How Do You Use Social Media?

January 10, 2018

Clinicians are often told they should have a professional social media presence. But what exactly does that mean, and how can it help build a medical practice? Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn present an invaluable opportunity to build a brand, demonstrate expertise, generate referrals, encourage positive reviews, and educate patients.

Data are scarce on clinician use of social media. However, an in-depth survey of nearly 5000 practicing physicians conducted in 2014 by AMA Insurance found that 71% of those younger than age 40 years used Facebook regularly. Half of physicians aged 40 to 49 years and 35% of physicians older than 60 years also used the social media platform.

Even if you personally disdain social media, chances are many of your patients — and potential patients — like it. But if you choose to interact with patients on social media, be careful to avoid crossing professional boundaries and violating patient privacy rules.

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