Plastic Surgeons Should Balance Benefits and Risks of Social Media Use

by | Last updated Jul 4, 2023 | Published on Aug 30, 2013 | Medical Outsourcing

Social Media
Share this:

In a recent press release, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) highlighted the results of a anonymous survey of 5,000 plastic surgeons in the May issue of their publication ‘Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’. According to the study, as much as 50 percent of U.S. plastic surgeons are professionally active on Facebook, Twitter, and other leading social media sites.

Social media platforms are widely recognized as a powerful and dynamic tool by physicians, allowing them to educate, interact directly with patients and professional colleagues, and market their services. However, researchers point out that they should balance the benefits against the potential pitfalls of this virtual marketing medium.

The survey reported that cosmetic surgeons use social media the most and the Facebook was the most popular social media platforms followed by Linkedln, Twitter and You Tube. The surgeons cited the following reasons for relying so much on social media:

  • It is an effective marketing tool as well as a useful forum for educating patients
  • It offers low-cost advertising and high exposure for their practices
  • Social media engagement led to positive feedback and encouraged patient referrals

While 1.5 percent of the surgeons reported that social media affected them negatively in the form of criticism and negative commentary from patients, they said that these negative effects did not pose any threat to their practice.

Surgeons who refrained from using social media said that that they did this to maintain professionalism, curb unrestricted access, and ensure confidentiality of patient information. In fact, about one-fourth of the surgeons support restricted social media usage. They feel that monitoring of plastic surgeons in the use of social media by the ASPS and other major governing bodies can result in more ethical online activities.

There’s no denying that social media is a great platform for physicians. Just a little caution can prevent a negative impact. Here are some useful rules:

  • Educate your patients to positively impact their lifestyle behavior
  • Be accurate in whatever you post, whether it’s an article or a blog
  • Never post anything that reveals a patient’s identity
  • Anything you post online cannot be deleted – so proceed with caution
  • Draw a line when it comes to ‘friendships’ with patients
  • Educate yourself and stay updated.

If you’re one of those physicians who do not use social media, get started. A professional SEO company can help you enhance your online presence with the effective use of social media marketing tools.

  • Natalie Tornese
    Natalie Tornese
    CPC: Director of Revenue Cycle Management

    Natalie joined MOS’ Revenue Cycle Management Division in October 2011. She brings twenty five years of hands on management experience to the company.

  • Meghann Drella
    Meghann Drella
    CPC: Senior Solutions Manager: Practice and RCM

    Meghann joined MOS’ Revenue Cycle Management Division in February of 2013. She is CPC certified with the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC).

  • Amber Darst
    Amber Darst
    Solutions Manager: Practice and RCM

    Hired for her dental expertise, Amber brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the dental revenue cycle management (RCM) services to MOS.

  • Loralee Kapp
    Loralee Kapp
    Solutions Manager: Practice and RCM

    Loralee joined MOS’ Revenue Cycle Management Division in October 2021. She has over five years of experience in medical coding and Health Information Management practices.