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Expert Interview #6 :: Mike Sevilla, MD

This week’s expert interview is with Dr. Mike Sevilla. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Mike at the Third Annual Health Care Social Media Summit at Mayo Clinic a couple of weeks back. Mike is a great guy and great advocate for social media in healthcare. I am very much looking forward to catching up with him at SXSW! (That was my attempt to force his hand into coming to Austin in March!)


Name: Mike Sevilla, MD
Title: Family Physician & Social Media Enthusiast
Twitter: @DrMikeSevilla
LinkedIn: gets you there

Bio: I started his social media life as @DoctorAnonymous, but now I try to be a social media ambassador to the Family Medicine Physician community, and anyone else who will listen on platforms like blogging, twitter, facebook, youtube, podcasting, and others.

Q: So tell me a bit about your background. How did you find yourself dealing with social media and new technologies on a regular basis?

I’ve always been geeky growing up and an early adopter. My first computer in grade school was the Apple IIc. My first e-mail was as a freshman in college. I did research in med school with the Mosaic browser. I used the Handspring PDA regularly in residency. Started blogging in 2006 and now try out a number of social media platforms. It’s been a fun ride!

Q: In your field what has been the biggest win for social media and new technologies?

I have been doing a lot of speaking engagements to Family Physician organizations on the topic of social media this year. In the Family Medicine community, 2011 has really been the tipping point for use of social media. My professional association, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), really embraced social media this year even to the point where the AAFP President has a twitter account (@AAFPPrez), a Facebook fan page, and a leadership blog on the AAFP website. “The Prez” even dubbed me “The King Of Family Medicine Social Media” at the annual meeting this year. He’s joking, of course. But, it’s always fun for me to tell my friends this. HA!

Q: As a follow up what is the next hurdle?

This is really a “be careful what you wish for” scenerio. While Family Medicine sees the value of social media at the organizational level, it really has not reached the grassroots as of yet. And, if over the next year, if people like me cannot show the value of social media to the membership at large, the momentum built up this year will stop, and the organization will stop the social media initiatives that were started this year. So, this will be quite a challenge for me and other Family Medicine social media enthusiasts.

Q: A year from now how do you hope social media has changed your job?

Over the next year, I’m really hoping that patient/physician communication will be used more in secure patient portal and physician portal sites. As this electronic communication becomes more prevalent, I hope the government and insurance companies create a prevalent payment model for physicians and patients to communicate in this manner.

Q: Finally, what is your favorite new app or device?

My favorite new app is by Dr. Jennifer Dyer, pediatric endocrinologists. She is known as @Endogoddess on twitter and this is the name of her app. Using her words, the Endogoddess app is “a glucose journal that you get rewards from.” As you hit your goals, you are rewarded points that can be eventually used for iTunes purchases. This app combines mobile health with “gameification.” I see a great future for apps like this in 2012.


Read the other interviews from my expert series here.

Author Info

Reed Smith