Social Media For The Medical Professional – Wasting Potential With Anonymity

It’s becoming increasingly important for medical professionals to combat the horrifically inaccurate conjectures circulating in the media. Whether you’re a student, physician, nurse, therapist, technician, or anyone else in healthcare, social media is the way of the future. It’s how you’ll connect with your patients, market your services, and disseminate your expert opinions among the masses.

I’ve had potential employers discover my social media and asked me to delve deeper into something I shared or created. In the last year alone, multiple strangers say: “Hey, are you that Rishi? I follow your blog!” Its been a great way to break the ice and start conversations. Plus it gives people who are otherwise strangers some insight about who I am, what I like, and my perspectives. 🙂

These days when I peruse social media, I’m accustomed to finding users who have chosen the route of anonymity (especially during interview season). Often times these are the same accounts which publish content of questionable professionalism. Then again, that’s the beauty of being anonymous, right? With no regard for the consequences of what one actually shares, one can vent about their employer, argue incessantly, post egregious commentary, and the like.

So what’s my point? Aim to associate professionalism with an identity. It’s the perfect opportunity to build your digital voice and gain a following of patients and colleagues with whom you’ll not only learn from but also build the pillars of your healthcare foundation.

When I connect with people across social media, it’s so much nicer when I can associate them with a name and face. Something as simple as that has profound implications in being able to trust people. Instead of “oh, some third year medical student”, I know I’m talking to John Smith, a third year from medical school ‘x’ interested in the field of ‘y’ who enjoys hobbies ‘a’, ‘b’, and ‘c.’

Yes it’s possible to share and curate quality content from an anonymous profile, but there’s so much more value in putting a face to your efforts. 🙂

I’d love to know your thoughts on the merits or drawbacks to anonymity. Drop me a comment below!

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8 Comments
  1. Dan Choi says

    Couldn’t agree more with your post! I also think medical professionals need to be careful on being “totally honest” or not “sugar coating” things. We as physicians can always think of a million things to complain about but the professional thing to do is to stay positive and as we learn in our training, suck it up and do what is always best for our patients!

    1. Rishi says

      Completely agree! Thanks Dr. Choi!

  2. lauren says

    You should do an IG live or post on med school interview tips! 🙂

    1. Rishi says

      Hey Lauren, I’ve written about interview tips before. Check it out: link to post

  3. Yang says

    Great topic! For me personally, my blog is more lifestyle vs educational, and so there is always the concern of “what if interviewers/attending see something they don’t like”. I always do my best to keep things professional but at the same time I worry about certain hobbies being considered frivolous. There’s just so much at risk. I guess what I’m trying to say is, as a student whose future training is in the hands of people who may not utilize social media the way I do, it makes me nervous!

    When I’m a resident or attending, I would love to do what you do and be more open about it! But for now since I’m still on the other side, privacy may be the way to go during interviews.

    1. Rishi says

      Totally see where you’re coming from! The competitive nature of medicine makes is all a little more conservative when it comes to publishing anything which can even remotely be criticized. To each his/her own. 🙂

  4. Sumaiya says

    I love your blog! Aheemm..im one of those whose has an anonymous instagram…and i cant tell you how much i hate it….but at the same time…im scared to put myself out there…for peole to judge.

    1. Rishi says

      Forget what other people think. Have a mission, stick with it, and be friendly to whoever comes along for the ride. 🙂