Should Doctors and Physicians Be Wary of Social Media

I’ve had this question posed to me many times over the past year. As you know, anything that you post to the internet is likely permanent. Therefore, you need to be cognizant of your reputation online and aware of what you’re putting online as well. The latter is what concerns many doctors and physicians. Not just what they post to their Facebook Fan page or Twitter page, but what they post to their blog.

Clearly there is reason for concern. Attorneys have made fortunes off of medical professionals misrepresenting facts. So, to answer the aforementioned question, yes, doctors should be wary, but only to a certain extent. They should be wary of what they post on their blog, Fan page or Twitter page just like they should be wary of what they tell patients when they come in to their office. Perhaps “wary” is a bit strong. They should be well aware of anything they post online. However, they should not be afraid of using social media and avoid it altogether.

Online reputations have been formed and patient relationships cultivated through the use of social media, so you should definitely not neglect it. Here are some things to think about when you’re coming up with topics for blogs so that you can avoid ever being concerned about using social media for your practice:

  • Write blog articles about general topics and list benefits and possible side effects. No need to get too technical. It’ll be over your audience’s heads
  • Don’t make claims you can’t back up or prove. This goes for any business, but particularly for the medical profession
  • Don’t make guarantees about anything unless you are 100% sure of the success rate
  • When interacting with patients on Facebook & Twitter, don’t make diagnoses without seeing patients yourself, in person
  • When stating your opinion about a procedure, make sure you make it clear that it is your opinion based on your experience and not a medical fact

These are pretty simple rules to follow, right? So social media shouldn’t be such a scary place for doctors and physicians to be. Typically doctors get into trouble when they make certain claims or guarantees that they can’t back up.

If you have any questions about how to effectively utilize social media for your medical practice, or you’d like more guidance on the do’s/dont’s of using social media, contact TRBO ADvance today, or call 877-673-7096 x2.

Similar Posts