imagesI’m a relative newcomer to Twitter. I’m impressed by the gigantic cloud of information that seems to be ever changing and ever so multifaceted. As all things technological, I admittedly landed their through the influence of my man. The only problem is, through said man, I seem to be caught up in a bubble of German media related news. This is everything from first-hand journalist reports from Sloviansk (before you even have a chance to read about it in the paper), to rankings for the top on-line German news-sites to constant in-jokes (I can tell you all about ‚hoody journalism‘).

All that, just from following a handful of journalists and media-experts. This information, although mostly interesting and often entertaining, is of little relevance to my field of work. There seems to be a number of doctors in the UK and from America on Twitter, but German doctors appear to be poorly under-represented. At the recent yearly meeting of respiratory physicians in Germany, I failed to find a hash-tag for the event and it left me wondering why the medical profession is so reluctant to have a stronger presence on social media. At dinner one evening, I sat next to a consultant physician who had given a talk that day on the role and use of social media in medicine. There were apparently a few things discussed, but the conclusion was that – for professional purposes – crowd-sourcing is unreliable, maintaining social media websites is time-consuming (and doctors are always short on time) and there is a serious danger of patients posting negative things about services and service-providers, which equals investing even more time into answering complaints etc. So why bother?

Given my  insight into the world of journalism in Germany through following a very modest number of people, I would love to have the same insight into the world of my colleagues (latest research, education opportunities, the odd holiday photo and their favourite restaurants) at the press of an app button. Preferably the German ones, as they are the ones I am likely to interact with at conferences and educational meetings and working with the same national guidelines as me. I don’t know if things are likely to change in the near future, but I am sure hoping that there won’t always be such a shortage of doctors on Twitter. And in case you are a healthcare professional and reading this…follow me @sandhyamatthes