Why doctors and nurses should engage in social media

Instead, the question should be, why shouldn’t you?

Kim McAllister, over at Better Health, gives some good reasons why health professionals should start a blog. But it shouldn’t just be limited to blogging, but the entire spectrum of social media tools, which give health professionals a powerful way to engage both patients and colleagues.

I recently gave a talk to the folks over at the New England Journal of Medicine, discussing the intersection between medical practice and social media. One point I repeatedly made was that it’s to a health professional’s benefit to have some sort of online presence. Not only to engage and provoke discussion, but also to make them pro-active in the information associated with them when their name is Googled.

More patients will be searching for doctors and hospitals via search engines, and being active in blogs, Facebook and Twitter allows you to define your online reputation. Going forward, this will be one of the more important reasons why doctors, nurses, and medical institutions should have a robust social media presence.