Social Media and Healthcare: Why should you be empowered and engaged?

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  1. Opportunity – Social media is becoming a huge part of our daily lives today. It is important that healthcare professionals view this change as a opportunity. A few years ago when Facebook and Twitter were new, we did not see physicians, hospitals, etc. who I will collectively refer to as “healthcare influencers” amassing a large presence on social media. In my opinion, I would say this is because there was a bit of hesitation to combine healthcare and social media, and it is a fair judgment. Social media entails being public and disclosing a lot of information, and just being open in general. However, the practice of medicine is very privacy and detail oriented, patient information is confidential, costs and fees are not publicly disclosed, so I can see why it didn’t make much sense for healthcare and social media to come together.
  2. Influence – Take a look at it from this perspective, health and wellbeing is a huge, if not the biggest concern of most people. We value are lives, and the lives of our loved ones, and are willing to seek out any advice or changes we can to improve our lifestyle. This is why healthcare professionals have a large sphere of influence in our communities. It only makes sense that with this power that we take to social media to give informed opinions and tips to people who are seeking advice. Healthcare influencers are typically educated with years of training and experience, so with our knowledge we are able to be active and persistent advocates for the health, fitness, and wellbeing of those around us. It is important that healthcare professionals on every level understand the crucial impact that they can have when their passion, education, and determination is put to good use.
  3. Mentoring – There is a new generation of students and young people who literally are growing up and educating themselves via social media. Plenty of us know that there are a lot of spheres of influence on social media, both positive and negative. This new generation needs to see positive images and role models on social media, and I believe that healthcare influencers can truly be a part of that change. High school teenagers who are interested in medicine and healthcare are looking for mentors. They have questions about how to reach their goals, what to do to achieve their dreams, and we can be a huge part of that! There is an increasing need for diversity in medicine and some of these students do not have anyone in their family or community to reach out to, but maybe they follow a doctor they like on Instagram, here is a key connection for mentorship!
  4. Learning and Improving – Social media has allowed us to be connected with a numerous amount of people around the world. The reach that a single person could have through social media is enormous. In medical school, we learn all that we can, and in residency, we train our hardest, but everyone knows that in medicine, the learning never stops. Everything you need to know to be successful in life is not in the books, and you can learn a lot from the people around you. Social media gives you the ability to see what others are doing and learn from them. Telemedicine and virtual visits are just a scratch of the surface as to where technological advancements will take us in the future of medicine. The world around us is changing and we have to change with it too, or we will get left behind.
  5. Energy and Positivity – Ever since I became a part of the healthcare social media community, I began to feel more motivated and encouraged by my fellow influencers. We are a supportive group of individuals and a lot of us have the same struggles. Those of us who are medical students encourage each other through our studies and exams. The current attending physicians encourage us by showing us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We as medical students support our pre-med peers who are studying for the MCAT or getting applications ready and try to offer them advice. So, it is just one huge modge-podge support system with influencers from every level. Even if you decide not to make a blog, or go public with your journey, I still want to encourage you to get involved because the connections and support you receive are priceless and could make the difference for you in your journey no matter where you are in life! 🙂

 

Thanks for reading, and hope you guys enjoyed this post! Let me know what you think, and as always feel free to leave any questions, comments, etc. in the space below! Have a great day. 🙂

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