Social Media Tips for Family Physicians


ORLANDO ‑ When it comes to social media, physicians should remember one important rule: Do not write about your patients, even if you’re writing as an anonymous person or modifying the person's information, Dr. Mike Sevilla warned during a presentation at the American Academy of Family Physicians Scientific Assembly.

Another tip: To find out what your image is online, type your name into an Internet search engine and see what comes up first. Physicians can take control of their online image by starting a LinkedIn profile, and by encouraging their satisfied patients to leave comments about them on the physician rating sites, Dr. Sevilla advised his audience.

Dr. Sevilla has an active blog; he tweets (@DrMikeSevilla); he podcasts; and he posts videos online. And the driving force behind it all is his belief that family physicians should take advantage of social media to share their story and their message with patients, their community, and their legislators. Their participation in social media can also help correct health misinformation on the Internet, he added.

Not all physicians need to do as much as he does on social media, Dr. Sevilla noted, but he encouraged them to consider getting involved.

To hear his advice on friending patients on Facebook and other tips for getting started in social media, watch our video interview below. You can also see Dr. Sevilla’s presentation slides on his blog.

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