The VdGM Compass: Navigating the Sea of Soci@l Media

In the last five years we have become very familiar with the term “social media”. While many of us may find it difficult to remember a time before Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or WhatsApp, not all family doctors are engaged in social media.

Despite widespread use of “social media”, it remains in its infancy and many of us have a lot to learn. What is also true is that social media is here to stay, is almost certain to become increasingly used including amongst our patients, and like it or loathe it, we cannot afford to ignore it!

In delivering social media workshops over the last few years, it became patently obvious to the Vasco da Gama Movement (VdGM) that there were very few robust resources for family doctors that provide an overview of social media, how it should and can be used, the etiquette, the pros and cons, and the dos and donts.

In 2013, the a VdGM social media workshop at the 2013 WONCA Prague conference led a small group of enthusiastic VdGM social media users to have the idea of creating a social media resource for fellow Vasco da Gamians. Driven by the enthusiasm and passion of Ulrik Bak Kirk and Luís Pinho-Costa, with support from Harris Lygidakis, Raluca Zoitanu, Raquel Gomez-Bravo and others, the concept has now finally become a reality in the form of our VdGM ePDF Social Media Guide.

Our aims in creating this ePDF, through using actual case studies in peer-to-peer social media usage, were to empower family doctors, GP trainees and medical students, enabling them to make good use of social media, and to develop professional social media strategies that support the maintenance of a healthy work/life balance. Areas which are covered in the guide include social media myths, professional use of social media, social media trends and codes of conduct.

Our knowledge and understanding of social media has grown during a process which for those involved was a labour of love. Their journey has resulted in the creation of what we believe to be a very special ePDF guide, the process itself having been the actual product.

Finally, huge thanks are due to all authors of the chapters and all those who contributed their stories, to the multi-media designer Peter Lübben (visual & layout artist), who generously provided his expertise and time to craft the graphic content and layout, to Harris Lygidakis, Raluca Zoitanu, and Raquel Gomez-Bravo, and particularly to the main protagnonists in this endeavour, Ulrik Bak Kirk (editor & vision/concept) and Luís Pinho-Costa.

We hereby invite you to download the ePDF The Vasco da Gama Movement Compass: Navigating the Sea of Soci@l Media (PDF, 5MB) launched during the 20th WONCA Europe Conference in Istanbul at the end of the "Social Media: An Exercise in Time Wasting for Young People?" VdGM-EQuiP panel.

Direct link to ePDF

Download small file for printing

Read more here

Peter A Sloane                              Ulrik Bak Kirk
President VdGM                            EQuiP Manager