February 15, 2011

Top Oncology Leaders Blog on ASCO’s Professional Networking Site


Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of posts by and about members of the Social Media Health Network. This post is from Amy Fries, Content Manager for ASCO Connection, on behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology is a nonprofit organization in Alexandria, Virginia, with a staff of approximately 280 and a membership nearing 30,000. ASCO is an innovative organization that has been involved with social media channels for a number of years—Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, it really ramped up efforts in this area with the launch in July 2010 of a professional networking site for members and the worldwide oncology community—

Since the launch, the number of bloggers featured on the site has climbed to 11, including such leaders in the field as ASCO’s President George Sledge, MD; Immediate Past President Douglas Blayney, MD; and ASCO Connection Editor-in-Chief and gynecologic cancer expert Jonathan Berek, MD, MMS.

We are very fortunate that ASCO’s CEO Dr. Allen Lichter and our President, Dr. Sledge, have been big proponents of unfiltered leader-to-member and member-to-member communication. As Dr. Sledge has said, “As more physicians adopt social media, it’s vital for ASCO to have an online meeting place for member-to-member communication, and ASCO Connection is that forum.”

The blogs, which continue to be the star attraction on the site, provide insider insight on the politics and policies affecting the practice of oncology, the growing challenges of cancer care worldwide, physicians’ use of social media and emerging technologies, and the science and research affecting the future of cancer care.

It’s been most gratifying to read the quality of the posts—for example, Dr. Sledge, a renowned breast cancer researcher, has posted a blog about an article that altered his “view of the cancer world” and one that lists the top six developments in cancer research over the past decade. This kind of unfiltered access to some of the great thought leaders in the field is a real highlight of the site.

Other keys features include the Discussion Forums and the online version of the member magazine. Plans are underway to create group functionality and enable direct member-to-member messaging. ASCO members who log in to the site with their username and password have immediate access to read and comment on all content. Nonmembers who register a guest account with can read and post on selected topics.

We’re very happy to be part of the Social Media Health Network and look forward to sharing ideas on how to connect incredibly busy health care professionals in ways that make it easier for them to do their jobs—providing the best patient care possible.

For a list of other Social Media Health Network members and information on how your organization can join, see the Network tab.

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