Tips for doctors who use Twitter

Like everyone else, the medical establishment is increasingly using Twitter these days.

Over at Better Health, Bryan Vartabedian gives some sage advice for physicians who may not be used to the technology. Like every other social media platform, Twitter can be used to both help, and potentially harm, a doctor’s brand. And with that brand being essential to growing a practice, that means Twitter can yield tremendous influence.

So with that in mind, Dr. Vartabedian writes:

The world reads what we write. And that includes your patients . . . don’t Tweet anything you wouldn’t want your patients to see. You represent your personal brand, practice, and profession with that very first tweet. Keep in mind that some hospitals have social media/blogging policies. You might look into this before taking the plunge. If you keep your hospital/institution off your bio, commit to never discuss anything relating to patients.

And, like everything on the web, what’s written on Twitter is etched in permanence, and “can be retrieved by future employers, partners, soon-to-be-ex-spouses or anyone else interested in seeing or exploiting what you’re really about.”

Twitter has great potential for use as a physician tool. Just use some common sense before you hit the send key.

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