Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors?

Author: Howard J. Luks, MD- Posted in: Medical Social Media, Orthopedic Social Media, Sports Medicine 21 Comments

Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn-LogoFor the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.

Physicians offer up a lack of time as one of the primary reasons why they do not have a new media or social media presence. Many more report that they do not see that there is an upside to having a social media presence.  As a physician on LinkedIn, not only do you have a virtual “please sell to me” sign on your forehead, most will perceive their presence on LinkedIn as a huge waste of time.  Unless you are an aspiring entrepreneur, etc you will find that the connections you make on LinkedIn are weak at best. In addition, while your patients are looking you up online, for the most part they are not looking at your LinkedIn profile.  They are looking on other health oriented sites.

My personal experience:

  •  80 percent of interactions over one year were virtual sales calls. A few meaningful business relationships have started on LinkedIn, but my presence on LI, has not resulted in one patient entering my practice.. at least to my knowledge (and I do query people often).
  •  I have not been in contact with another physician about a medical related question … ever.

 

Online Reputation Management

Having a deep online presence will benefit you professionally.  No question. One of the main reasons to explore an online presence in the healthcare space is that your patients are looking for information about you and your practice.  Not only are they assessing your qualifications, they are looking for stories, they are looking for videos, they are looking for clues as to who you are and whether or not a visit to you is worth their time.  But guess what … Your patients are not looking for you on LinkedIn. Spend your valuable time elsewhere. –– Build out your presence on Doximity. Let other doctors reach you, and know who you are. –– Build out your presence, and areas of expertise on:

  1. HealthGrades
  2. Vitals
  3. ZocDoc ( subscription service)
  4. Yelp
  5. Google Places for Business

  There is plenty of information about you online.  Who do you want to be in control of that message?  Why not begin to control your message in an area that matters to you –– and many of your patients.

Howard Luks MD Google Places

Howard Luks MD on Google Places for Business

If you Google your name, you will see that the aforementioned sites rank very high on the list. In fact, Google Places for Business will have the most dramatic affect on search results in Google – taking up most of the right hand column, and even more if you are also on GooglePlus. If you build out your presence on LinkedIn and do not build your profiles elsewhere because you want to see how your LI presence works… you will be sorely disappointed, and you will be answering many sales calls.  That being said … If you are a physician entrepreneur, inventor, investor, or are interested in communicating with groups of like-minded people, then LinkedIn might be for you. But it will not contribute to your ORM strategy for your practice or brand, and it will leave you with a bitter taste regarding your first foray into the online space.

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21 Responses to “Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors?”

  1. Reply Will Schupp, MD says:

    I agree completely, Dr. Luks. For physicians, LinkedIn is another way to be targeted to buy things they don’t need. And since it is mostly used for professional purposes, there aren’t very many insightful posts. You’re just putting yourself on the opposite of the “do not call list.”

    I agree that Doximity is a very good doctor-based social network. Google places is the best way to make your practice pop up cleanly on web searches. Also, I have found that Facebook is a great way to connect with regular people — and, as doctors, isn’t that what we’re trying to do?

    Best,
    Will Schupp, MD

    • Reply Howard J. Luks, MD says:

      Glad you stopped by Will… Strong believer in getting some bang for your buck .. or time. Though more effort to establish a Google Place or Google+ presence, the pay-off is far superior to being visible (and sold to) on LinkedIn.
      Howard

  2. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? - Howard J. Luks... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.Physicians offer up a lack of time as one of the primary reasons why they do not have a new media or social media presence. Many more report that they do not see that there is an upside to having a social media presence. As a physician on LinkedIn, not only do you have a virtual “please sell to me” sign on your forehead, most will perceive their presence on LinkedIn as a huge waste of time. Unless you are an aspiring entrepreneur, etc you will find that the connections you make on LinkedIn are weak at best. In addition, while your patients are looking you up online, for the most part they are not looking at your LinkedIn profile. They are looking on other health oriented sites.My personal experience:- 80 percent of interactions over one year were virtual sales calls. A few meaningful business relationships have started on LinkedIn, but my presence on LI, has not resulted in one patient entering my practice.. at least to my knowledge (and I do query people often).- I have not been in contact with another physician about a medical related question … ever. Read on…  […]

