By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Doctors are talking to doctors—colleague to colleague—just as they always have. But they’re talking online and in a big way. Physician Networking Communities have changed how and where doctors interact, and driven changes in the healthcare and doctor marketing landscape.
Virtually all physicians use the Internet for information that’s relevant to their practice. But for doctor marketing, physician marketing, healthcare marketing… anytime your audience includes physicians, it’s an audience that’s even more wired than the general public.
Physicians are hungry consumers of data and information, so it only makes sense to deliver your marketing message where and when they look for it. (Or listen-in to learn what’s hot.)
The PC and Smartphone are now an interactive hub for professionals to ask questions, offer opinions, exchange ideas, learn about new products, entertain feedback…and perhaps identify a prospective new associate. Of course the online spots include familiar names (Facebook, Titter), but when the information is more clinical than social, Sermo and Medscape Physician Connect are likely bookmarks.
Here’s a list of 16 Professional Networking sites. Each is a bit different from the next; the description is what they say about themselves:
CardiologyNetwork.com A Professional & Personal Networking Site for Cardiologists Worldwide “CardiologyNetwork.com is an exclusive next generation social networking service for Cardiologists, Physicians, Medical Students who are interested in Cardiology and for all people who are related to the field of Cardiology.”
ClinicalVillage.com The First Medical Community Network (beta) “ClinicalVillage.com is a community for you, the clinician, to communicate with one another about what is happening in your practice. There are numerous blogs for you to read, comment on, and talk about in the forums.”
DermRounds.com Professional Social Network for Dermatologists and Dermatology Professionals “DermRounds – based on tradition of “Dermatology Rounds,” created by dermatologists, this is a social and professional networking site dedicated to connecting dermatologists, residents, fellows, other physicians, health professionals, industry leaders, and anyone who is in the field of dermatology.”
DocsBoard.com Ultimate Discussion for Doctors Forum and discussion site for various professional specialties.
DoctorsHangout.com A Personal & Professional Networking Site for Doctors & Medical Students Worldwide “DoctorsHangout.com is an exclusive next generation social networking service for Medical Students, Residents and Doctors. DoctorsHangout social network can help you maintain existing personal and professional relationships and establish new ones by reaching out to Doctors you’ve never met before.”
iCons in Medicine “The mission of cons in Medicine is to use appropriate technologies and social networks to improve healthcare in remote and medically underserved areas and reduce global health disparities. cons in Medicine is a program of the Center for International Rehabilitation (CIR), a not-for-profit organization.”
MedicalVibe Social networking website that enriches your personal life and advances your career “MedicalVibe is a global, free and hip social networking website for anyone actively or potentially involved in the health care field. Our goal is to build a cool network of health care individuals and to provide them with a platform which will not only allow communication and collaboration among other members but also guide them to our many features which will help foster their growth and development in their professional lives.”
MedicSpeak.com “MedicSpeak is a premier international network of doctors and medical students. The objective is to enhance communication, collaborations, exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge. Keep in touch with your mentors, colleagues and students. Create groups and invite people who share your interests.”
Medpedia (beta) An open platform connecting people and information to advance medicine. “The Medpedia Project is…a new model for sharing and advancing knowledge about health, medicine and the body among medical professionals and the general public. Users of the platform include physicians, consumers, medical and scientific journals, medical schools, research institutes, medical associations, hospitals, for-profit and non-profit organizations, expert patients, policy makers, students, non-professionals taking care of loved ones, individual medical professionals, scientists, etc. In association with Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School and other leading global health organizations.”
MEDSCAPE Physician Connect (from WebMD) “Medscape Physician Connect – A Physician only community. Discuss clinical or non-clinical topics. Search tens of thousands of active and archived discussions. Share perspectives, gain insights, voice opinions or be a thought leader in Medscape Physician Connect. Expand your social network and access the knowledge base of tens of thousands of doctors on any topic.”
Mom MD Connecting women in medicine “With over 8,000 community members, MomMD is the largest and best site devoted to women in medicine. Our goal is to encourage and support women physicians, residents, medical students, premeds and nurses not only in their careers but also in life and home.”
Ozmosis The Trusted Physician’s Network, where good doctors go to become great doctors. “Ozmosis, the Trusted Physician’s Network, is offered exclusively to all U.S. licensed physicians (MDs and DOs) and provides a secure platform to share clinical and practice management information free of charge.”
Relaxdoc.com A physician community “Welcome to RelaxDoc.com, the exclusive FREE online resource for physicians – a private community created by physicians, providing concise information and valuable services to help you balance your personal and professional life. Relaxdoc.com is your single source for news and information, peer networking, travel, sports, and more.”
SDN – The Student Doctor Network a nonprofit educational organization “A nonprofit educational community for students and doctors spanning all the health professions.”
Sermo “Sermo is the largest online community of physicians, where MDs nationwide discuss drugs and devices, exchange clinical insights and collaborate on difficult cases. Through Sermo’s social media platform, you can tap into unsolicited, peer-to-peer dialog and engage MDs to gain market intelligence and increase brand awareness.”
Tiromed.comA comprehensive medical community “Tiromed.com is an online knowledge and mentor network that allows physicians and students of medicine to share information, learn, and cross-communicate worldwide. We provide technology and tools for facilitating academic, clinical, professional and cultural exchange among our membership.”
If you’re a physician, join the conversation. If you want to communicate with physicians, or just learn what’s important to them today, many of these sites are open to healthcare professionals, hospitals, medical students, residents, news editors, and educational and professional organizations.