MUSC Annual Report 2011-2012
Mixing Social, Mainstream Media with Sports Medicine
|Social media is not a passing fad but a means of connecting with current and potential patients in Charleston and around the world. That is the message of C. David Geier, M.D., MUSC's orthopaedic surgeon and the Director of Sports Medicine, who in short time has created a multi-faceted social media identity in sports medicine. |
"I started my blog to give me the chance to talk about sports medicine in my own voice," he says. "It was an alternative to traditional advertising campaigns in that people could read my opinions on treatments and surgeries and comment on them without feeling like I was trying to sell them a product or simply promote myself. I thought that it might lead to people choosing me as their doctor, but that was never the ultimate goal."
Facebook and Twitter aren't just for fun any more.
|The blog, drdavidgeier.com, has been a huge success with readers in more than 150 countries. It has translated into new patients from across the United States. Over time his definition of success has evolved. |
"What I never envisioned when I started was how much I would enjoy writing," Geier explains. "When I got the regular sports medicine column in the (Charleston) Post and Courier, I was nervous. I've never felt like was a particularly good writer. But I started to get excited writing about famous athletes' injuries and controversial topics. I found my style of writing, and it has just taken off."
Geier regularly writes for The Post and Courier, Cover 2 Cover Magazine, the Charleston Battery, the Family Circle Tennis Center, the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign, and the Be Active Your Way blog by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He hopes to syndicate his Post and Courier column.
And while the exposure from the blog and other publications slowly grew, it's his efforts in other areas of social media that have expanded his online identity. "I always thought Facebook was an enormous time waster, and I didn't even know what Twitter was. Now they are central to my efforts to share information and connect with health care professionals, athletes, parents, coaches, and potential patients all over the world." Geier is extremely active on Twitter (@drdavidgeier) and his Facebook fan page, and he is developing content for Flickr, YouTube, and other sites.
Recently he entered the podcast arena. The Dr. David Geier Show is a weekly, hour-long discussion of "anything and everything" in sports medicine. He discusses a hot topic each week, explains the injuries of several college and professional athletes, and answers listeners' questions and offers general information on injuries rather than providing specific medical advice. "It amazes me how many questions and comments I get from all over the country and the world." And while a weekly show is a big time commitment, he believes the experience will be helpful if he ever ventures into television or radio.
In July, he was appointed Chairman of the Public Relations Committee for The American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM). "It really was a terrific opportunity and honor. AOSSM is such a great organization that works to promote injury treatment and prevention in sports. My social media experience apparently was a major factor pushing my nomination for Chairman forward. Very few sports medicine organizations communicate to the public through social media. AOSSM is already the world's leader in sports medicine research and fellowship, but I intend to help the society become the ‘go to' organization for anyone involved in sports."
As PR Chairman, Geier earned a seat on the national steering committee for the STOP Sports Injuries Campaign. This is a campaign AOSSM started with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Athletic Trainers' Association, and other healthcare organizations, medical practices, and medical professionals from all over the world. "We are trying to raise awareness of the epidemic of traumatic and overuse injuries in youth sports and promote measures to keep kids safe and healthy. It is one of my main passions. I talk about it wherever and whenever I have the opportunity," he says.
"We are trying to raise awareness of the epidemic of traumatic and overuse injuries in youth sports and promote measures to keep kids safe and healthy. It is one of my main passions. I talk about it wherever and whenever I have the opportunity," — David Geier, M.D.
Geier is the head team physician for the Charleston Battery soccer team and chief tournament physician for the Family Circle Cup. He has served as orthopaedic consultant for professional and elite sports teams, including the United States Women's Soccer team and the Eagles USA Rugby National team. He was team physician for Washington University in St. Louis and also assisted in the orthopaedic care of baseball's St. Louis Cardinals and the NFL's St. Louis Rams.
Geier received a degree in economics from Wake Forest University. After completing medical school at MUSC, he completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Campbell Clinic in Memphis and a sports medicine fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis. He returned to Charleston in 2005 and created the MUSC Sports Medicine program.