About the author:

Howard J. Luks, MD

Howard J. Luks, MD

A Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Hawthorne, NY. Dr. Howard Luks specializes in the treatment of the shoulder, knee, elbow, and ankle. He has a very "social" patient centric approach and believes that the more you understand about your issue, the more informed your decisions will be. Ultimately your treatments and his recommendations will be based on proper communications, proper understanding, and shared decision-making principles – all geared to improve your quality of life.

6 comments on “The Emergence of Key Opinion Leaders in Medicine and Social Media

  • Thank you for writing this! It is a topic that has been exercising my mind this week, particularly as I fielded criticism of a list of my key influencers which I posted on slideshare:

    http://www.slideshare.net/ennoconn/health-care-social-media-influencers

    The most vehement reactions came from those who stated that these lists are meaningless – but who defines meaning? Isn’t it as individual as we are? As you so rightly state “YOU decide who the key opinion leaders are and if our message resonates – and thus offers value.” After all, one person’s meaningless Twitter account is another’s Klout score (this was suggested to me as a more meaningful way to create this kind of list). Again for some this may be how you decide who is worth following on Twitter, but Klout scores are also an imperfect measure of influence. If I chose only to focus on Klout scores, then I would be missing out on some great Twitter accounts. In fact one of the most surprising things I found when creating my list was the low number of followers on some accounts . Some of the accounts I most respect for what they are doing to change the conversation in healthcare have a surprisingly low number of followers – proof once again that quality engagement should never be measured in numbers. By the same token, some of the better-known accounts have huge numbers of followers, but I wonder how many just follow these accounts because everyone else does – ergo they must be influential/meaningful/worth following. Creating this list made me question how meaningful they still are to me. Am I still learning from them? Are they still pushing the boundaries? It is good to review the lists of people you follow every now and again and ask these questions. You might be surprised at the answer you get. Still, we all have to start someplace, and usually we start with the wisdom of the crowd until we find our own individual tribe and our own meaningful level of engagement. I am also like you of the subversive belief that people can make up their own minds who to follow – a list is just a starting point to explore things further for yourself.

    • Thanks Marie.. and happy new year!
      Keep up your hard work. What many fail to realize is that we have been stuck in a giant echo chamber for many years now. The same folks talking about much the same issues. Many many more voices are necessary. Patients are heading online in large numbers. Health care providers are starting to get the message too… and they are showing up on twitter and require a little hand holding to get them started. Your lists, as with others give these newbies a good place to start!
      As with beauty … the true value of “meaning” is in the eye of the beholder/reader :-)
      Howard

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