  3. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | Healthcare Soc... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.  […]

  4. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? - Howard J. Luks... says:

    […] For the average physician, LinkedIn will not help build your practice or help you connect with other doctors – unless you are a physician entrepreneur …  […]

  5. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | PHARMAGEEK &am... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.  […]

  6. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | social media r... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.  […]

  7. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | e-Healthcare ... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.  […]

  8. Reply Carmen Gonzalez says:

    Hi Howard,

    As usual, you nailed it. LinkedIn has always battled its singular reputation as an online job hunting spot. While the promise could have been developed for other uses, it was never presented that way, so it would be going against the grain for industries like healthcare to think of it otherwise. While Twitter’s newsfeed qualities allows for identifying promising sources of information, only 18% of active Internet users are on it, according to Pew American Life project stats. If the saturation among doctors on Doximity is higher, then that might serve the overworked physician best. Tell me, do doctors only use Doximity as a referral tool or do they also pass along newsworthy items?

    Keep up sharing your insights. They cut through the noise.

    Carmen

    • Reply Howard J. Luks, MD says:

      Very kind Carmen… thank you.
      Actually physicians use Doximity in a number of ways. It’s used as a tool to communicate with one another via direct messages or dare I say faxes :-). They also post and comment on articles specific to a specialty or about healthcare in general. I would say it’s more about keeping in touch and staying abreast of the latest in our field that keeps us heading back to the Doximity platform.

      Thanks again!
      Howard

  9. Reply John Bennett MD says:

    Hello Howard

    Thanks for the post.

    My take on LinkedIn is different, because my profile says “Digital Entrepreneur” and I am not building a practice up, trying to get patients.

    However, I am interested in networking with people that do business with health-related websites, and have been very fortunate in that respect.

    I met two very good prospects, through them “Liking” a post of mine. So, one tip, for those who want to network with someone, is to “Like” one of their posts, and they may contact you, like I did.

    JB MD

    • Reply Howard J. Luks, MD says:

      Thanks John ..
      I agree. LinkedIn might be a great place to establish a presence if you are exploring careers or paths outside of a traditional medical practice.
      Howard

  10. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | Healthcare upd... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.Physicians offer up a lack of time as one of the primary reasons why they do not have a new media or social media presence. Many more report that they do not see that there is an upside to having a social media presence. As a physician on LinkedIn, not only do you have a virtual “please sell to me” sign on your forehead, most will perceive their presence on LinkedIn as a huge waste of time. Unless you are an aspiring entrepreneur, etc you will find that the connections you make on LinkedIn are weak at best. In addition, while your patients are looking you up online, for the most part they are not looking at your LinkedIn profile. They are looking on other health oriented sites.My personal experience: 80 percent of interactions over one year were virtual sales calls. A few meaningful business relationships have started on LinkedIn, but my presence on LI, has not resulted in one patient entering my practice.. at least to my knowledge (and I do query people often). I have not been in contact with another physician about a medical related question … ever. Having a deep online presence will benefit you professionally. No question. One of the main reasons to explore an online presence in the healthcare space is that your patients are looking for information about you and your practice. Not only are they assessing your qualifications, they are looking for stories, they are looking for videos, they are looking for clues as to who you are and whether or not a visit to you is worth their time. But guess what … Your patients are not looking for you on LinkedIn. Spend your valuable time elsewhere. –– Build out your presence on Doximity. Let other doctors reach you, and know who you are. –– Build out your presence, and areas of expertise on: HealthGradesVitalsZocDoc ( subscription service)YelpGoogle Places for Business There is plenty of information about you online. Who do you want to be in control of that message? Why not begin to control your message in an area that matters to you –– and many of your patients.Howard Luks MD on Google Places for BusinessIf you Google your name, you will see that the aforementioned sites rank very high on the list. In fact, Google Places for Business will have the most dramatic affect on search results in Google – taking up most of the right hand column, and even more if you are also on GooglePlus. If you build out your presence on LinkedIn and do not build your profiles elsewhere because you want to see how your LI presence works… you will be sorely disappointed, and you will be answering many sales calls. That being said … If you are a physician entrepreneur, inventor, investor, or are interested in communicating with groups of like-minded people, then LinkedIn might be for you. But it will not contribute to your ORM strategy for your practice or brand, and it will leave you with a bitter taste regarding your first foray into the online space.  […]

