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April 15, 2015

15 Reasons Twitter is Worth Physicians’ Time

By Lee Aase, Director, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network

When we encourage Mayo Clinic physicians to get involved in Twitter, many are at least willing to give it a try. Others raise objections that generally fall into one of two categories:

  1. I’m too busy! I don’t have enough time for email and all my other responsibilities. Why would I open another channel?
  2. What’s the point? I don’t understand Twitter and even if I did, what good would it do? What can one say in 140 characters anyway?

As a communications professional and social media advocate, I can provide good answers to those questions, but it’s even better if physicians hear from peers who are active on Twitter.

This is why, during  our March SMHN webinar, we featured four physicians (plus our MCCSM Medical Director, Dr. Farris Timimi). They explained how and why they’ve found Twitter worthwhile, and benefits they’ve gained through involvement on that particiular social media platform.

SMHN members may watch the full archived webinar. Free access to our monthly webinars (regularly $95 each) is among the benefits of SMHN membership. You can join as an individual or as an organization, or it's included when you register for Social Media Residency or our June Mayo Clinic Social Media Summit in Rochester.

Watch some highlights from the March webinar with Dr. Christian Sinclair, Dr. Mike Sevilla, Dr. Matthew Katz and Dr. Amy Kotsenas. Scroll below the video for a list of the top benefits they describe:

15 Benefits of Twitter Involvement for Physicians:

  1. Spreading valuable information on an emerging medical specialty (e.g. Palliative Medicine) to a wider audience.
  2. Enabling physicians and nurses attending medical conferences to share presentation highlights and news with those who aren’t able to attend in person, and conversely…
  3. Allowing those who can’t attend conferences to follow from a distance.
  4. Participating in scheduled Twitter chats (e.g. #HPM) to connect with others sharing similar interests.
  5. Gaining organizational leadership opportunities due at least in part to visibility on Twitter and other social networking platforms.
  6. Building a practice, as patients searching online discover physicians’ social media content.
  7. Refining communication skills (e.g., being more concise and clear) that enhance traditional media involvement.
  8. Understanding patient experiences and perspectives by listening online.
  9. Making comfortable connections, a particular benefit for the naturally introverted.
  10. Getting early alerts to news that patients will likely want to discuss in office visits.
  11. Breaking down barriers to ease in-person introductions with speakers at conferences.
  12. Saving time in staying up-to-date with research.
  13. Increasing visibility within specialty or interest groups.
  14. Gaining lecturing and guest-blogging opportunities to build thought leadership.
  15. Accelerating career advancement, especially for younger physicians.

What benefits have you seen through your engagement on Twitter?


Tags: Webinars


Kiara Low Dog

Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 26, 2015
Posted by @kiaralowdog, Apr 16, 2015

I have found Twitter to be of particular use for networking at conferences. Often without even meeting other people at the conference, you can forge friendships through Twitter that will prove useful down the road. This is particularly helpful for people who are introverted and have a difficult time putting themselves out there to network at large conferences. Hashtags bring people together!

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