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Social Media for Doctors: Tips and Networks for 2024

David Fuller

Last Updated On: May 23, 2024

While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter offer a familiar space for casual connection, knowledge dissemination, and the occasional dose of cat memes, their broad reach dilutes the in-depth, peer-to-peer medical discourse. 

But there are specific doctor networking platforms that facilitate expert knowledge exchange, real-time consultation on complex cases, and streamlined access to the ever-expanding corpus of medical research.

In this article, we’ll go over the seven most popular doctor social media networks that significantly improve professional networking and patient retention and outreach.

Key takeaways

  • Sermo allows anonymous discussions on sensitive topics, while Doximity and Among Doctors prioritize verified identities for establishing trust and expertise.
  • DailyRounds integrates drug databases, treatment guidelines, and CME courses directly within the social network, improving workflow efficiency.
  • Academia.edu caters to academicians and researchers for sharing and tracking research papers, while the Student Doctor Network provides targeted guidance and resources for aspiring medical professionals.
  • Curated feeds on doctor social networks and healthcare-focused groups on LinkedIn ensure doctors stay updated on the latest research, clinical guidelines, and best practices.
  • While not ideal for in-depth discussions, mainstream social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram enable doctors to share healthcare insights (such as how to achieve the perfect earlobe filler treatment results), educate the public, and establish a personal brand. 

General Networking

There is general social media for physicians which any medical professional can join to expand their professional connections. Let’s go through general networking platforms one by one. 

1. Sermo

Sermo facilitates global connections among medical professionals while maintaining the option for anonymity. Doctors engage in open discussions, share their experiences, and seek advice from peers without compromising their professional identities. 

The platform’s anonymity feature is particularly useful for doctors who want to discuss sensitive or controversial topics without fear of repercussions.

Sermo also offers a lucrative opportunity for doctors to earn money by participating in paid medical research studies. Last year, Sermo doctors collectively earned over $20 million in revenue. 

Plus, the platform’s case-solving feature is a valuable resource for doctors seeking second opinions on challenging patient cases. With over 36,000 cases solved annually, Sermo provides access to a vast network of medical professionals who can offer expert advice and guidance. 

The platform also has a database of physician drug reviews with over one million unbiased drug ratings. 

2. DailyRounds

DailyRounds is a doctor social network based in India and has a rapidly growing user base of over two million registered doctors across 16 countries. It features an exhaustive drug database, ECG resources, and treatment guidelines, which ensure doctors have access to essential clinical tools at their fingertips.

Recognizing the importance of ongoing professional development, DailyRounds has also integrated Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses into its platform. 

It also offers a curated feed of up-to-date, practice-relevant journal articles where you have easy access to the latest medical advancements directly within the social network.

Finally, DailyRounds has also developed Marrow, a specialized learning platform for medical students and healthcare practitioners. Marrow offers topic-wise learning modules, high-quality video lectures, and performance analytics to help students prepare for competitive exams. 

young female doctor working on her laptop

3. Doximity

The core functionality of Doximity revolves around its HIPAA-compliant Dialer Video, a unique doctor-patient network and telemedicine solution. Dialer Video enables secure video consultations by initiating contact through a text message, meaning patients don’t have to download apps or create accounts. This streamlines telemedicine workflow while protecting physician privacy by keeping their cell number confidential. 

Doximity also improves on-the-go communication with its mobile app integration. Doximity doctors can directly call patients from their Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) while masking their personal phone numbers.

Beyond telemedicine, Doximity has a comprehensive Universal Clinician Directory. It’s an in-built physician-specific search engine that enables instant access to contact information of verified US-based doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

The platform has a user base of 1.8 million members, including 80% of physicians in the United States. For geographically dispersed physicians or those seeking career advancement, Doximity offers a platform to connect with former classmates, current colleagues, and potential employers at leading healthcare institutions.

4. Among Doctors

Among Doctors prides itself on connecting verified doctors under real names and credentials. It fosters a space free from pharmaceutical influences and patient interactions. Physicians on Among Doctors have the opportunity to showcase their expertise by publishing articles, blog posts, and presentations. 

The platform allows for the exchange of second opinions and collaborative case discussions among reliable peers. Through this network, you can expand your professional connections across different countries and specialties and broaden your referral base. 

This doctor social media platform also offers a curated selection of international job opportunities in hospitals, general practices, and academia, a gateway to explore new career paths and advancement prospects in the healthcare industry worldwide. 

