Can We Make CME Pinteresting?

First of all, I must apologize for the horrible pun in the title. It was ripe for the picking and I, and millions of others, found it irresistible. I am ashamed of myself.

Second of all, yes, I am again writing about the latest craze in social media. What can I say? I’m a sucker for these types of things.

Third of all…you’ve never heard of Pinterest or visited the site??? Go there right now and explore. Get sucked into the whirling vortex of imagery that is Pinterest, the social media site that drives more traffic than YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn, or (snicker) MySpace, and is on par with Twitter. Only the monolithic Facebook drives more (and a LOT more at that). I’ll wait why you click around.

<gets snack>

<twiddles thumbs>


<glances at watch>

<reads War and Peace>

Welcome back! For those of you who continued reading and are waiting for my description of Pinterest instead: imagine Delicious, except with images. If that still doesn’t mean anything to you: think of a page of hyperlinks, but the links are all pretty pictures. Got it?

My wife has become semi-addicted to it and I think her usage of Pinterest demonstrates the norm. As an example, she’s redesigning our guest room to be my home office. She’s goes on Pinterest or “surfs the web” (how very mid-90’s of me!), searches “Home Design” (or maybe it’s “Office Design”, I don’t really know) finds pictures she likes and “pins” them to her “board” for future reference. She can spend hours doing this.

So, of course, my first instinct was to think about how it can be used in CME (it’s a sickness, I know). I took a crack at it and came up with the following:

Diabetes PI CME: Visual list. Probably the most basic use of Pinterest, a visual list of activities. I gathered my list of from a variety of sources, but you could of course just pin your own activities. I admit that the images here aren’t that great, but I think I might like it better than a text heavy list. Need to think about that a bit.

Social Media & CME: Visual content curation. I enjoyed putting this one together and will definitely come back to it as my reference archive when writing about social media and CME. I compared it to a similar list on Delicious and definitely preferred looking at the Pinterest sight, but maybe that’s because I made that one. Also, my apologies to Brian McGowan who tweeted that his picture on the board made him look like the love child of Shrek and a creamsicle. Sometimes you have to play the hand that Pinterest deals you…

Sports Medicine Q&A: Visual list. This one I really like and see a ton of possibilities. I pinned a bunch of images from Dr. Howard J. Luks’ excellent website (if you want to see a physician who really “gets” social media, check out showing a variety of orthopedic injuries, but unlabeled. Then I just asked basic questions like, “What injury do you see here?” and “Identify the problem here.” In order to find out the answer, you click on the image which is linked to an explanation on Dr. Luks site. Within 10 minutes of pinning up these images, I had 8 comments, 5 re-pins, and 8 followers. It happened so fast, I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Frankly, I’m not even sure how these people found my board (although I think it had something to do with me categorizing the board under Pinterest’s “Education” label). Obviously though, I hit on something that caught people’s eye and allowed me to accomplish two things: 1) educate; 2) drive traffic to Dr. Luks’ website (for which I’m sure he will pay me a large fee…maybe not.) Pretty cool.

Cheesy Country Songs I Listened To Growing Up In Southern Delaware: Video list. OK, admittedly this one has nothing to do with CME. I just did it for the heck of it. Actually, I did it because I was amusing my family by singing along to YouTube video clips of songs I remembered listening to on WAFL in Milford, DE when I was growing up (the look of incredulity in my wife’s eyes as I sang along word-for-word to the Oak Ridge Boy’s classic “Elvira” was priceless). But it serves as an example of yet another way to use Pinterest.

Anyone else using Pinterest in CME or healthcare? I would love to hear about it or see any examples!



2 responses to “Can We Make CME Pinteresting?

  1. Derek – to quote Austin Powers, this column “Totally Rocks!” And you describe well what might yet be the best application of how CME can partake in and benefit from social media. Here is an opportunity for docs who are just clicking around to come across good CME of Pinterest to them. Thanks for the writeup, and good luck with the home office design!

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