This Doctor's View on Social Media and Medicine

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This Doctor's View on Social Media and Medicine

Randall Wong, M.D., Social media for medicine.I’m going to Chicago this weekend to talk about Social Media and medicine!

The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) has its annual meeting this year in Chicago.  Ophthalmology Management, an ophthalmology business development company, and Allergan are hosting a “roundtable” discussion on the use of social media in ophthalmology.

Allergan has a business development division whose experts provide guidance to medical practices.  I have been invited to participate and will be sharing what I have learned from you and this blog.

Every Website Must Be a Blog

Any modern website should be a blog.  There is no reason to use the old-fashioned so-called “HTML generators” (e.g. Microsoft FrontPage, Dreamweaver).  Blogging “software” has the same versatility as the older programs, but blogs have the unique ability to allow the reader (you) to leave a comment at the end of each article.

The ability to “comment” is the single reason blogs have become so powerful.  The “comment” allows the reader to engage by asking a question or sharing some experience.

Blogs, therefore, are the purest form of social media.

Every Website Must Offer Value….and for Free!

If you have no value, you can not generate traffic…aka interest in your website.  Simply Tweeting or posting on Facebook about your website will do nothing if you do not have valuable content.  And, oh yes, your content must be refreshed regularly (ever go to a website that hasn’t been changed in a while?).

The value of this website is my ability, as an authority on retinal diseases, to share my knowledge of retinal diseases.  My articles help educate my patients and those non-patients surfing and looking for answers to their health related questions.

Giving value for free is also integral to developing a following.  “Free” generates trust.  Trust builds relationships.

“Comments” Attract More “Comments”

I try to answer every comment left on this website.  By doing so, it invites future readers to leave a comment.

There are several aspects of the “comment” that are powerful.  Comments help engage other readers who have the same problem.  While reading one of my articles might attract your attention, identifying with another reader who shares the same problem is the most engaging.

My participation in this “conversation” demonstrates a willingness to engage my patients, gives me the opportunity to explain my practice philosophy and gives you a sense of my “bedside manner.”  This “transparency” is the most compelling aspect of my blog.

Scarcity Marketing and Medicine

Scarcity Marketing says that if I own the only restaurant in town, I don’t have to have the best food or the best service.

The Internet provides information (this website, for example).  Patients are now more knowledgeable about their own health conditions, ergo, the value of the doctor has decreased.  Knowledge has empowered patients to be more selective in their choice of caretakers.  Doctors can no longer use knowledge to leverage their own value.

Physicians of today must learn how to be transparent, both as a person and as a business owner, to survive in this new era of social media.  The digital age and social media are making modern medicine a consumer driven market!

Would you agree?

 

 

 

 

 

Comments
  • Josh April 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    YES!!! You are the future and a pioneer in this area. I know it will be a path that not only benefits your patients and prospective patients and even random people looking for up to date info that is not too objective , not real world or just plain scary; but will benefit you as a dr who can gain insights from the patient perspective. There are many motivated ones out there. 😉

    Good luck with the event. I love Chicago. Beautiful city.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. April 21, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Thanks Josh.

      You, too, are representative of a new era. Patients have the ability to now learn about their own conditions. As you hint, there are so many ramifications of this new age.

      From my perspective, the Internet has empowered patients with the ability to learn, thus, allowing them to be critical about who they choose to take care of them. We docs need to learn that “build it and they will come” (scarcity) is over.

      As always, thanks for your support.

      Chicago here we come!

      Randy

  • Alfredo April 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I do agree Dr. Wong!

    I truly enjoy your blog. I’m not a direct patient of yours however we have exchanged comments in the past and that is so valuable to me, and I’m sure for us people in general who have retinal challenges.

    Thank you for your disposition of making this to happen.

    All the best,
    Alfredo

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. April 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

      Dear Alfredo,

      This doctor took a few years to discover the true value of his own blog. It has been a tremendous project.

      It’s about the value –> credibility –> relationships….even if we never meet face to face.

      Take care and thank you for taking the time to comment.

      r

  • Annette Billings April 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Reaching out to patients with this blog is a service I value. Hope the conference provides a lot of insight to you and those attending. Travel safely.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. April 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

      Annette,

      Thanks for the well wishes and support.

      Thanks, too, for taking the time to comment.

      Randy

  • John Medina April 19, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Good luck in Chicago; I’m sure it will be a successful venture.

  • Erick Kinuthia April 20, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Interesting post. The best way to bring patients to your door step is by winning their trust. One way of doing this is by providing information that could prove to be helpful to patients that need it.

    Erick Kinuthia
    Team MDwebpro

  • Christine A. Curcio, PhD April 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    This is inspiring for a laboratory vision scientist like me who wonders what comes after those days come to an end. Years ago I read in Science that senior scientists are needed to write review articles and commentaries. Now we can blog! I have known others who gone that route. May you have a powerful “retirement.”

    I think your readers are surfing, not serfing! LOL!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. April 21, 2012 at 8:15 am

      Dear Christine,

      Thank you for you kind comments.

      This is a new age. I wish there were a different word for what we do (blogging seems to casual a word for those that are uninitiated). It’s powerful as you know.

      My idea for “after” your benchwork is over…start a blog now. Write about what you do and why you do it…to memorialize the state of the art and the problems we faced in 2012.

      Stay in touch.

      Randy

      BTW – updated the article, thank you!

  • Eric Paul Abrantes April 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Awesome post! I have been trying to convince many doctors that I consult for to start their own personal or practice blog. Many of them do not see the value, and think it is a waste of time. I’m going to use this post to help with future discussions.

    I am here at ASCRS now, and will be speaking for Allergan on Sunday (2pm) about Social Media and Ophthalmology. I will be sure to tell people about you Dr. Wong, this is exactly how doctors should establish a web presence.

    Hope to meet you this weekend!

    -Eric

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. April 22, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Dear Eric,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and to reach out.

      I don’t write too much about social media and medicine here, but you might try my other website…Medical Marketing Enterprises.

      I did get your email/Tweets. Perhaps we can talk before the roundtable, but after your presentation?

      Look forward to it.

      r

  • Eric Paul Abrantes April 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Dr. Wong,

    Sounds Great! I will be around the Allergan Booth after 3pm. Looking forward to your round table.

    -Eric

  • Ken E April 22, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Dr. Wong,

    I enjoy every minute I spend on your sites. The information I gained from them over the past year gave me the knowledge and comfort to make a decision to get a vitrectomy. I can’t thank you enough for putting real life information out there for all to read and learn. Your writing style is excellent and is very easy to understand very complex conditions. You are truly a pioneer. Thank you.

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. April 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Dear Ken,

      Many thanks for your trust and compliments. I am proud that this was of some help to you.

      Randy

  • Alan Glazier, OD, FAAO April 29, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Well said Dr. Wong, and I might add that both website and blog are important when it comes to SEO – the more internet real estate the better for your business presence, and the older the domain, the better as well. Be sure to tie your blog to your website – the “juice” that flows from the regularly updated blog helps your website rank higher in google; static websites are sometimes frowned upon by the “bots” that crawl the internet indexing (arranging) websites and blogs so they can elevate them when people in your geographic vicinity search for the keywords and phrases of the services you hope to be found for. I’ve read articles that say even blogs might be on their downslope in terms of popularity for spreading content, and open cloud-based platforms like Google Docs taking their place – we’ll see!

  • obuwie March 10, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Hello this is somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually
    code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. March 23, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      Obuwie,

      Coding with HTML is no longer necessary.
      You should use only WordPress.org. Don’t waste time with anything else.
      You may check out medicalpracticeadministrator.com

      This is our business site.

      Randy

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