Face it … new media is not a passing fad. Medicine, as with social media is in a constant state of flux. Physicians are told by “professionals” that a presence on the stage of medicine and social media is a must. Significant controversy exists in many circles regarding the presence or absence of an ROI for healthcare providers in social media. The Storify which follows illustrates the”conflict” or argument surrounding the “theoretical” ROI for a healthcare professional’s robust presence in medicine and social media. I discuss what I feel should be a stronger driver when considering a medicine and social media presence — your Social Return on Investment —or your Social ROI.
Should every physician be active in Medicine and Social Media?
Theoretically, yes. In reality, no. In the end, it depends on your drivers, goals, desires and a realistic deep dive into a whole host of issues that arise when considering a deep new media or social media presence as a practicing physician.
Wikipedia defines an ROI as follows:
“Return on investment(ROI) is the ratio of money gained or lost (whether realized or unrealized) on an investment relative to the amount of money invested.
However, perhaps more relevant to the topic of medicine and social media is the term SROI, or Social Return on Investment, which Wikipedia describes as:
A principles-based method for measuring extra-financial value (i.e., environmental and social value not currently reflected in conventional financial accounts) relative to resources invested.
Passion drives my medical social media presence …I am not stressed… I am not burning out… and I love what I do. As I have said in many posts, I derive an ENORMOUS amount of satisfaction simply from educating and interacting with the public, and helping them “clear the windshield of doubt”. 50+ thank you emails a day, a thank you from a happy reconstructed patient, seeing a new MD producing meaningful content appearing in a Google search, and helping people understand the complexities of our healthcare system and medical treatment decision making is the (Social) ROI I am ultimately searching for … and realizing. The rest is an added “bonus” .. and is quite real!
Simon Sikorski MD says
A doctor with a passion to drive change, that’s a “job” he will never tire of and will always be satisfying.
I think for a lot of doctors though, financial ROI from social media is important. But if you focus on what social media can do for doctors reputations it’s directly linked to financial ROI. Patients WILL google their doctors before ever making that first appointment. If it’s out-of-network cash paying patients they will Google their doctors 100% of the time.
Social media is that reference check (background check) for those cash-paying patients. And there’s no doubt about it. In fact I just published 12 huge case studies just on that topic!
The other question is about Doctors just starting out on social media. They’re not going to have the same results as Howard, because Howard has been doing this already for years and is nationally recognized for his social media work and advocacy. That took years to develop that kind of recognition. But the rewards he’s reaping because of the satisfaction this brings… is priceless. And I think we all get it. But it’s hard to imagine his results for doctors just starting out. It will take a lot of time and effort, and a lot of days wondering “is this working for me?” I’m sure these doctors will get positive feedback from their patients and peers, but it may be one or two a week or a month. But I can tell you, the doctors I work with on social media, even that one comment makes them ecstatic about becoming the most trusted resource of medical information … once again.
Great post Howard. Keep up the great work!
Selena Horner says
Giving and serving while expecting nothing in return reap far more reward than a shallow, selfish focus of profit.