Asklepios attracts 3,000 MD
registrants in first year
OTTAWA – Asklepios, the CMA’s
social networking site for physicians that was launched in 2008,
celebrated its first anniversary in August by registering more than
“We’re only starting to get a handle on the potential this site has to
offer,” Pat Rich, the CMA’s director of online content, said after
speaking during the recent international Medicine 2.0 conference in
Some of that potential became clear this summer, when Asklepios members
posted more than 700 comments on issues that were to be debated during
the CMA’s 2009 annual meeting in Saskatoon. “It’s safe to say that the
volume and variety of activity on Asklepios to date has exceeded
expectations,” Rich said.
Asklepios is the only site in Canada that allows MDs to exchange
opinions and comments in a secure, physician-only environment.
Registration at www.asklepios.ca
is free and takes less than a minute.
Rich said the site is now home to more than 90 groups dedicated to a
wide range of professional and personal topics that have produced more
than 2,000 postings. Hundreds more private messages have been exchanged
In terms of numbers, a group dealing with electronic patient records is
the most popular on the site, while another related group talking about
iPhone applications for health is also attracting many members. But
groups dealing with everything from astronomy to gastronomy, medical
politics and economics, and specific medical school classes are all
present on the site.
Asklepios was created as a platform for physicians and medical groups
that wanted to make use of secure networking tools. It faced its first
large-scale test in July in the pre-annual meeting forum hosted by CMA
Board Chair Michael Golbey, and passed with flying colours.
In the weeks preceding the meeting, Golbey posted a series of five
questions asking for input on policy issues facing the CMA. The response
was heavy, with many physicians signing on to Asklepios so that they
could participate in the online discussions.
“We’re beginning to realize how valuable Asklepios can be in launching
discussions on issues physicians care about,” Golbey says. “It provides
a way for doctors to network with one another and also lets us host
physician-only ‘town-hall meetings,’ and do it in a totally secure
Rich says new features are being developed that will allow members to
initiate their own forums in the same way Golbey did, and to start blogs
and conduct polls. Additional changes will allow members to invite
non-Canadian physicians to participate in discussions.
Posted October 8, 2009