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Jul 20 2011

He likes us. . .

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Image for He likes us. . . In the last issue of the Forum, the NC Medical Board announced that it had established a Facebook page. Dr. K. Patrick Ober, Associate Dean of Medical Education at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, was the first licensee to ‘Like’ the NCMB. Dr. Ober spoke to Forum Editor Jean Fisher Brinkley about using social media to enhance his professional life.

How do you use Facebook professionally?
I’m exploring that. I use it professionally, I guess, as an observer and a watcher. Basically what I’ve done is I’ve identified organizations in which I have an interest and I click the ‘Like’ button. This has been primarily medical, professional journals, organizations, where I went to college, where I went to medical school. Places like that. It’s mainly just to see, is it useful? Is it not useful?

Do you use Facebook primarily on a desktop computer or a laptop, or do you use it on a Smartphone?
I mainly use it on my iPad. I go home in the evening and look at some emails and some other stuff, and it’s actually very easy to click on Facebook and scroll through and see what’s been going on the last day or so.

What made you ‘Like’ the NCMB page?
It actually is a very colorful page. There’s a lot of stuff there. I looked at it and it dawned on me that it’s probably stuff that I ought to be keeping up with or at least ought to be aware of.

Has the NCMB Facebook page met your expectations?
What I expected to be there is there. There’s a part of me that’s always curious about the people who got into trouble, not so much who messed up, but how did they mess up and how did they get into trouble? In teaching professionalism to medical students, it’s useful for them to know the common ways that physicians get themselves into a bind. So [the disciplinary reports], as a teaching instrument, are useful.

Have you learned anything new about the NCMB through the Facebook page?
I actually have. I’ve been impressed by the scope of what the Medical Board is responsible for and the number of people involved and the fact that it’s actually a very active organization. I think most of us might think of the Medical Board as a thing that’s just there and it’s very staid and it’s very traditional and nothing too much happens. But now it’s quite clear to me that there are all sorts of things going on in a very dynamic fashion.

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