Local doctor makes Time Magazine list of best Twitter users

MILL CREEK, Wash. -- A Mill Creek pediatrician has made her way onto a very unique list: She's been named by Time Magazine as one of the top 140 Twitter users to follow.

In honor of the 140 characters allowed in each Tweet, Time has come up with 140 people worthy of following in all kinds of industries and pursuits.

One of the 14 selected in the category of health and family is Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson.

In picking Swanson for the list, Time says she "connects parents and doctors through social media, and offers advice for fellow mothers about everything from nut allergies to child development."

"Particular on Twitter, I listen a lot more than I talk," Swanson said.

The impressive list also includes Bill Gates and Chelsea Clinton.

"You know you're lucky when you get on the same list as Bill Gates," Swanson said. "It's a total honor, right? It might be my only one."

Her Twitter handle is @SeattleMamaDoc, and she also writes the Seattle Mama Doc blog. She routinely posts topical advice on Youtube and has been a guest on national television shows and conferences.

But social media has become her calling, and she uses it to reach out to and learn from a new generation of Internet-savvy patients.

"There is no question that I learn the most on Twitter," she said. "And my ability to have national influence, hopefully, in creating change in health care communication is probably because of Twitter."

The mother of two young boys believes health care needs to embrace social media to create a new, digital bedside manner.

"I believe fully that this is the future of health care," she said. "As we act more and more like a willow tree, and the more flexible we are, hopefully we'll meet our patients where they are."