Finding Balance with Social Media & Medicine


We recently read the New York Times article about doctors using Facebook for both personal and professional reasons. It makes sense and we do the same. Just like any profession, you balance your career and personal sides.

Balance is the key phrase.

While the comments on the article, “Should Your Doctor Be on Facebook?”, offer some valid points — and as usual many crazy ones as well — there is tremendous opportunity for a physician to be represented on social media through his or her practice’s Facebook page. Physicians have the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge with consumers who turn to social media for insight into their health issues.

Popular physician blogger, Kevin Pho, M.D., who was also quoted in the NY Times article,  embraces the “dual-citizenship” approach, recently discussed in an Annals of Internal Medicine perspective piece. He chooses to limit his personal profile to friends and family — people who can follow your personal, day-to-day happenings, pictures and video. This profile is not for your patients .

If the physician chooses to forge ahead with an individual page, one where they are positioned as the expert, then be aware of Facebook’s privacy settings and options. Dr. Pho says a separate Facebook page that serves as your public persona that patients can view needs to be HIPAA compliant and professionally self-aware.

Whether it’s what you’re saying through a tweet, to a patient or in the operating room, as always the best advice is “think before you speak.” And that’s something all of us can heed.


PUBLICITY TIP: 10 Ways to Grow Your Facebook Page

  1. Post a link or “Like” box on your business website

  3. Include a link or logo in your email signature

  5. Promote your Facebook page on marketing pieces and at events

  7. Invite contacts in your email database to “Like” the page

  9. Have employees email friends and family to invite them to
    “Like” the page

  11. Cross promote with other social media channels

  13. Post relevant and engaging content

  15. Utilize visually rich content such as videos, photos and Faebook Questions

  17. Add your own tab and branding through the FBML app

  19. One you reach 25 followers, personalize your URL. Like we did:


How are you or your practice using Facebook? Where do you draw the line between personal and professional?

Micki is a Senior PR Account Manager and Armada’s Director of Social Media.