Dr. Luks is a Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon and an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at New York Medical College, as well as the Chief of Sports Medicine and Arthroscopy at University Orthopedics, PC and Westchester Medical Center, where he is entrusted with the training of the next generation of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Dr. Luks is also one of the most active physicians at the intersection of social media and healthcare. He has devoted significant amounts of time and effort to understanding and embracing the social media meets healthcare community. Recently, I sat down with Dr. Luks to get some valuable insight on this topic.
IMX: Dr. Luks why are you so active in social media as a physician?
Dr. L: I tend to be an early adopter of technology. When encountered with a new and intriguing technology, I try to figure out if it fits into my workflow, enables my workflow or allows me to be more efficient or even a better doctor. It soon became obvious that many social media platforms would fit very easily into my daily workflow. My decision to further my interests in health care and social media wasn’t a simple conscious decision. As an innately social person and physician I always enjoyed sharing information with people/patients in my office utilizing various digital or analog modalities. It almost seems as if my foray into social media and health care was simply destined to happen.
IMX: Did you enter the social media space for an immediate ROI or patient increase?
Dr. L: No! For me there was a larger purpose that goes all the way back to why I wanted to be a doctor in the first place. It was a far more altruistic endeavor than most believe.
When I initially entered the *intersection* of social media and healthcare, construction of the intersection had only just began. There were a few of us there talking about the possibilities and the enabling nature of the technology, but initially that was it.
IMX: How do you feel about social media as it relates to patients and how physicians interact with and treat them?
Dr. L: Recent statistics reveal that 85% of patients are utilizing the internet to research their disease, physician or health care institution. Empowered or “E”-patients have started their own communities online to review relevant literature and to share their findings when they interact with the medical community. Human beings are innately social. Health is social. 500 Million + users on Facebook can’t all be wrong. Empowered patients are knowledgeable, intelligent, typically prepared for their medical appointments — and they expect and demand a far higher level of service from their health care providers. Important changes are taking place that will forever change the way the physicians and patients interact. Shared Decision Making principles, the concept of Informed Choice versus Informed Consent and the desires of the Participatory Medicine movement will dramatically alter the health care landscape. I employ shared decision making and informed choice principles to educate you not only about your disease, but to determine a treatment plan that takes into account your desires, quality of life and values.
For more information on Dr. Luks, visit his website: http://www.howardluksmd.com/