Director & Senior Consultant
Institute of Gastroenterology,
Hepatobiliary Science and Transplantation
SRM Institute of Medical Science, Chennai
Even as you read, there is a growing queue of professionals waiting to be admitted to the Facebook group, Learning General Surgery - a group that Dr Patta Radhakrishna floated in 2014.
Today, any doctor worth a name is already part of its 30,000-strong community. Besides those from India, doctors from 70 countries talk here on a regular basis.
That such a group - structured the way it is - exists and runs on the Internet, is rare and intriguing. But in the story is also embedded deep learnings that people and professionals can use to succeed in the virtual world.
To hear Dr. Patta Radhakrishna speak, register now for Med-E-Talks 2020, scheduled on Jan 26 in Bangalore. Seats are limited, and are filling up fast. Please book early.
Google for Dr. Patta Radhakrishna, and you are likely to stumble on a man in trendy aviators, looking every part a Tollywood actor.
Whether the thought of being in the movies ever crossed his mind is something he might care to answer when he comes to speak at the Med-E-Talks 2020!
Nevertheless, what we do know of him is that after he found his calling in the medical profession, he became an exceptional healer and a life-saver, working as a gastrointestinal surgeon in some of the best-known hospitals around the world. More about his work here
In 2014, Dr Patta set up a Facebook group for professionals from his field to discuss issues of common interest. Initially, the group constituted only of the few people he knew. Soon enough, it became the port of call for several others.
Currently, the group membership stands at 30,000, with requests for admission climbing every day.
What is it with online social groups
Statistically, more groups have died quick and listless deaths on the Internet than those that could past-muster.
Whereas researchers have often and repeatedly pointed to the subset of online practices that undermine and kill such initiatives, no one has really focused on the metre that brings success.
Dr Patta has a take on that - derived from his own experience of having begun, sustained and successfully run a group - that too a staid, strictly professional one - for more than a decade!
It would be interesting to listen to him.
Like in the real world, people in the virtual world have their own idiosyncrasies and archetypal behaviour patterns. Those lines run across the web length of the Internet, deviating neither for forum, group or site.
Mastering that dynamic is critical; and to that end, Dr Patta’s contribution would certainly have a bearing!