Who are the Physicians Using Social Media?

Over the past decade, advances in technology have changed healthcare practices and how doctors interact online. The widespread adoption of social networks or social tools is now making a bigger impact on a physician’s day-to-day life; especially when consumers go online to look for health information and health providers. This blog post will explore 1) the importance of social media, 2) how doctors engage with social media to interact with patients and peers and 3) uncover who are the doctors that value social media (demographically).

The importance of social media

Patients desire ways to connect with each other and healthcare professionals via social media. Therefore, it is important that doctors evolve their practices to meet this demand:

  • Nearly 3 out of 4 U.S. adults indicate they typically go online for health and wellness purposes
  • 32% typically conduct research online prior to a doctor’s appointment. 36% research treatment options on their own and then ask their doctor about them
  • 53% value social content/sharing websites as a source for health information (e.g., social networking sites, reference websites with user-generated content, drug review/ratings websites, online blogs or online communities/support groups)
  • 69% of all adults indicate they have caught up or posted on a social network from a computer or mobile device within the last month
Source: Kantar Media’s 2017 MARS Consumer Health Study

How do physicians use social media to interact with patients and peers?

According to Kantar Media’s 2017 Medical Surgical Sources and Interactions study, healthcare professionals are finding effective ways to utilize social media. For example, nearly half of all physicians surveyed (47%) say they have posted, followed or communicated with colleagues on professional social networks in the past 30 days via a computer or mobile device.

When communicating with healthcare consumers, nearly half of all doctors surveyed indicate they use a patient portal to interact with patients. Additionally, 7% say they use social media to communicate with specific patients or to promote their practice with a broad group of patients (an increase of one percentage point since last year).  

Who are the doctors that value social media?

18% of all doctors say they value professional Social Communities/Networks as a source of information. Of these:

  • 43% are age <45 (132 index compared to total doctors surveyed)
  • 39% are female (135 index compared to total doctors surveyed)
  • 46% see over 100 patients in an average week

Want to Learn More? Find out how to most effectively engage physicians and allied healthcare professionals with your advertising. The 2017 Medical/Surgical study includes 24 physician specialties across 45 different sources of information including traditional and emerging media, pharma reps, CME, conventions, and more.

Get the insights you need to make informed decisions. To learn more, please contact Kantar Media Healthcare Research Client Services at prohealthclientservice-us@kantarmedia.com or 646-895-8528.


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