One in four physicians use social media daily or multiple times a day to scan or explore medical information, and 14% say they use social media each day to contribute new information, according to a new study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

The survey, which included 485 oncologists and primary care physicians, also found that on a weekly basis, 61% of physicians scan for information and 46% post new information via social media. More than half said they use online physician-only communities, and 7% said they use Twitter.
In the survey, social media was defined as “Internet-based applications that allow for the creation and exchange of user-generated content, including social networking, professional online communities, wikis, blogs, and microblogging.”

Nearly 60% of respondents said social media is beneficial, engaging, and a good way to get current, high-quality information; enables them to care for patients more efficiently; and improves the quality of patient care they deliver.

The new findings back up the results of an unofficial Plastic Surgery Practice Web-based survey that showed that 17.7% of respondents favored social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for Internet marketing purposes. Search engine optimization (SEO) services and E-blasts and newsletters tied for second in the poll.