Leveraging social media as a physician
When used properly, social media can improve health literacy and promote wellness by actively engaging patients and communities
When used with discernment, social media communication has the potential to effectively improve health literacy and promote wellness by actively engaging patients and the public. By integrating social media and traditional health care practices, patients are empowered to actively participate in their own care, thereby enhancing their knowledge, attitudes and expectations regarding their health.
Furthermore, social media facilitates the establishment of vital support networks, both socially and emotionally, while also improving accessibility and widening access to relevant information. It enables increased interaction among individuals and facilitates the sharing and customization of health-related content.
The impact of social media in targeted populations has yielded positive outcomes when messages provide evidence-based scientific information in genres such as improving attitudes towards vaccines and encouraging preventive cancer screenings. Extensive research demonstrates the significant positive influence of social media on promoting healthy lifestyle choices. Moreover, social media platforms have proven effective in reaching underserved and at-risk populations, ensuring that vital health care information reaches those who need it most.
Osteopathic physicians can use social media to:
- Strengthen relationships with patients by providing clear, succinct communications.
- Reach large target audiences with health education messages.
- Mitigate misinformation and disinformation on a health issue.
- Promote offline services.
- Provide links to up-to-date health information for patients and the public.
Choose your platform:
Frequently used social media platforms:
- X (formerly Twitter)
Additional communication tools:
- Image sharing
- Online videos
- Public health media libraries