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    Why physicians should become active on social media

    Understandably, some physicians are resistant to the idea of professionally embracing social media. I truly believe that everyone, can find a way to make these digital platforms work for them. With a unique voice, good content, patience and consistency, your practice’s social media accounts can become valuable assets. Here are a few ways it can pay off:

     Build a Sense of Community

    Interacting with patients to the degree we’d like and fostering great doctor-patient relationships that build loyalty simply isn’t possible all the time. A 2016 study that looked at doctors across 26 specialties found that patients spent an average of 13 to 16 minutes with their doctor, per visit. This is not a lot of time to address a patient’s immediate concerns, much less build a relationship. This is where social media comes in. 

    Creating a comfortable, safe and educational atmosphere online that showcases your clinical expertise and creates conversations that are relevant to your patients is something that can deliver more face time with the people you serve. Welcoming feedback and supporting peer engagement is a differentiator for your practice and will help you become more relatable. It allows patients to see another side of you. 

    The more interesting questions your practice posts, and the more interactive the content it shares, the more likely your social pages will build a following. An active forum with patients who relate to one another (and you) will draw attention to your practice and can boost word-of-mouth referrals.

    Share Helpful Information

    Social media gives providers a platform to post important clinical information, breaking research and inspiring stories to a larger audience. Using social media to share pertinent or helpful information can improve patient education, enhance symptom management and get patients actively involved in their health. 

    Nima Mehran MD
    Nima Mehran, MD, is an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and joint replacements.

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