Clinical medicine is rapidly changing in the US, with new payment models, revolutionary treatments, and, of course, political turmoil shaking things up. Trying to keep pace? Here are a dozen doctors and nurses (and one bonus comic) to follow on Twitter. They expound on politics, patients, insurers, and the future of this trillion-dollar industry.
The educator: @
Dr. Vineet Arora is a medical education guru at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Eager to improve how trainees provide health care, she mentors residents, medical students, and even high schoolers. Her Twitter feed focuses on issues related to #meded.
The opioid critic: @
Dr. David Juurlink is a Canadian practitioner who studies drug safety and is outspoken about opioids and opioid dependency. His tweets can be humorous, but, overall, he offers a sobering look at the obstacles clinicians face in prescribing and monitoring painkillers.
The women’s nurse: @
Kim Choma is a New Jersey-based nurse practitioner who specializes in women’s health and reproductive issues. She’s an expert in HPV and abnormal Pap smears. She posts mainly about health and advocates for nurses and nurse practitioners. She’s also active on Facebook.
The infection expert: @
Dr. Amesh Adalja is a Pittsburgh-based infectious diseases doc who also looks at public health policies such as preparing for outbreaks. He writes a blog called Tracking Zebra, where his latest post was about a recent Giardia scare in Pittsburgh’s water supply. His feed reflects current research in infectious disease.
The progressive: @
Dr. Sandeep Jauhar is a cardiologist and a writer who has two best-sellers under his belt about medical culture. He offers advice to residents on his website; his Twitter feed contains his insights on the practice of medicine. He also reflects on current affairs, and at least, recently, a certain Super Bowl game. (Another liberal who’s active on social media is Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an obstetrician well known for her fiery feed at @.)
The conservative: @
Dr. Pradeep Shanker calls himself an “independent political conservative” and uses his Twitter feed to reflect on current events and critique both Republicans and Democrats. His latest blog post is an analysis of Senator Rand Paul’s replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act. His take? “As a position piece it is interesting, but as practical policy it is a non-starter.”
The adviser: @medicalaxioms
Dr. Mark Reid is a Denver-based doctor with a large following who trades in pith and wisdom. Some of his observations are generic — “high confidence and low information is a deadly combination” is his pinned tweet — but others are practical observations about a medical establishment that often tries to find trends and correlations where they may not exist.
The private practitioner: @
Dr. Ellen McKnight is a rheumatologist and free market advocate who tweets about ending electronic medical records and boycotting some aspects of continuing medical education. She has opted not to accept insurance and requires patients to pay up front.
The prison nurse: @
Wheezy Nurse bills herself as a former prison nurse and psychiatric nurse in Massachusetts. Her Twitter photo doesn’t show her face, but her tweets explore some of the daily challenges nurses deal with in caring for patients — including sexism, ageism, and fatigue. Her tweets are biting, sarcastic, funny, and revealing.
The evidence seeker: @
Dr. Ashish Jha is an internist and professor at Harvard University’s school of public health. He’s a proponent of data-driven decision-making and recently put his family on a high-deductible insurance plan to test the idea that people are more thoughtful in seeking health care when they’re aware of their out-of-pocket costs.
The elder expert: @
Paula Robinson is an assisted living administrator and nursing director who bills herself as an elder care advocate. Her feed includes “news you can use” about aging, coupled with nutrition advice and a smattering of leadership training.
Because medicine is a tough profession, full of heartbreaking moments, and sometimes, you just need a laugh.