Social Media is a Vital Part of Today’s Medicine

In a recent blog post for KevinMD, Dr. Lauren Chasin says, physicians “have a responsibility to teach patients and to teach each other. This is why social media is so crucial to the development of medicine today.”

Social media outlets, like Facebook and Twitter, give physicians the incredible opportunity to not only communicate directly with their patients, but to communicate with one another. It provides a useful platform for sharing information about new practices and garnering several professional opinions. Imagine posting a question on Twitter and garnering several responses—in real time—from respected physicians.

While using textbooks and articles are useful, Dr. Chasin says that physicians operate best in their “own lingo with other physicians, sharing stories and inspiring each other to learn and grow.”

In regards to patients, the little bit of extra time a physician spends answering a tweet about cholesterol on Twitter translates into a greater chance that that patient will return to their practice. Patients want to feel connected to their physicians by having their questions addressed and by getting a sense of mutual respect.

We live in an increasingly connected world and patients expect that connection to extend to medicine. Engaging in social media doesn’t have to be a burden. Consider social media a gift, a chance to better educate other physicians and your patients.

Tell us what YOU think.

Do you have an example where you educated yourself or others by using social media?

One thought on “Social Media is a Vital Part of Today’s Medicine

  1. Great post. While recognized expertise and the recommendation of a friend are the biggest drivers towards the decision of which Dr. or practice is the best choice, the strategic implementation of a social media strategy increases business visibility and helps build that recognition of expertise. For example, if I am a potential patient, very active in social media, and I have notice a specific doctor or practice regularly responds to tweets specific to my ailment, that physician just became “the expert” in my mind. Other ways a physician might leverage social media for promotion are to create a facebook profile based not on their names or the name of the practice but on their field, to start a blog specific to a niche focus of medicine or alternative treatments, or perhaps even creating a “social media” afternoon in their clinic where resident’s have dedicated (and paid) time to utilize social media to help patients. The key takeaway is that, with the enhanced visibility of social media, each patient treatment or advice session also results in promotion for the practice. Bearing in mind, of course, that the opposite is also true and bad advice or guidance can have a far-reaching and long lasting effect.

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