  11. Reply Steve Hamilton says:

    Hi,

    Some health professionals harbour a lifelong ambition to commercialise a innovative medtech device or service. Others aspire to a move into an administrative or leadership role in the healthcare sector. These are the typical type of HC professionals who would benefit from a solid presence on LinkedIn. Unfortunately many physicians don’t think far enough ahead to contemplate what might be in their future.

    My recent working alongside an entrepreneur surgeon who is a late-comer to LinkedIn has provided a salient lesson in this regard. The good news is that he is learning fast and is rapidly establishing a very good network of potential commercial stakeholder-partners.

    Keep up the good stuff Howard – thanks.

    Cheers Steve

  12. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | Pharma | Scoop.it says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.Physicians offer up a lack of time as one of the primary reasons why they do not have a new media or social media presence. Many more report that they do not see that there is an upside to having a social media presence. As a physician on LinkedIn, not only do you have a virtual “please sell to me” sign on your forehead, most will perceive their presence on LinkedIn as a huge waste of time. Unless you are an aspiring entrepreneur, etc you will find that the connections you make on LinkedIn are weak at best. In addition, while your patients are looking you up online, for the most part they are not looking at your LinkedIn profile. They are looking on other health oriented sites.  […]

  13. Reply John Bennett MD says:

    Hello Howard:

    Took your advice, googled my name; I was listed on Healthgrades as an Internal Medicine specialist, which I am not, and never had been. Don’t know where they got that from.

    Tried to change it, but it is a complicated, time-consuming effort. It does not seem right that it is MY responsibility to change incorrect information, lawyers might have some fun with this issue, but it will come down to, probably, having them take the listing down completely.

    But with further consideration, I can leverage this into free advertising for my efforts in the digital healthcare world, because, after all, it is a free listing, and has a high ranking.

    I will attempt to do so, and keep this post informed.

    best

    john bennett md

  14. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | Healthcare, li... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.Physicians offer up a lack of time as one of the primary reasons why they do not have a new media or social media presence. Many more report that they do not see that there is an upside to having a social media presence. As a physician on LinkedIn, not only do you have a virtual “please sell to me” sign on your forehead, most will perceive their presence on LinkedIn as a huge waste of time. Unless you are an aspiring entrepreneur, etc you will find that the connections you make on LinkedIn are weak at best. In addition, while your patients are looking you up online, for the most part they are not looking at your LinkedIn profile. They are looking on other health oriented sites.My personal experience: 80 percent of interactions over one year were virtual sales calls. A few meaningful business relationships have started on LinkedIn, but my presence on LI, has not resulted in one patient entering my practice.. at least to my knowledge (and I do query people often). I have not been in contact with another physician about a medical related question … ever. Having a deep online presence will benefit you professionally. No question. One of the main reasons to explore an online presence in the healthcare space is that your patients are looking for information about you and your practice. Not only are they assessing your qualifications, they are looking for stories, they are looking for videos, they are looking for clues as to who you are and whether or not a visit to you is worth their time. But guess what … Your patients are not looking for you on LinkedIn. Spend your valuable time elsewhere. –– Build out your presence on Doximity. Let other doctors reach you, and know who you are. –– Build out your presence, and areas of expertise on: HealthGradesVitalsZocDoc ( subscription service)YelpGoogle Places for Business There is plenty of information about you online. Who do you want to be in control of that message? Why not begin to control your message in an area that matters to you –– and many of your patients. Howard Luks MD on Google Places for BusinessIf you Google your name, you will see that the aforementioned sites rank very high on the list. In fact, Google Places for Business will have the most dramatic affect on search results in Google – taking up most of the right hand column, and even more if you are also on GooglePlus. If you build out your presence on LinkedIn and do not build your profiles elsewhere because you want to see how your LI presence works… you will be sorely disappointed, and you will be answering many sales calls. That being said … If you are a physician entrepreneur, inventor, investor, or are interested in communicating with groups of like-minded people, then LinkedIn might be for you. But it will not contribute to your ORM strategy for your practice or brand, and it will leave you with a bitter taste regarding your first foray into the online space.  […]

