06 Oct The Top Healthcare Professionals You Should be Following on Twitter
Social media has been a critical platform for businesses to connect with consumers and market their products or services, particularly in 2020 during a worldwide pandemic. All industries have been forced to explore the power of social networking sites to increase their reach and grow their businesses. However, one industry that has had to rely even more heavily than most on social media during the pandemic has been the healthcare industry.
Many healthcare experts who are active on social media use their accounts to provide consumers with accurate information about their services, medicines, and new technologies in the healthcare field. They also engage with other healthcare professionals to stay up to date on all the latest trends and continuously learn from other experts in the science and health fields.
Three such healthcare professionals that we have determined to be worth following are Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation; SreyRam Kuy, associate chief of staff at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and Atul Gawande, founder, and chairman of Ariadne Labs.
In this week’s Top Executives article, we will examine how these healthcare specialists effectively utilize their social media, specifically their Twitter feeds, to enhance their services, connect with readers, and discuss emerging trends in the healthcare industry.
Doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong is a proud inventor of Abraxane, a drug known for its efficacy against lung, breast, and pancreatic cancer. The influential doctor and businessman is very active on Twitter and has over 24,700 followers.
In recent times, Soon-Shiong has been using his Twitter to give real-time updates regarding COVID-19 to his followers. From discussing the latest lab testing results for the much-awaited vaccine, to commenting on the shift in the number of cases, Soon-Shiong has been busy keeping his followers up to speed on the pandemic from a healthcare professional’s perspective. He has voiced his opinions and also retweets articles and posts he believes can spread awareness or drive change. He also makes sure to maximize his reach by using trending hashtags in most of his posts.
Why the Pandemic Is So Bad in America. Fantastic article that lays bare our lack of healthcare infrastructure and the inequalities that is so pervasive. We must change and adapt like this virus has done to prevent the next catastrophe. https://t.co/IEXiKGn1HP
— Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong (@DrPatSoonShiong) August 9, 2020
In the above example, Soon-Shiong tweeted an article on how the pandemic has negatively impacted the United States. Despite being in a high position of responsibility in the industry, he questions the healthcare system in the country and is open about its many flaws. It is important for those in power who have access to relevant and credible information to share it with others in the interest of transparency. Honesty builds credibility and makes users bank on the leader.
It is equally important to use social media to not just discuss topics related to your profession, but also to engage with other critical issues. Soon-Shiong sets a good example by directly addressing social issues like #BlackLivesMatter. He has tweeted in support of the movement and has shed light on how racial inequality disadvantages those who are discriminated against. When executives speak against injustice, they motivate their followers and earn the respect of others by daring to take a strong stance. It is important for leaders to initiate a conversation rather than falling silent in times of injustice.
Just watched documentary “13th “ on Netflix. We should all watch this to honor true freedom and 4th July. Reforming our criminal justice system and embracing human dignity will transform our society. Kindness matters. #BlackLivesMattters
— Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong (@DrPatSoonShiong) July 5, 2020
We recommend that other leaders follow Doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong on Twitter for trustworthy updates and an expert’s opinion on how the global pandemic is affecting people.
SreyRam Kuy is the first female Cambodian refugee to work as a surgeon in the United States. The recipient of several awards and accolades, the surgeon has worked to improve the health of vulnerable populations. Despite her busy schedule, she is very active on Twitter and has 55.4K followers.
Kuy uses her Twitter feed primarily to highlight personal achievements and inspire others. By sharing her journey and accomplishments on Twitter, Kuy has encouraged people from all walks of life to aspire to dream big.
Also, I’m so excited to join @OregonState President F. King Alexander for a panel discussion on “Leadership & Change for the Future”! Honored to be a part of this. Thank you @OSUHonors @oregonstatealum!
— SreyRam Kuy, MD (@SreyRam) September 30, 2020
Reading about other people’s life stories can be inspiring. Leaders can share their stories to be relatable or authentic or to stand out, which can then serve to motivate people.
Like Soon-Shiong, Kuy has also talked about COVID-19 on her Twitter profile extensively. She has shared a list of best practices to keep safe during the pandemic, pictures of herself working during the pandemic, details about the assessment tool she developed to help hospitals and businesses combat coronavirus, and more. During times of crisis, social media is the best way to deliver information quickly. Raising awareness through original tweets and retweeting from credible sources protects followers from getting manipulated by disseminators of misinformation.
“Best Practices for #COVID19 Preparedness”
Hospitals need to:
1. Mitigate transmission
2. Support & protect staff
3. Eliminate nonurgent strains
4. Coordinate communication
— SreyRam Kuy, MD (@SreyRam) April 30, 2020
SreyRam Kuy uses Twitter to share her journey and accomplishments. Many who follow her take advantage of learning from her experiences and to motivate themselves to pursue a career in the field of medicine.
Our next pick is Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a professor at Harvard Medical School, and the author of four best-selling books. Gawande is a renowned doctor and leader with 354K Twitter followers.
Like most prominent doctors on social media, Gawande too has tweeted a lot about COVID-19. But what gives his profile the edge is the use of statistics, facts, and figures in his tweets which make the information easy to visualize for an average reader, or easy to digest at a glance.
But now even we’ve had an outbreak—30+ people infected @BrighamWomens. So it’s back to our basics—doubling down on masks, distancing, testing, tracing. It works. And I feel lucky to be in a place where we all know it and pull together to make it happen w/o blaming or shaming.
— Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) September 26, 2020
Gawande also engages directly with other doctors and healthcare specialists on Twitter. From replying to their tweets to retweeting valuable information that they have shared, Gawande gives his followers access to different perspectives and sources of information, all through one profile. This gives him credibility, encourages users to engage with him, improves discoverability, and expands his network.
Important follow up from Bergstrom on UI's program for in-person classes with on campus testing — which is, in fact, working, with a falling positivity rate down to 0.3%. https://t.co/s6v91826zR
— Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) September 22, 2020
Engaging actively with other users is critical on Twitter. In addition to building trust and increasing his own platform, forming a healthy online community helps users get accurate information and safeguards them from misinformation on the internet.
Atul Gawande is a resourceful professional to follow on Twitter. Users can be exposed to different viewpoints and a knowledgeable community.
Uplifting the voices of healthcare industry professionals benefits everyone in times like these. From raising awareness about developments in the medical world to helping consumers counter misinformation, healthcare experts have brought big change through their social media feeds.
While there are plenty of social media sites to interact with users, Twitter offers a platform that is primed for networking and building one-on-one connections. It is no surprise that these healthcare professionals’ social media platform of choice is Twitter, which enables them to engage in real time with consumers and view health-related trends easily. Twitter also has the advantage of being less formal than LinkedIn, therefore their own posts can go out more quickly as they require less polish.
Another interesting commonality that we noticed among healthcare professionals is that many use a lot of the color blue on their feed. Since blue is known to have a calming effect on the mind and body, this could be an intentional choice to spread positivity and a sense of tranquility on the feeds, reassuring potential patients and making them feel protected.
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