“Aliyah, your treatment options are A, B, and C,” said Dr. Montgomery.
Making eye contact with him, the seated moderator shook her head.
“I mean your options are A or A.”
In an actual new patient consultation this scenario seems crazy, but it’s happening every day online.
By the end of your reading, expect to have grasped why this isn’t good for society, and what some doctors are doing to change it.
Role of Social Media in Healthcare
Healthcare social media has taken another step back recently.
California recently introduced Assembly Bill 2098 which would give the state power to determine what is considered medical misinformation. Not physicians.
An example of a provider pushing back is Dr. Syed Haider who stated,
“He (Fauci) does not have the last word on what scientific truth is. We’re always getting closer to the truth, but we have never arrived at a final truth in medicine. So, there always has to be room for debate.”
Big Tech has already been exposed censoring certain healthcare posts the government isn’t fond of. Like questions around the vaccine. Or alternative treatments for Covid.
And it doesn’t matter if they’re well respected in the medical community. That used to carry weight, but times have changed.
Neglecting Its True Purpose
The original concept of an online forum where healthcare professionals could debate substitute treatments looked great on paper.
But social media in healthcare experienced a massive shift in 2020.
What it looks like today:
- Siloed platforms all of the same opinion
- Narrow scope of available information
- Biased algorithms boosting certain content
- Doctors hesitant to raise questions
Gone are the days of free access to peer-reviewed articles which have fallen out of favor. This is a tremendous disservice to patients and their family members. Why?
Take the example of a parent seeking holistic methods to help their child who has cancer. Western medicine doesn’t address the long-term effects of chemotherapy on their bodies.
Should a medical doctor share an article of a non-FDA approved supplement to assist him/her, it may be blocked by the social media platform.
Next, let’s look at a promising new development.
Keeping Pace With Healthcare Social Media Trends
With recent shakeups at Twitter and Facebook continually losing credibility, medical professionals are seeking greener pastures. This splintering has created tremendous hope for previously unknown Big Tech competitors.
Two reasons emerge for why this is a positive trend:
- Greater patient access to safe and effective treatment options
- Best practices shared by physicians across various specialties
A more educated patient increases the odds they’ll own their health. And better collaboration between experts could potentially lead to breakthroughs in medicine.
Stalled innovation isn’t good for anyone. In order for the healthcare industry to keep pace with others, there needs to be a spirit of progress and welcoming previously excluded specialists.
Naturopathy and homeopathy are two areas which could offer a way to treat the entire patient, not just their symptoms.
Free Speech Lessons
Self-censorship seems harmless enough until you look at historical lessons.
Communism and fascism used censorship and early forms of “cancel culture” to push dissenting medical opinions aside. For example, the Nazi’s burned books on health that took away from their agenda.
A man close to Hitler, Rudolf Hess is infamous for his statement, “National Socialism is nothing but applied biology.”
Of course this was a biology not based in evidence-based medicine but whatever they dictated it to be. Am I suggesting this could eventually happen in the United States medical system?
If the last 2 ½ years are any barometer, I can’t rule it out as an impossibility.
Understanding this, where can holistic practitioners and other private practice doctors go online to rediscover the lost art of discussion?
Luckily there are growing digital communities welcoming these frustrated providers. Let’s look at one example.
Healthcare Social Media Finds an Advocate
Gary Vaynerchuk champions the idea of being open to smaller players in social media when you see potential.
Those who have been forced to the fringes of acceptable medical practices are answering this call. And they’re doing it on Gab.
Groups are forming there to have open and transparent conversations around unpopular health topics. And I should mention they’re only unpopular because the federal government says so.
Besides groups, there are other marketing tools available to physicians:
- Video hosting
- Ad campaigns
- Scheduling social posts
- Marketplace to list services
This centralization of marketing activities streamlines the process and can make Gab a lucrative choice for health experts. But what are the benefits for patients?
- Ability to freely ask questions of healthcare pros
- Access to learning on alternative treatments
- Knowledge of coverage options besides health insurance
- Better informed medical decisions for their overall health
See, there’s always hope if you’re willing to ignore the prescribed hopelessness of this world!
Now, as a medical provider are you looking to hand off the responsibility of reaching new patients on social media and elsewhere?
Elijah Wordsmith and Healthcare Social Media
My freelance writing business is backed by over 13 years of industry experience between healthcare and digital marketing. Combining the two allows each original blog or social media post to resonate with your target audience.
Elijah Wordsmith content writing “verbalizes” the more individualized care current and prospective patients receive from your practice.
With access to modern technology and customer service sharpened while working in busy medical offices, I bring a personable approach to growing your online presence.
Bring the human side back by sharing stories online that impacted you or your staff. And enjoy a boost in patient retention and new referrals for a “practice that truly cares.”
Take the first step towards standing out online and schedule a discovery call today!