Using Social Media in Your Health Care Career

Female doctor holding file folder while using mobile phone in clinic
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Social media may be used a number of ways within the medical industry. Social media sites, including social networking websites, have grown tremendously and have become a popular way of communicating, networking, and growing a business. New uses for social media are being developed every day, particularly in the medical industry.

Many books and articles have been written about how to use social media. However, there is not a great deal of information specific to the healthcare industry. There are several ways that medical professionals may utilize social media or social networking sites in the healthcare industry.

Medical Job Search and Professional Networking

Several websites provide excellent networking opportunities. Some are general in nature, and some have been created specifically for medical professionals. The general sites can also be helpful, especially if you know where and how to find other medical professionals. Also, the general sites are great for reaching out to patients and consumers.

  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn has one of the largest online networks of members, as it was one of the first sites designed solely for professional networking.
  • Twitter: Twitter is a micro-blogging site that offers a number of ways to receive industry news updates, share information, and connect with other medical professionals.
  • Facebook: Many hospitals, such as the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, have a presence on Facebook now. Facebook is another way for healthcare providers and institutions to maintain contact and relationships with other medical professionals, patients, and the general public.

Clinical Applications

Social media is taking on clinical uses as well. Hospitals have started utilizing Twitter as a teaching tool, as well as a marketing tool, “tweeting” each step along the way of a surgery.

Additionally, Sermo, a networking website exclusive to physicians, offers a unique, confidential environment where physicians can informally consult on medical cases and share valuable information.

Administrative Uses

Some medical office managers and thought leaders in the healthcare industry feel that some social media sites could be an excellent notification method between providers and patients. For example, Twitter could be used for scheduling appointments, appointment reminders, practice updates, or public health notifications.

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