12, 2009

A survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project reports that 61% of Americans go online for health information, and the majority of them have turned to user-generated health information. But a scan through peer-reviewed journals reveals only a handful of articles, and no evidence-based guidelines, to guide doctors on the use of social media, says New York Times columnist Pauline W. Chen, MD. It is unclear whether the online engagement "adds to or detracts from a patient-doctor relationship, and clinicians are unsure about what constitutes good standards of care and professional responsibility on these platforms," Chen says.