How Doctors Should Use Social Media | Social Buzz Pros
This June, the American Medical Association held it's Annual Meeting, in Chicago. For the first time ever,a Twitter instructional session was held to teach doctors how to use the popular social network. Incoming AMA President, Robert Wah, M.D., stated in his inaugural address, "Physicians must harness technology, not let technology harness us."
So how should doctors use social media? In what ways can social media help doctors?
Doctors Can Use Social Media to Improve Patient Care
By using social media doctors can provide current and potential patients with another means of contact and engagement.
For instance, by writingblogs,Facebook posts, or tweets, doctors can communicate information about their practice methods and discuss expertise in treatment. Patients who follow their doctors on social media can develop a more sophisticated understanding of their own healing. This can lead to improved self-care, a better relationship with their physician, and a higher chance of success in treatment. This is great for patient and also good for a doctor's reputation in treatment success.
Good medical content can really help people improve their lives, stick to their doctor's medical advice, and live happier, healthier lives. Doctors who use social media communicate knowledge that turns into power.
Doctors Can Use Social Media to Keep Up to Date on Medical Discoveries
Many doctors subscribe to journals and magazines monthly but with a busy practice and life, may not be able to sit and read them regularly. American doctors also must complete a mandatory number of continuing medical education hours by attending CME conferences and lectures but those are, at most, a handful of times a year.
But a doctor that is on Twitter can follow all the official accounts of local and national organizations, in addition to newsfeeds of medical publications, and receive instant news at their convenience. A couple minutes on Twitter can result in a great comprehensive look into what's breaking in medicine everyday.
Doctors Can Use Social Media to Network with Colleagues
The medical profession is one where doctors regularly consult with each other. General practitioners refer to specialists, specialists refer to other specialists, etc. While it's not appropriate to discuss specific patient issues on social media, doctors can use social media to connect with other doctors on breaking news in medicine, interesting professional events, and so forth. It is an easy way to maintain contact with colleagues and publicly establish working relationships.
Doctors Can Use Social Media for Better Business
In our modern lives, we use the internet to inform our decisions and doctors, like other business owners, need to have some online marketing savvy. In a recent JAMA study,1/4 of people surveyed use online reviews to decide upon their doctor. Of course, no one wants a poor reputation online or anywhere, but a couple bad online reviewscould be quite difficult for doctors and may affect business.
Doctors who offer out of pocket services, like plastic surgeons, mental health providers, dermatologists, etc. may benefit the most from active, engaging, and comprehensive social media profiles. Patients who are looking at these doctors are really shopping around for the best and the doctors who have invested in websites and social media managers have made it back exponentially. A goodlooking, user friendly website and the social media networks to match, provide a wealth of information that can really sell a practice and build confidence in a patient.
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