By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Physicians are both public and private individuals. There’s the inner circle of peers and colleagues, and there’s the outer circle of public and (prospective) patients. And for each of these, there’s a free digital tool that every physician can use to boost productivity, professionally present your “who-you-are-and-what-you-do” message, enhance your reputation and help your career and your business.
That sounds like a tall order, especially since both are useful and easy to create. But spend a few minutes with DOXIMITY (a new kid on the block), and LINKEDIN (a familiar name). Doctors have much to gain from using both. Here’s why:
LINKEDIN is for the public-facing side where doctors and healthcare providers want to be seen (and found) by prospective patients, hospitals and—as healthcare is a-changing—even prospective employers. If you haven’t already done so, the setup is simple, with this New User Guide.
It’s not clear how many doctors are already using LinkedIn, but the business connection site reached a major milestone this month with a membership of 100 million professionals worldwide. They’re growing “at roughly one million new members every week, the equivalent of a professional joining the site at faster than one member per second,” they say.
Pediatric Gastroenterologist (and social media blogger) Bryan Vartabediam, MD, has written about both the pros and cons of doctors using LinkedIn. Several of his up-side reasons are in this thoughtful post, Why Doctors Should Use LinkedIn, where he writes:
“Dig your well before you’re thirsty. Times are definitely changing. The evolution of the health care environment may force you to change what you do.
“LinkedIn is one element of your digital footprint that you control. Think about LinkedIn as home plate for your personal brand. If you don’t think of yourself as a personal brand, perhaps you should.
“It’s a place to park your CV. Even if you’re not planning to go anywhere, hospital administrators, physician colleagues and other members of your world should have a place to go to learn a little bit about you.
“Patients might want to look. While I stand behind my assertion that LinkedIn is not a primary factor in how patients choose doctors, consider it a service for those who choose to look.”
DOXIMITY–a name you may not have heard—is a secure, physician-only platform that helps doctors connect quickly with their professional “inner circle.” From the founders of Epocrates, Doximity says, “…physicians can use their iPhone, Android device or computer to quickly connect with nearly any U.S. physician to collaborate on patient treatment or find appropriate experts.”
Check their website for more particulars and a brief demo video, but the quick description includes:
* Convenient, secure, 100% free
* Exchange private phone lists, back lines, pagers
* Send HIPAA-compliant messages to colleagues you select
* Easily access phone numbers for 24-hour pharmacies, hospitals and labs
* Find fax, phone, insurance info, clinical interests and languages for 567,000 US physicians
* All physicians verified via 3-step credential check
* Connect with Former Classmates and Residents
LinkedIn and Doximity are two different online tools. For specialists, the Doximity can strengthen reputations, deepen networks and grow practices, while for primary care providers, it can save time spent finding specialists, labs and other resources. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is a public-facing professional profile page that communicates exactly what you want it to say about yourself and your practice. These are two important digital tools that every physician can use.