Doctors: Save some lives, but also make sure you tweet

Our lives get busy, and it always seems like there’s another thing we should or are supposed to be doing that we aren’t already. Twitter is one of those things for a lot of people. Sure you have a Facebook account and you set up a LinkedIn profile, but that’s just not enough. Not only do […]

Our lives get busy, and it always seems like there’s another thing we should or are supposed to be doing that we aren’t already. Twitter is one of those things for a lot of people. Sure you have a Facebook account and you set up a LinkedIn profile, but that’s just not enough. Not only do you need to be on Twitter, you need to stay active – it will help your career, according to Brian Secemsky, M.D.

He shared his reasoning for why having a professional Twitter account is essential for a new physician in the industry via the Huffington Post.

1. Knowledge: Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter allows you to follow many people online without requiring an invitation or acceptance from fellow users. It takes an easy click to follow professional journals, health policy foundations and/or health care leaders without feeling creepy or fearing rejection from the community. (Trust me, it feels good to be followed, no one will mind.) By choosing a good mix of these medical profiles, especially those that tweet links to high-yield content, you are able to create an individually tailored and constantly updated curated source of medical information, freely available at any time.

2. Networking: Especially when it comes to more specialized professional interests that encompass only a handful of field leaders, Twitter offers a virtual, often tight-knit community that paves way to connect directly with established members despite geographical and professional distance. It is not unheard of for project collaborations and formal mentorships to form from simple interactions via the Twitter community.

3. Identity: As patients and medical providers increasingly use online sources for information and support, Twitter offers a unique opportunity for young medical professionals like yourself to voice opinions and be heard in ways that otherwise would be challenging at such an early level of medical training. Having a venue such as Twitter to display professional accomplishments, engage in discussion over important health issues and curate high-yield health-related content allows medical students and young physicians a way to develop a reputation for professional commitment and advocacy beyond what is seen at the bedside.

When it comes down to it, we are all on the internet and our careers are involved in that. It’s not that being on Twitter will make or break you, but it’s better to take advantage of resources instead of potentially dealing with the consequences of being unaware. (This is coming from someone who only tweets for work and never really personally, so this may sound hypocritical to promote, but I’m in the process of convincing myself to be more active, too. We can do it together.)