It is most welcome to find that the current President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Wendy Burn, has embraced social media. This being one of a number of meaningful ways to reach out and to break down barriers. As a medical leader, professor Wendy Burn should be congratulated for this.
That is not to say, as professor Wendy Burn may already have found, that social media is free of issues.
Many years ago I was on twitter but I found that it was not for me. My personal experience was to find that twitter had intrinsic limitations in facilitating discussions of complex matters. I found that sometimes exchanges could become disrespectful. This still seems to still be the case.
Whilst not a contributing member to social media, some of my friends and correspondents are. Occasionally links to interesting exchanges are shared with me.
Just the other night, professor Wendy Burn, the President of my College, shared a picture of her lovely cat Simba alongside a picture of her laptop. Simba seemed to be sleeping (as cats do so very well!) Professor Burn, in the text accompanying her pictures, outlined that she had a “busy week ahead” and was updating her talk “Priorities for the President” to be given in Birmingham, Loughborough and Edinburgh.
If I was a contributor to twitter, I would have suggested that one of the priorities for Professor Wendy Burn, as President of my College [a priority that should apply to the Presidents of all our Royal Colleges, including the Royal Society of Medicine] would be for her to publicly support the earliest possible introduction of Sunshine legislation to the United Kingdom. Without this, professionals and public alike, have no idea how much of “Continuing Medical Education” might be based on marketing rather than science.
It is one of the essential roles of the Royal Colleges to approve Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
CPD points are a mandatory General Medical Council (GMC) requirement for every doctor. CPD points are counted on annual basis. Without sufficient CPD points a doctor’s license to practice risks being revoked.
In the UK, there is no current way for a medical practitioner to objectively appraise if this essential continuing education on therapeutic interventions [education received in good faith] may be scientific, realistic, or safe.
With such darkness, marketing will continue to prosper over science.