Tips For Doctors Entering the Social Media World

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about physicians and social media. Since then, I read another article about why physician’s should get involved. Mike Sevilla, M.D., a family physicians and blogger, listed six reasons and told his journey with social media over the years at the Connecting Healthcare + Social Media Conference a few weeks ago. The reasons he gave were:

1. To tell your story

2. To find a community

3. To express opinions and commentary

4. To discover what you are passionate about

5. To conduct social media marketing

6. To manage your online reputation and streamline your practice

The article I linked to goes into more details, but as I thought about it, these seemed like some very helpful tips. Let me talk about number six for awhile. When I was searching for a OB/GYN, and later, a pediatrician, I read pages and pages of reviews for doctors. It amazed me how many negative reviews were on there. I mean, some of they could have been justified, sure, but I felt bad for some of the doctors that might not have even known those reviews were out there and had no way to defend themselves. My doctor was incredible, but a few disgruntled patients wrote terrible reviews online about him, which probably pushed people away from going to him. If a doctor is involved with social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or even just reading comment boards, he or she may be able to defend their reputation, and then create a better image with their patients. I’ve found that when I’ve become friends with past teachers, employers, or co-workers, my opinion of them almost always changed. I saw that they were human — they had friends, family, likes, dislikes…everything.

I think a lot of these tips point to one thing — bettering your image and becoming involved. I think that’s great. There is definitely an art to social media, and not every doctor is going to be great at it. However, over at mHIMSS.com, web content producer for Healthcare IT News Michelle McNickle created a great list of 10 physicians to follow on Twitter. You can find more out about each of the site I just linked to, but for conveniences sake, here is the list:

1. Kevin Pho, MD — @kevinmd

2. Mike Sevilla, MD — @drmikesevilla

3. Val Jones, MD — @drval

4. Tim Sturgill, MD — @SymTym

5. Bertalan Meskó, MD — @berci

6. Shelley Binkley, MD — @healthewoman

7. Mark Browne, MD — @consultdoc

8. Joseph Kim, MD — @DrJosephKim

9. Jay Parkinson, MD — @jayparkinson

10. Mehmet Oz, MD — @DrOz

So, if you are a doctor, follow the above tips to start your journey into the social media world. And for anyone who wants to have daily tips, ideas, or thoughts from doctors, you might start by taking a look at the 10 doctors mentioned above.