Social media could serve as a key tool for preventing burnout, marketing services, and promoting healthy skin care practices, according to a recent paper by dermatology resident Julie Ann Amthor Croley, MD.
Dr. Croley reports that 41 percent of social media users are swayed by their feeds when choosing a physician or medical practice. Social media platforms can be a viable system for clinics and physicians in promoting their image and name and bolstering their reputation with accurate educational material. For many young people, social media is their first source for healthcare data, with 90 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 24 saying they trust healthcare data information shared by other users on platforms. These figures suggest that physicians and healthcare researchers active on social media should ensure that the information they post is accurate and backed up with primary sources.
Social media can serve as a creative outlet for physicians who want to connect with their patients or colleagues or to curb burnout. Dr. Croley references internal medicine physician at Loma Linda University Medical Center Audrey Sue Cruz, MD, who uses Instagram to encourage healthy habits and create a supportive online community.
Hashtags can wield serious power on the internet, and dermatologists can use them to disseminate healthy skincare habits. For example, the “Don’t Fry Day” campaign was used to promote sun safety awareness and sunscreen use. #DontFryDay was shared by 1,200 users on Twitter and made over 16.5 million impressions.