Doctors on call in social media platforms too

Medical professionals provide informed perspectives on many subjects and often make crucial interventions

Updated - May 21, 2016 01:32 pm IST

Published - April 27, 2014 01:32 am IST

It’s netizens who keep the social mediascape buzzing round-the-clock and among them are a fair number of doctors, who have demonstrated time and again, the manifold uses of social media.

Facebook, for one, has revolutionised how people connect with others. And many doctors are just doing that. While they share views and opinions on a range of subjects, matters to do with their profession too have found their way through.

J. Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas, assistant surgeon, Department of Neurosurgery, Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital, Omandurar government estate, is no new name in social media.

A few weeks ago, he helped in tracing the family of a patient, who was found unconscious on the road with head injuries. The patient underwent surgery at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. He was able to recollect his name being Hari and that he was from Orissa.

“I tagged friends from Orissa in the social media. More than 200 friends shared the post. One of them traced his family,” he says.

His post on FB during the Uttarakhand floods seeking help from Tamil-speaking doctors in Delhi to treat Tamil pilgrims also fetched good response.

Paediatrician Ganesh Veluswami says he uses social media to spread awareness on health-related issues. “We have groups comprising doctors. Scientific medicine versus quackery is one of them. We take up common fallacies regarding medicine and defy them,” he says.

One of his recent takes is on the rampant misinformation on vaccination. “Many educated people just Google for health information. We want to spread critical thinking skills,” he adds.

***

In the age when information is just a click or a tap away, what could possibly bring together trivia-junkies and those who like to spot the “extraordinary in the ordinary” under one roof? If you go by the turnout at the annual Landmark quiz in the city, the answer is seems, is a plain good round of quizzing.

“The quizzing scene is extremely vibrant here,” says V.V. Ramanan, quizmaster and a senior member of Quiz Foundation of India. “The quizzing level is also quite high. If other cities have 200 teams for the quiz, Chennai will have around 750 teams. Of these, only 75-80 would be regular quizzers,” he says.

24-year old Aniruddh M. V., an IT employee who got interested in quizzing while at school, agrees. He would rather prefer quizzing over a movie. Being a quizzer is no longer about visiting libraries and reading encyclopaedias. “If there are going to be questions on medieval art, you got to read up to be relevant,” he said. Mr. Ramanan adds that, “It is equally important to recollect information at the right moment.”

Prateek Vijayavargia, an IIT-M student, who is part of the institute’s quizzing club, says you need to make a connection between different pieces of trivia.

Quizzing is also an opportunity to meet new people. “We have inter-hostel contests and travel on weekends to participate more. We keep learning within the larger quizzing community.”

And, the best part, he says, is that you can be a quizzer all your life. “Once you become a quizzer, you cannot give it up. It is addictive.”

(Reporting by Serena Josephine M. and Asha Sridhar)

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