Today, your new patients probably know more about you than patients did just a few years ago. Balancing personal and professional reputation is more difficult than ever. Think back to a doctor who treated you 20 years ago. Did you know how patients rated him/her? Where was the doctor educated? Most of us can’t answer these questions about past doctors. But, today’s online resources provide lots of information about our current and potential doctors.
Where do your patients find information about you? How are you balancing personal and professional reputation?
A. Social network sites have lots of info. And, it’s not just your practice page. Many doctors share personal information on their profiles. Patients may know your birthdate, anniversary, foods you enjoy, favorite sports team, hobbies, charities, etc. Sometimes, less is more. It’s important to balance your personal and professional online reputation.
- Facebook promotes sharing and re-sharing content. Consider changing your privacy settings if you post controversial topics. Even better, establish a professional page to connect with patients. Like it or not, most of the population holds doctors to a higher standard than the general population. Getting into a political or religious debate in social media isn’t the best way to represent yourself.
- Twitter doesn’t have as much social engagement as Facebook for doctors, but the same rules apply.
- LinkedIn is a good place to share professional and academic highlights. It concentrates on work experience and areas of expertise. Listing your profile is enough. Don’t try to sell yourself with posts or get pulled into group dialogues.
- YouTube can be a source of information. Establish a channel for your practice that is separate from your personal page. This allows you to highlight procedures, patient testimonials, specials, tips and more.
B. Websites also provide information on staff and doctors. You control your website content, so this one is easy. Include an abbreviated version of your CV (Curriculum Vitae) summarizing your education, experience and areas of expertise.
C. Review sites contain basics about you and probably several reviews from patients. It can be a love/hate relationship. Great reviews are awesome while negative ones are troublesome. Don’t get into an online debate with a negative reviewer. Keep your responses concise and positive.
Patients need to know about your skills and products. Contact PUMC if you would like to discuss how to manage your online reputation. Don’t be pressured into connecting with patients. Your personal life is just that—personal. Keep it private. Balancing personal and professional reputation is vital.