New York: Indian-American neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has emerged as the second most popular doctor in the US on Twitter, with over two million followers on the micro-blogging website, a new study has found. The #DocsOnTwitter study by researchers at Augustana University in the US analyzed tweeting habits of medical professionals in the country from 2006 to 2015. Gupta, with 2,031,428 followers on Twitter, serves as associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia and as assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine.
Gupta, 46, is best known as the chief medical correspondent for CNN and has won multiple Emmy awards. He also uses his Twitter account primarily for professional use, giving his opinions and medical advice. ”We just wanted to see how doctors are engaging with other people on Twitter,” Paige Schwitters, an Augustana student who contributed to the report, was quoted as saying by ‘argusleader.com’. The group worked with internet research firm BrightPlanet to evaluate Tweets and break the accounts down by age and gender.
The researchers sorted through 4,500 users. The most followed Twitter accounts belonged to celebrities, public figures or TV personalities. The top three followed doctors on Twitter are: Dr. Drew Pinsky (@drdrew) with 3.18 million followers, Dr. Gupta (@drsanjaygupta) who has 2.03 million followers, followed by Dr. Asa Andrew (@drasa) with 1.03 million followers. Drew with 3,183,017 followers, is an American board-certified internist, addiction medicine specialist and a media personality.
Researchers analysed about 3.4 million tweets to determine when and how physicians were most likely to use Twitter. The study also shows doctors are using Twitter on the go and are less likely to use the micro blogging site for legal reasons. Many avoid announcing their personal business on social media because of rules for patient privacy and insurance, according to the report.
“We just wanted to see how doctors are engaging with other people on Twitter,” one of the researchers, Paige Schwitters, was quoted as saying by Argus Leader, part of the US Today network.
Gupta joined CNN in the summer of 2001. “Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon, plays an integral role in CNN’s reporting on health and medical news for all of CNN’s shows domestically and internationally, and contributes to CNN.com,” according to his biography mentioned in CNN.
“His medical training and public health policy experience distinguishes his reporting from war zones and natural disasters, as well as on a range of medical and scientific topics, including the recent Ebola outbreak, brain injury, disaster recovery, health care reform, fitness, military medicine, and HIV/AIDS,” it added.