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widely disseminate data and ideas. We have generally
conceived of social media as a public-facing platform
for interaction with patients and the public. This public
face of social media is important, but physicians and
surgeons increasingly use this form of communication
to engage in discussion with each other in order to
exchange information and foster collaberation. Social
media is breaking down barriers and silos that exist
between the various specialty, geographic, and practice settings.
Though it would be in vogue to claim that Twitter and other forms of social media will disrupt health
care—and admittedly these tools are not without their
challenges and risks—it is probably more accurate to
claim that social media will have a transformative
effect on the structure and practice of medicine and
surgery. The potential is largely untapped; we have
barely scratched the surface of what we might accomplish. The lasting impact of the #ILook LikeASurgeon
campaign and the movement it created will likely
extend beyond the mission and goals of promoting
women and diversity in surgery. By pulling surgeons
into social media, the impact may really lie in the transformation of surgery and medicine. ♦
I would like to thank Dr. Heather Logghe for the conversations we had regarding this article, for her help reviewing
the timeline of events, and for her general support in writing this feature.