10 MDs to follow on Twitter

With 335 million users, Twitter can feel overwhelming.

Here are 10 physician accounts that stand out from the crowd, presented in alphabetical order:

1. Vineet Arora, MD | @FutureDocs

Assistant dean for scholarship and discovery at University of Chicago Medicine

Dr. Arora, a patient handoffs expert, academic hospitalist at UChicago Medicine, focuses on improving medical education — or so-called #meded — both online and offline. She also serves as deputy social media editor for the Journal of Hospital Medicine where she blogs about topics like the sponsorship gap for female clinicians and trends in resident education, which she regularly shares with her 28,700 Twitter followers.

2. Toby Cosgrove, MD | @TobyCosgroveMD

Executive advisor to Google Cloud's healthcare and life sciences team

Dr. Cosgrove, who in May 2017 revealed plans to step down from his post as Cleveland Clinic's CEO, has traditionally focused his social media interactions on feel-good stories about his academic hospital's patients. However, we expect the accomplished cardiothoracic surgeon to expand his Twitter presence in the coming months as he takes on an advisory role with Google Cloud's healthcare and life sciences team — which has been making serious inroads in the industry with artificial intelligence, the cloud and more.

3. Atul Gawande, MD | @Atul_Gawande

CEO of the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase healthcare venture

Dr. Gawande, a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital and a professor of health policy and management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, both in Boston, has established himself as a healthcare thought leader through his work as a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he writes long-form analyses about the industry. He continues mulling complex healthcare topics — from what's driving medical debt to the power of primary care — on Twitter with his 257,000 followers.

4. Scott Gottlieb, MD | @SGottliebFDA

Commissioner of the FDA

Dr. Gottlieb doesn't practice medicine in his current post as FDA commissioner, but the former internist is making waves online, balancing informative tweets about regulatory decisions with lighthearted — and sometimes self-deprecating — posts. His tweets on skinny jeans and Thanksgiving leftovers even earned a mention in an in-depth profile The New York Times published on Dr. Gottlieb this past winter, as evidence of a "chatty" online persona that contributes to his support across the aisle.

5. John Halamka, MD | @jhalamka

CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston

Dr. Halamka leads a busy life at the intersection of health and technology. He's a practicing emergency medicine physician, the International Healthcare Innovation Professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston and the inaugural editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed journal Blockchain in Healthcare Today. He's garnered 18,300 followers on Twitter, where he shares insights into how elements outside the hospital setting — like technology and social determinants of health — affect wellness nationwide.

6. David Juurlink, MD, PhD | @DavidJuurlink

Head of clinical pharmacology and toxicology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto

Although Dr. Juurlink practices in Canada, his Twitter presence — which focuses on drug safety amid the opioid epidemic — prove informative for an American audience, as well. With 24,000 followers, the Toronto internist tweets about everything from reasons to avoid prescribing certain opioids to weighing in on national policy, building on his research interests in drug safety, adverse drug events and the consequences of drug-drug interactions in clinical practice.

7. Jennifer Adaeze Okwerekwu, MD | @JenniferAdaeze

Psychiatry resident at Harvard Medical School in Boston

Dr. Okwerekwu — a second-year psychiatry resident practicing at Cambridge (Mass.) Health Alliance, an academic community health system affiliated with Harvard Medical School — sits at the intersection of medicine and media. She pens a regular column for STAT, titled "Off the Charts," which offers a first-person look at her experiences as a black woman in healthcare. Before starting her residency, Dr. Okwerekwu worked as an intern in CNN's medical unit and as a medical student producer for The Dr. Oz Show.

8. Kevin Pho, MD | @kevinmd

Internal medicine physician at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, N.H.

Dr. Pho has made a name for himself as the founder of KevinMD.com, a blog he brands as "social media's leading physician voice." Thousands of physicians, nurses and medical students have contributed posts since the blog's launch in 2004, offering their first-person perspectives into front-line medical practice. Dr. Pho, who boasts 154,000 followers on Twitter, is also a contributor to USA Today, where he frequently pens opinion columns on the healthcare industry, and in 2013, he co-authored a book on why it's imperative for today's physicians to proactively manage their online reputations.

9. Pradheep J. Shanker, MD | @Neoavatara

CEO of radiology and medical service provider Pharon Systems

Dr. Shanker, who bills himself as a "conservative idealist by day" and "radiologist by night" online, uses Twitter to share thoughts on current events and healthcare policy with his 12,600 followers. His Twitter presence builds on his blog, where he pens reviews of movies, commentary on identity politics and essays about medical ethics, along with encouraging discussion on op-eds he's published in national media outlets like the National Review and The American Spectator.

10. Eric Topol, MD | @EricTopol

Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, Calif.

Dr. Topol, a cardiologist, professor and author, is a national expert in genomics and personalized medicine. Online, he's amassed 135,000 followers on Twitter, where he shares insights on how new discoveries inside and outside of the hospital setting — whether genetics research, digital health tools or social determinants of health — may improve patient care. He's a vocal proponent of patients' right to own their medical data, a viewpoint he's laid out extensively online and as a contributor to The New York Times.

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