  15. Reply Is LinkedIn Right for Doctors? | solomo-health ... says:

    […] Many physicians are being advised to initiate their new media journey by building out a presence on LinkedIn. For the average physician, I personally I believe this is a bad idea.Physicians offer up a lack of time as one of the primary reasons why they do not have a new media or social media presence. Many more report that they do not see that there is an upside to having a social media presence. As a physician on LinkedIn, not only do you have a virtual “please sell to me” sign on your forehead, most will perceive their presence on LinkedIn as a huge waste of time. Unless you are an aspiring entrepreneur, etc you will find that the connections you make on LinkedIn are weak at best. In addition, while your patients are looking you up online, for the most part they are not looking at your LinkedIn profile. They are looking on other health oriented sites.My personal experience: 80 percent of interactions over one year were virtual sales calls. A few meaningful business relationships have started on LinkedIn, but my presence on LI, has not resulted in one patient entering my practice.. at least to my knowledge (and I do query people often). I have not been in contact with another physician about a medical related question … ever. Having a deep online presence will benefit you professionally. No question. One of the main reasons to explore an online presence in the healthcare space is that your patients are looking for information about you and your practice. Not only are they assessing your qualifications, they are looking for stories, they are looking for videos, they are looking for clues as to who you are and whether or not a visit to you is worth their time. But guess what … Your patients are not looking for you on LinkedIn. Spend your valuable time elsewhere. –– Build out your presence on Doximity. Let other doctors reach you, and know who you are. –– Build out your presence, and areas of expertise on: HealthGradesVitalsZocDoc ( subscription service)YelpGoogle Places for Business There is plenty of information about you online. Who do you want to be in control of that message? Why not begin to control your message in an area that matters to you –– and many of your patients.Howard Luks MD on Google Places for BusinessIf you Google your name, you will see that the aforementioned sites rank very high on the list. In fact, Google Places for Business will have the most dramatic affect on search results in Google – taking up most of the right hand column, and even more if you are also on GooglePlus. If you build out your presence on LinkedIn and do not build your profiles elsewhere because you want to see how your LI presence works… you will be sorely disappointed, and you will be answering many sales calls. That being said … If you are a physician entrepreneur, inventor, investor, or are interested in communicating with groups of like-minded people, then LinkedIn might be for you. But it will not contribute to your ORM strategy for your practice or brand, and it will leave you with a bitter taste regarding your first foray into the online space.  […]

  16. Reply Shane H - Elite Athletes Sports Physical Therapist says:

    I think you must however be careful with an online presence. As sometimes i see some Dr’s, physical therapist ect….write stuff that makes me question their intelligence. Then i am unlikely to refer to them. So it can have the opposite effect also, lose clients.
    That said, i also have not gained work from online, most my clients come by referrals and reputation. However online presence gives my clients an ability to easily and quickly check my background, and LinkedIN (due to the ‘recommendations” part and ability of past employers to click ‘false info’ if you lie) does give much more credit-ability then other online presences. I work in elite sport, and i often see other physical therapists in this industries, online reports of working with such and such athlete, and a testimony from that athlete eg. “there physical therapy was the best” when in fact i know they are not working with that athlete or that team. So online does give people ability to lie, where-as LinkedIN gives others the ability to question you, and inform people if your information is false. I have had many clients, who said, “oh i saw you worked with such and such athlete”, because they did a search and a check of my LinkedIN. I think LinkedIN also has benefits of amongst the profession, aka to keep up to date with experts opinions, and share idea’s and current research. Something which other online presences don’t achieve.

  17. Reply Trends in Social Media Usage among Orthopaedists | Orthobuzz says:

    […] to Howard J. Luks, MD, it is important to have an online presence to help patients learn more about your practice, your […]

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