Are doctors using social networks for work?

76% of physicians use at least one of the three types of social networks listed in the study, while 35% do not use any, according to the Sources & Interactions Study, March 2015 – Medical/Surgical Edition. This breaks down to 19% of doctors using all three types, 31% using 2 of the 3, and 26% using only 1 of the 3 types.

Other findings related to these specific types of social networks include:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of doctors say they currently use a professional social network (e.g., Medscape Physician ConnectQuantiaMDSermo, etc.).
  • About 45% of physicians in this study use medical association/society social networks for professional purposes.
  • Slightly over one-third (38%) of physicians in this study use consumer social networks (e.g., FacebookLinkedInTwitter, etc.) for professional purposes.

Most physicians that use social networks choose to read and follow only as opposed to write and post, suggesting that they view these sites as another information source, rather than a platform to interact with colleagues or share their own expertise. 53% of doctors say they read/follow only on professional social networks.

The number of doctors using social sites shows noteworthy increases from 2012:


Sept 2012

Sept 2013

March 2013

March 2015

Medical Association/Society Social Network





Professional Social Network





Consumer Social Network





The Sources & Interactions™ Study is a detailed examination of doctors’ online and mobile activities, e-detailing experience, and exposure to (and evaluation of) information sources including traditional and emerging media, pharma reps, CME, convention and more. The study is conducted every six months and targets more than 3,000 physicians annually across 22 specialties, exploring their media preferences and habits. Sources & Interactions was designed to help marketers and their agencies cost-effectively allocate resources to their overall promotional mix, and provide publishers with specific insight about where their offerings fit into physicians (and other healthcare professionals’) information inventory.

If you need specialty-specific data, let us know. We study physician media behaviors and preferences annually across 22 specialties.

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