Niche Sites

There are multiple niche-specific, doctor-focused social networks with a particular aim. Academia.edu, for example, is for catching up on medical research, while the Student Doctor Network aims to connect aspiring doctors with experienced physicians for focused guidance. 

1. Academia.edu

While Academia.edu is not exactly social media for doctors, it is still a valuable platform for academics and researchers to connect, collaborate, and share their work within a niche community. Unlike general social media platforms, Academia.edu is specifically for the needs of the academic and research community. 

The platform allows physicians to upload their research papers to spread them within the academic community. It also provides analytics tools to track a paper’s download rates and citations, as well as a paid publishing service (Academia.edu Publishing) for expedited manuscript review and dissemination processes.

2. Student Doctor Network

The Student Doctor Network (SDN) is dedicated to medical students and professionals on the periphery of the academic medical journey. You can find dedicated student-doctor networking forums for a diverse range of healthcare disciplines, including medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, podiatry, psychology, rehabilitation sciences, and veterinary medicine. 

The Student Doctor Network also provides extensive guides and resources on interview feedback, study schedules, application assistance, and personal essay writing workshops. 

Its standout feature is the Interview Feedback section, which offers detailed insights into the interview experiences at hundreds of health professional schools. There’s also an Application Assistant that uses AAMC data to estimate a student’s likelihood of admission to medical schools based on the applicant’s statistics.

3. Figure 1

Figure 1 is one of the largest doctor networking platforms for real-time case-based collaboration. Its key feature is healthcare practitioners being able to anonymously submit photos of medical conditions and compare them to images shared by other professionals on the platform. 

Image-sharing technology is invaluable, particularly for physicians in remote areas or those encountering rare conditions, as it allows for collaboration and consultation with a network of experts. 

Figure 1’s global reach and diverse membership base enable you to access a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and resources that may not be readily available in your local settings. 

According to the website, 40% of clinicians on Figure 1 successfully resolve challenging cases through collaborative efforts with peers on the platform when they’re not able to do it on their own.

Why Is Social Media Networking Necessary For Doctors?

Social media networking for doctors is essential to stay connected, collaborate with peers, and engage with patients. As we’ve seen above, there are several specialized doctor social media platforms that allow you to: 

  • Collaborate with peers on challenging patient cases and diagnostic difficulties
  • Use CME courses to expand your medical education and stay up-to-date about the latest trends and advancements in your field
  • Seek career advice, explore job opportunities, and expand your professional network

In a survey where doctors were asked about their main source for staying informed of current medical and national guidelines, 85% of the respondents cited scientific journals and 33% mentioned CME courses. Doctor social networks help doctors easily stay updated with the latest advancements in research and guidelines through niche-specific curated feeds.

Beyond physician-specific doctor social networks, platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter allow you to connect with former classmates, current colleagues, and potential employers. 

LinkedIn is particularly popular among medical practitioners for its healthcare-focused groups. Examples include the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), Physicians Practice, and Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)

Finally, a 2010 study looking at 921 health-related blogs found that 43% of the bloggers were physicians. Medical literature acknowledges that social media blogging on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and X allows physicians to distribute healthcare insights, circulate research findings, promote their clinical services, and participate in health-related advocacy efforts.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is social media used in medicine?

Social media is used in medicine for professional networking, sharing research and best practices, patient education, and facilitating doctor-patient networks. Doctor-specific platforms enable real-time discussions on interesting medical topics, while mainstream social media like YouTube, Facebook, X, and Instagram allow sharing of health information with the public. 

What is the most common social media platform used in healthcare?

The findings of a 2022 survey conducted in the United States indicate that Facebook is the most commonly used platform among healthcare marketers. 98% of respondents had an active account on the platform at the time of the survey. YouTube and Instagram ranked second and third with 94% and 92% of respondents having an account on these platforms, respectively. 

References

1. Grol R, Zwaard A, Mokkink H, Dalhuijsen J, Casparie A. Dissemination of guidelines: which sources do physicians use in order to be informed?. Int J Qual Health Care. 1998;10(2):135-140. doi:10.1093/intqhc/10.2.135

2. Miller EA, Pole A. Diagnosis blog: checking up on health blogs in the blogosphere. Am J Public Health. 2010;100(8):1514-1519. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.175125

3. Chretien KC, Kind T. Social media and clinical care: ethical, professional, and social implications. Circulation. 2013;127(13):1413-1421. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.128017

4. Statista. (2024, March 13). Social media used by in healthcare marketing in the U.S. 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1348819/healthcare-social-media-usa/

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