Input requested: How should doctors Tweet? One doc, two feeds.

The same discussion where I met Regina Holiday and learned about 73 cents was also one where I received advice about how doctors should engage in social media.

I specifically remember what Regina and the group said (in paraphrase) – “Show me the DNA of a high quality doctor.” and “Demonstrate that this/you are a doctor that I’m going to love.”

This is a very different need than “Tell me what I need to know about when to get a flu shot.” Not that patients don’t want this information also, of course.

In doing some more reading and experiencing, I thought about the outcome of social media in health care in creating engagement with the profession and health system compared to the outcome of providing information. Beth’s blog has a nice discussion about this (Engage, then Educate) in regard to the San Francisco Symphony. My hypothesis is that the principles are the same.

With that in mind, my colleague Rahul Parikh, MD, a practicing pediatrician and accomplished writer across many venues, worked on an experiment together and we’d like your feedback.

Click on any image to make it larger

This is his physician twitterfeed for patients:

This is him tweeting one way, let’s call it “standard” (more “education”):

This is him tweeting a different way, let’s call it “DNA – Enhanced” (more “engagement”):

Here’s the input we would like:

  1. Do you notice the difference in the content/approach?
  2. Which way would you want your own doctor. to tweet? (or a different way not shown here)
  3. If you were looking to choose a doctor, does either approach draw you more to a potential physician?

Thanks for your comments in the comments, and thanks again to the patients, who continue to demonstrate that they are more than willing to help us perform well for them – all we have to do is ask.

You can also follow and tweet either Rahul (on his professional feed, different than the one above) or myself. Don’t worry, we’ll compare notes.


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