Medical science popularization faces the challenge of “four no’s”

Medical science popularization faces the challenge of “four no’s”

Many doctors have become popular on major social platforms: Tan Qiang, the chief physician of the thoracic surgery department who has the courage to challenge inappropriate comments, Yu Xianxi, a pancreatic tumor doctor who helps family members comfort patients, and others who focus on fun and humor and reveal patients’ unspeakable secrets. Zou Lujia, a urologist… From a tricky surgery to a high-end academic forum to the hospital parking lot situation and how many courses medical students have to learn, the doctor’s sharing on social platforms is very popular among netizens.

Some doctors frequently “show their faces” on social platforms. How effective is it in spreading medical science?

Not long ago, the Development Research Institute of Fudan University, the School of Journalism of Fudan University, the Global Communication and All-Media Research Institute of Fudan University, and the Health Communication Research Institute of Fudan University jointly hosted the first domestic expert seminar on the “Evaluation Report on Health Science Popularization of Chinese Doctors in the Digital Era”. Sun Shaojing’s team, a professor at the School of Journalism at Fudan University, and Wang Fan’s team, a researcher at the Development Research Institute, spent more than half a year analyzing health science content on the three major social media platforms, Douyin, Weibo, and WeChat, to complete this report.

The research objects of this report are 930 Douyin accounts, 10,346 Weibo accounts and the top 200 medical WeChat public accounts certified as doctors after analysis and judgment by the research team.

The report found that doctor science popularization has shown a booming trend in recent years. Taking accounts certified as doctors on Weibo as an example, more than a quarter of the accounts were newly registered in the past three years. The number of popular science content on health on the three major digital platforms of Weibo, Douyin and WeChat has increased significantly. Among them, the top doctor account on Weibo has posted more than 10,000 videos, and the top doctor account on Douyin has posted more than 2,000 popular science videos. The leading doctor account on the WeChat platform has published more than 3,000 articles.

Doctors’ science popularization efforts are highly concentrated in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and other regions. Among them, doctors from specialized hospitals account for a relatively high proportion on the Weibo platform, doctors from general hospitals account for a larger proportion on the Douyin platform, and surgery, internal medicine, and traditional Chinese medicine are more common on Douyin and WeChat platforms. It is worth mentioning that due to the large number of plastic surgeons, they were singled out by the research team as a square. This group of doctors accounted for more than 30% of the accounts registered on Weibo, and their numbers were absolutely dominant, “crushing” other departments. doctor.

“We also found that there are discrepancies and differences in the personal information provided by some doctors on different platforms.” Wang Fan told reporters that the research found that doctors commonly use unit certification, professional clothing, real person avatars, titles and awards, etc., with multimedia forms for personalization The display shows the friendly image of doctors and also has professional authority. However, a small number of doctors’ accounts have been identified by the research team as having hidden dangers such as “excessive marketing or false propaganda.”

Wang Fan said that at present, major platforms have relatively rich health science content about chronic diseases and lifestyles, while the visibility and attention of hidden health topics such as mental health issues are obviously insufficient.

Among the content with high reading volume, daily health care and disease analysis account for a large proportion, cancer and traditional Chinese medicine knowledge content account for a large proportion, while content on topics such as mental illness and vaccines is relatively small.

The team also found some problems: some professional topics are still not “out of the circle”, the language style of some popular science content is too obscure, and is even directly excerpted from ancient pharmacopoeia, with insufficient explanation and translation; some medical professional terms intersect with popular folk medical terms Mixed, resulting in semantic confusion.

The report also found that some doctors provide user-paid medical services on social platforms, including online consultations, live broadcasts of goods, content payment, etc. “This approach actually expands medical service channels and helps better meet the public’s medical needs.” Wang Fan said that the research team also found that there is a “blurred boundary” between some “medical science popularization” and “advertising and marketing” This phenomenon may challenge the professional authority of health science popularization. “How to balance health science popularization on digital platforms with commercialized medical services is an issue that needs attention.”

Wang Tong, deputy chairman of the Humanistic Medicine Committee of the Chinese Medical Doctor Association, deputy director of the Office of the Shanghai Municipal Health Promotion Committee, and director of the Health Promotion Department of the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission, believes that doctors should be encouraged to participate in science popularization work on social media. “Not only must Focusing on doctors from tertiary hospitals, doctors at all levels, especially community doctors, should also be encouraged to participate.” He suggested that in the future, the direction of doctors’ science popularization can be closer to “prevention first, moving the gateway forward”, focusing on strengthening the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

“From the results of the report, we currently have the ‘four no’ problems of insufficient number of doctors participating in science popularization, insufficient professional coverage, uneven regional distribution, and unsatisfactory results.” Assistant to the President and Chief Physician of Cardiothoracic Surgery of the Children’s Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University Qiu Wanshan believes that in order to improve the health level of the whole people, it is not enough to rely on medical staff to do science popularization. Practitioners from many industries such as nutrition, sports science, media, and government managers should also be invited to participate in cross-disciplinary cooperation. We will disseminate whatever the people need and care about, and respond to their concerns in a way and language that they like to hear and see.”

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