Everyone is leveraging social media to benefit his or her profession. A more hyped story on this is that doctors are using social media in their profession. Apart from Sermo, which is a ‘Forum to share latest medical insights for physicians’, there are a number of ways that doctors and physicians are using social media and internet. According to Manhattan Research- 2008, the population of doctors online is growing rapidly. The study says 88% doctors use internet at work and 14% of medical researchers study online. Another report, Forrester Research points that many physicians are using social media as a learning and listening tool.
How physicians are using social media:
- Dedicated social networking sites for doctors: Social networking sites like Sermo, SocialMD, Ozmosis etc. are doctor-only social networks. Here the doctors get a chance to interact and share knowledge with other doctors.
- Customer services website by pharmacy brands: Large pharmacy brands like Pfizer Pro and Merck Services have their own dedicated customer service websites. The doctors can download free samples, fetch patient education guidance, and avail live video conference (webinar) with company representatives on these sites.
- Doctors are blogging: Doctors are entering into the field of blogging, where they share their experiences in the form of case studies, give insight about diseases, discuss common healthcare issues, and offer simple remedies for them. However, to make it mass-friendly, most of these medical-blogs are written in non-medical terms.
- Doctors on the go: With the advent of Web 2.0 technologies and smart phones, physicians are exposed to these latest tools, applications, and widgets. Now they can watch videos on latest surgical techniques on YouTube or read any medical article online on the go. Thankfully, most of the medical journals have their online versions as well.
Sermo is the leading social network for physicians, where there are more than 100000 members. Apart from this one, DoctorNetworking, Ozmosis, and SocialMD consist of more than 3000 and less than 10000 doctor members. These channels are not only used as a learning and knowledge-sharing tool, but they also are used as an open forum, where doctors can discuss their profession, cite their opinion, and form groups. Recently, 89% of doctors reported on Sermo that AMA (American Medical Association) did not speak for them.
Social media allows one to have his own voice that he can express it freely to a wider mass. Doctors are also individuals and they too have their personal opinions, complaints, and verdicts. Indian doctors are also fast embracing social media as a powerful platform in their domain. Social media rightly give physicians that leeway to live in the society.
Disclaimer: The legal copyright of the images belongs to the respective copyright owners.