Zebras and oxpeckers: Why resident physicians and social media need each other
Mammal; Diet: herbivore; Life span: years; Habitat: Ethiopia-Cape of Good Hope, Africa safaris; Each zebra w/ its own stripe pattern. salonjardin.info In these areas, the zebras are plagued by black flies, ticks, and midges. Oxpeckers land on rhinos or zebras and eat ticks and other parasites that live on their which helps the symbiont (a name for the other partner in a relationship).
There is some debate as to whether the relationship between the oxpecker and its host truly is symbiotic, or whether the oxpecker is semi-parasitic.
Cape Buffalo Benefits A bison -- in Africa this ox-like creature is known as the Cape buffalo -- that is serving as host to the oxpecker does receive some benefits, although the overall merit is speculative. Ticks and other insects feasting on the buffalo are removed by the oxpecker.
Oxpeckers leave no crevice untouched, and will even work their ways into their hosts ears to remove insects, earwax and parasites. In addition, the oxpecker will eat diseased wound tissue, keeping wounds clean as they heal.
Oxpeckers also will hiss when they become alarmed, and can alert their host --who is a prey mammal-- to potential danger.
Oxpecker Benefits The oxpecker will spend his entire life on his hosts, except for nesting, which occurs in cavities of trees. In this relationship, the part of the oxpecker is obligate; he is dependent upon the host as a source of food.
Mutualism Between the Oxpecker and the Zebra by Brie Williams on Prezi
In addition to the meals he receives every day, the oxpecker also is protected from many predators while on the relative safety of the host. Oxpeckers consume dandruff and scar tissue, and have been known to open up wounds on their host to eat the blood and scabs, potentially slowing the healing process. Jan 07, Guest Author By Dr. Christiansen Do you remember learning about mutualistic symbiotic relationships in fifth grade biology?
The zebra and the oxpecker bird, the bee and the flower, and the bacteria in the human digestive tract, wherein two distinct groups mutually benefit from the relationship in a way not possible on their own.
Why does social media need resident physicians? Social media needs doctors who can maintain enthusiasm about healthcare in the face of constant changes, doctors who want to be involved in the debate about the future of healthcare.
Resident oxpeckers to sound the alarm. With the drastic changes occurring throughout the healthcare landscape, social media savvy residents have the means of verbalizing timely and distinct warnings that will be heard by local and national policy makers, legislators, and hospital administrators.
In a separate post, I compared effective use of social media in healthcare to using a megaphone at a football game, where a message, if timely and qualified, can be heard by thousands, both on and off the field. Why do resident physicians need healthcare social media? What they need to learn is how to use social media professionally.