Social Channels/Recruitment, residencies and the like

Posted by Timothy Magaw @tmagaw, Tue, Jun 16 8:14am

There's been a growing call within our institution for some sort of social presence for various departments, particularly with content geared toward resident/fellow/faculty recruitment. Prior to my arrival here, the answer was always a hard no.

But with COVID affecting the recruiting process, the calls have grown louder and we've been told to make it happen.

So, I’ve been tasked with making sure we do it right.

Again, it doesn’t seem like they think their audiences are patients – but rather docs, med students, current residents/fellows, etc. I’m not expecting OBGYN to be marketing their services, for example, but favorably positioning their program to prospective hires, residents, fellows and the like. This is material that likely wouldn't fit on our system-wide accounts — not all of it, at least.

I was curious how other institutions are handling these requests. I know several institutions – Mayo included — have Twitter accounts for various residency programs (Internal Medicine, Ortho, Emergency Medicine, etc.).

If your institution allows such profiles, what sort of parameters do you have in
place? Who is doing the posting? What platforms are you using? Naturally, many of them feel they should have Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. I don’t think they have the capacity to develop content for all of those.

Any guidance or lessons learned would be helpful.

Thank you.

Liked by Vicki Bencken

Hi Timothy. Let me go a little nuts here, since this is something dear to my heart. i apologize before hand!

I’ve spent some time on this at my prior clinic, so in that context I took quick look at your digital platform. Here are a few of my thoughts around physician digital recruiting for a moderate size healthcare system that may or may not apply to you.


Start with the website landing page.

Is it functional? By this I mean does it show all job listings, and are all non-available jobs subsequently deleted? For example, is it true there is only one Nurse Practitioner job (neurosurgery) position open? Do you have job listings posted which are no longer open? ( ir Emergency medicine?) Does it make it easy to apply for a position?

Does the primary webpage make it clear why your org is the best place in the region to work? Hint having a benefits such as sick days and life insurance listed is necessary, but it doesn’t really differentiate you from any other organization. When you land on your recruiting page, is it obvious that an applicant has to apply here?

How is Ohio and Cleveland as a place to work? For example, did you know that Ohio is about average in terms of medical boards for invasiveness of mental health screening ( A “C” grade, vs where i live, in Seattle, Washington which receives an “F” grade? https://www.idealmedicalcare.org/physician-friendly-states-for-mental-health-a-review-of-medical-boards/. How about malpractice? How about weather? How about home prices? Schools? Football teams :o)!

5. Deeper in your webpages you mention physicians diversity as a positive of your organization, but it’s difficult to determine how much of that 50% mentioned is gender diversity and/or racial diversity. Take a deep, honest look at this. If you are truly racially, ethnically and gender diverse, then show it in a graph on the website page. If you aren’t, but are getting better, then show the trend that you are getting better. If you are not, then you have a deeper problem than just recruiting. Key point, look at the data.

6. Regarding gender/racial diversity: how diverse is your key leadership (really). If it is diverse then show it. For example, at my prior clinic the medical director leadership, including the medical director, was > 60% women, and I believe, at least when i worked there several years ago) our women physicians on average made slightly more than male physicians. If that’s the case for you, that needs to be shown in some way. Be very honest with yourself here. One quick screen: take a look at your board photos and start counting. For example at my prior clinic, when we were privately owned, we did that, and found out our board was mostly men. We subsequently expanded the board, discussed the problem openly, and since our board members were voted in, actively recruited women candidates, resulting in real change. Although it may seem outside of Marketing’s Scope to make a decision to expand or change the composite of the board, if your board is mostly men it may be helpful to point out from a recruiting/marketing perspective that this is an organizational recruiting negative. Keep in mind that >50% of the med students graduating are women. If I were a woman (and even as a man!) , I would certainly look at your leadership and board composition to see if the was a woman friendly place for growth opportunities.

Social Media

Assuming you have nailed the landing page, at your size, I would be two areas on focus:


I would create 3-4 physician videos

Primary Care

For each of these videos I would interview 2-3 people sharing what makes your org a special place to work there as that type of physician. I wouldn’t make these super-slick. These are the videos I would embed in the relevant job descriptions.

2. I would have a Twitter account devoted to physicians only, and I would follow different residency programs, fellowships, med schools, professional orgs etc, and post physician-friendly stuff. So, for example, if you had an ENT get a patient service award I would tweet that out on that account, copying their ENT fellowship program. ie:

"One of our favorite Docs, Dr. Jane Smith, who recently graduated from @zzzcollege of medicines excellent ENT program, just received this award from the #AMA! "

Look a physician twitter account can be very low maintenance, fun, and cover every specialty and easy to manage. it's also something which will be picked up by various recruiters.

