Social media can help young ophthalmologists achieve professional growth. At an AAO 2016 Learning Lounge event Oct. 15, YOs Purnima S. Patel, MD (@pspateleyemd), James G. Chelnis, MD (@chelnismd), and Steven M. Christiansen, MD (@eyesteve) shared how they've used this tool in their own practice and offered practical tips.
1. Assume patients will follow you. For some ophthalmologists, social media serves as a way to build rapport with current and potential patients. Dr. Patel described how she shares ophthalmology-related news and posts from the Academy’s EyeSmart Facebook page and encouraged the audience to jump right in.
2. Don't give medical advice online. Some audience members asked how to manage the online relationship with patients: “How should ophthalmologists respect patient privacy in our social media posts?” Dr. Chelnis said to avoid posting patient-related content online and giving medical-related advice via social media. He also suggested that ophthalmologists separate their professional social media presence from their personal life.
3. Send readers to your blog or website. For Dr. Christiansen, social media also plays a role in marketing himself and his practice. He suggested ophthalmologists use social media to drive readers to their primary practice website or professional blog. He gave several examples of how this content should be posted to social networks and encouraged participants to share highlights only from those events in which they were involved — for example, presentations at meetings like AAO 2016, summaries of their research interests and even local community events that their practices support or sponsor.
Learn more about how to use social media professionally at “Twitter as a Tool to Jump-Start Your Career.”