Impact of social media for the hematologist/oncologist

Semin Hematol. 2017 Oct;54(4):193-197. doi: 10.1053/j.seminhematol.2017.07.003. Epub 2017 Sep 18.


In the era of modern communication, the physician and patient relationship has evolved to include an entirely new dimension-social media. This new dimension offers several opportunities for patient education, research and its dissemination, and professional development for health care providers; it can also serve as a platform for addressing important public health issues. However, these advantages come with challenges such as threats to patient and professional privacy. In this article, we dissect the benefits and drawbacks of this social evolution on the practicing hematologist-oncologist. We also perform a review of the current literature on the integration of social media in the practice of hematology/oncology; examine available guidelines for information exchange between health care professionals, industry, pharmaceutical companies, advocacy groups, and patients; and offer ways to create its seamless integration into clinical hematology-oncology practice.

Keywords: Cancer; Hematology-oncology; Social media; Twitter.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hematology / standards*
  • Humans
  • Oncologists / standards*
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*