3. Linkedin.

LinkedIn is a whole different topic, but as a general rule, most orgs don't have a great LinkedIn presence that is functional and actively works well with the recruiting page.

OK, sorry I hit you with a lot here; Trust me , i can go on for hours and hours about this, and I apologize if I mentioned things you probably already know or are doing. If you wanted to have a brief Zoomchat about this, then let me know.


Oh, ad a social media aside, my favorite twitter careers account is @hootsuitelife.

Now, For healthcare Although having a general careers twitter account is one option, I would focus on a physicians only for pure economic reasons. Physicians are the economic engines of most healthcare orgs, on average generating revenue of 1 million dollars a year, year after year, so even if a devoted physician account only brings 2-3 recruits on board little earlier, it’s ROI is huge.


We're working on developing a digital campaign now for resident and fellow recruitment, specifically because of the current restrictions around travel and in-person interviews for this. I can't speak to the nuts and bolts (mostly because I'm not actively engaged), but I know we are working toward at least one general academic recruitment video and then some specific content for key specialties. We haven't had a hard "no" on academic recruitment accounts, but we still try to discourage them, if academic departments aren't big enough or just don't generate enough content to actively and regularly "feed the beast." We are going to use existing academic accounts and our School of Medicine account to help with this.

Liked by Matthew Rehrl


We have been getting a surge in social media requests, especially Twitter and Instagram, for resident recruitment as well, and some are citing COVID as the reason. I guess my question would be…how are prospective residents seeking out this content? And is one social channel better for this than another?


At the University of Washington, they have a general twitter account @UWMedicine.

Many of their larger hospitals also have twitter accounts:
@harborviewmc, @seattlechildren

And some of their departments, such as UW Emergency Medicine- @UWashEM. UW Hosptial Medicine -@UW_HospMed, Vascular Surgery – @UWVascsurg and UW Virology – @UWVirology.

Although the numbers of department-level twitter accounts aren't huge, they do give a place for such things as paper publications, a place to leverage academic staff publications, and perhaps a day in the life; type stuff.

I think for a top-level university—where the quality of their incoming residents is everything—then department level counts are reasonable if you have a staff member that gets Twitter. Otherwise, I would leverage the medical school twitter account which usually encompasses graduate medical education. I would avoid department level Instagram. Note that the department level accounts are pretty good at retweeting resident content;


We are going through this very same thing.
Since the type of outreach our fellowship programs are looking for involve showcasing the culture and spirit around the work, we are encouraging instagram as the platform. We require any fellow/residency program that wants a channel needs to: Take the Mayo Social Media Residency Program and send us their certificate of completion, hand in a 3 month content calendar, have a written ok from their chief or director, allow us to set up the account and keep the login information so we can take it down at any time. We have 43 individual residency/fellowship programs, so it's an experiment! Will let you know how it goes.

Liked by Matthew Rehrl




Northwestern is another one to take a look at. They have multiple accounts for each medical specialty providing thought leadership and making their presence known among physicians.


There's also a potentially very valuable INTER-Department network effect which can be accessed. For example, ‪these accounts make it much easier to disseminate info from and to @UWVascsurg‬‪‬ with ‪@UCSFvascular‬ and @stanfordvasc‬.

(I believe these digital networks are relatively undiscovered country in healthcare social media, and have deep untapped possibilities for public health issues such as CoVid).


There's also a potentially very valuable INTER-Department network effect which can be accessed. For example, ‪these accounts make it much easier to disseminate info from and to @UWVascsurg‬‪‬ with ‪@UCSFvascular‬ and @stanfordvasc‬.

(I believe these digital networks are relatively undiscovered country in healthcare social media, and have deep untapped possibilities for public health issues such as CoVid).

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Yes, that's a lot of what we're seeing, and what our researchers and physicians are interested in. Frankly, it makes it easier for departments within our organization to keep up with each other, too.


our department of medicine at UNMC recently launched a twitter handle @UNMC_IM, with a goal to amplify work within the entire department of medicine and interface with other division who already had twitter handles like my division @UNMC_ID which was the trailblazer for our department. People asking their PR/SoMe department about doing this for their department/divisions need to really understand the amount of work that goes into curating and creating good quality content, particularly in this pandemic. Often one engaged faculty member is not enough and will lead to burnout if they are trying to do it impactfully – I suggest that if one person is inquiring about starting multiple accounts they should consider getting help from a colleague.

Regarding content: our residency program @UNMCIMResidency is also relatively new and the chiefs responsible are curating scholarly sunday posts, video content for recruitment, highlights of residency program activities, and they also have an instagram account that posts a lot of pictures of residents outside of work.

@matthewrehrl I liked your comprehensive suggestions above!
@rhondamann I like your strategy for vetting new accounts. similar to ours at UNMC

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