(ED: Doctors can get on perfectly fine without social media.  It is simply a tool that may help a physician to communicate with peers or patients, but is not compulsory)



July 24, 2012 | By 

While more professional guidelines surrounding social media have emerged since we published our first list of dos and don’ts for doctors, there still are no hard and fast rules. Fortunately, those who’ve ventured into the healthcare corner of cyberspace aren’t shy about sharing the lessons they learned through experience. Here are a few more tips from the trenches.


  • Create an active social media presence to showcase your expertise and values. To do so, post your thoughts and links to credible information through your own blog or sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, suggested Kevin R. Campbell, M.D., FACC, in a column for HealthNewsDigest. “If you do not create your own story,” he wrote, “you remain at the mercy of what others say and create digitally about you–much of which may not be true.”
  • Make a reasonable effort to respond to comments and complaints. “Always take other opinions into consideration and do not just dismiss them as incorrect or irrelevant,” Campbell wrote. He added, “If you are dealing with a patient complaint, try to identify the patient and have your practice administrator contact them through the practice privately in order to deal with their concerns.”


  • Don’t feel pressured to read every update from every social media user you subscribe to or follow, advised physician blogger Mark Ryan in a guest post for Rather, use sites’ ‘list’ function to organize incoming information into customized groups or themes, such as specialty or geographic area. “Perhaps the most useful is the list I’ve titled “essentials,” Ryan wrote. “When I have only a short window of time, I can skim the essentials list and get high quality information in short order.”
  • Don’t use social media as a substitute for engaging employees (or patients) through traditional means. A recent study conducted by Deloitte asked about 1,000 employees and 300 executives about how social media affected workplace culture. According to a post from the Society for Human Resource Management, the results suggest “some may be leaning on social channels to drive workplace culture and appear accessible when the fundamentals–mentoring, face-to-face meetings and robust feedback, to name a few–for building an exceptional organization have not changed.” Similarly, don’t forget that while patients may enjoy seeing updates from your practice on their Facebook feed, face-to-face and phone interactions are no less important.

Related Articles:

Social media dos and don’ts for doctors
‘Friending’ patients: The case for and against
Docs increasingly connecting through YouTube
Social media is a two-way street
Pinterest offers practices more than meets the eye

Read more: 4 social media dos and don’ts for docs – FiercePracticeManagement


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