Twitter can be the ideal platform for a physician to offer meaningful, relevant information to patients and colleagues. Getting started is the hardest part, but looking to others who have succeeded on Twitter can be a good way to draw inspiration. These 20 doctors are burning up their Twitter feeds and attracting massive followings—each in their unique way.
1. Dr. Bertalan Meskó
This admitted tech geek blogs about genetics and the integration of medicine and technology. He offers fascinating perspectives on technology, social media, and medicine.
Why Follow Him? He is living proof that slow and steady wins the race. This early adopter has been Tweeting since 2007, gradually building a sizeable following by offering compelling content and commentary. His Twitter presence illustrates perfectly that building a large following doesn’t happen overnight.
2. Dr. Kevin Pho
A favorite of physicians and patients alike, Dr. Kevin Pho offers a broad assortment of science and medical-related content.
Why Follow Him? This is the perfect example of an integrated marketing plan. He regularly links to content on his own website KevinMD.com, thus providing traffic to his website and back again to Twitter. This guy is a social and digital juggernaut, and has achieved celebrity-doctor status almost solely due to his savvy use of digital marketing.
3. Dr. Mehmet Oz
Followers: A bazillion (translation: 3.8 million)
If you live in America, you almost surely know what Dr. Oz is about. He rocketed to stardom on the Oprah Winfrey Show and never looked back.
Why Follow Him? Can you expect to ever reach a following in the multi-millions? Probably not (unless you know Oprah). But studying Dr. Oz’s Twitter feed should give you a pretty good understanding of they types of articles people are interested in reading. Dr. Oz provides content that his readers find valuable: health tips, news, and advice. Finding good content on the Web and sharing it with your followers is a surprisingly easy way to provide value to your subscribers—and Dr. Oz has made an art form of it.
4. Dr. Leslie Saxon
Dr. Saxon is an up-and-coming Twitter presence. Her work largely focuses on wireless and digital health, including a smartphone ECG recorder for continuous heart-rate monitoring.
Why Follow Her? Given the fact that women make up about one-third of the physician population, you would think that there would be more female doctors on Twitter. However, the most popular doctors on social media tend to male. Dr. Saxon’s groundbreaking work and fresh perspectives are reason enough to follow her—but why shouldn’t there be more girls in the club?
5. Dr. Zubin Damania
He sings, he raps, and, occasionally, he practices medicine. Dr. Damania uses comedy to make medicine fun and accessible on his Twitter feed.
Why Follow Him? This self-described “purveyor of fine medical satire” is refreshing and genuinely funny. He shows that doling out health advice doesn’t have to be boring.
6. Dr. Mike Sevilla
Dr. Sevilla is a proponent of doctors on social media. A loveable, geeky type, his Tweets mainly focus on his daily practice.
Why Follow Him? He makes the mundane interesting. His Tweets give his followers a glimpse into the everyday life of a family physician—which is more fascinating to those on the outside than you might think.
7. Dr. Val Jones
She is the founder of Better Health, LLC, a huge network of medical bloggers, and is a prolific author and lecturer.
Why Follow Her? Her Twitter is a monument to her network of blogs and a perfect example of how you can re-purpose content to expand your reach through social media.
8. Dr. Julie Wood
A Kansas family physician, Dr. Julie Wood largely tweets about general health news and her activities as a member of the healthcare community.
Why Follow Her? Dr. Wood’s Twitter feed combines the personal with the professional. It is clear that her Twitter presence does not exist solely for the purpose of building a brand. It gives her followers a glimpse of who she is as a person and her interests.
9. Dr. Glen Stream
Dr. Stream’s Twitter feed is largely devoted to his activities with the American Academy of Family Physicians and his interest in technology.
Why Follow Him? This Twitter feed is more centered toward physician interests versus patient interests. For physicians looking to connect and network with other physicians, this is a great example of how to appeal to your peers through association activities.
10. Dr. Joseph Kim
A proponent of emerging digital health technologies and medical education, Dr. Kim promotes his blog and career-centered websites and provides a good balance of news of interest to doctors and patients.
Why Follow Him? His Twitter feed is a good example of a more academic approach; his tweets largely center on medical education.
11. Dr. Conrad Flick
Dr. Flick is a family doctor with a practice in North Carolina. He is also heavily involved with the AAFP.
Why Follow Him? Simplicity. He almost exclusively uses his Twitter feed to push his weekly newsletter, and yet, he has amassed more than 1,500 followers. It can be that simple—and simple is usually the best way to start.
12. Dr. Jen Brull
Dr. Brull provides a passionate, everyday view of life as a rural family doctor.
Why Follow Her? Her Twitter presence proves you don’t have to live in a large service area to have a large reach.
13. Dr. Kenny Lin
Dr. Lin is the editor of “American Family Physician” and an avid blogger and writer.
Why Follow Him? Curated content. He brings the art of the re-tweet to new levels. Re-tweeting useful, relevant content can be an easy way to deliver quality information to your followers without the burden of creating the content.
14. Dr. Jay W. Lee
A California family physician, he is the current president of the California Academy of Family Physicians.
Why Follow Him? He’s a hashtag master. A copious user of the #FMRevolution hashtag—a group of doctors, patients, and healthcare professional dedicated to improving family medicine—his Twitter feed shows how to use hashtags to grow a group of followers and network with others with similar interests.
15. Dr. Troy Fiesinger
A family doctor from Houston, Texas, Dr. Troy is focused on providing health news to his followers.
Why Follow Him? This uncluttered Twitter feed is exclusively devoted to delivering health news. It has a very clear focus and provides useful information.
16. Dr. Reid Blackwelder
A Tennessee medicine man, Dr. Blackwelder doles out pearls of wisdom mixed with education-centered news.
Why Follow Him? His mixture of philosophy and news is truly unique—and so is that beard.
17. Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi
Dr. Martinez-Bianchi is an assistant professor and program director of the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program. She is multi-lingual and Tweets about a wide variety of healthcare issues.
Why Follow Her? She reaches out to the Spanish-speaking and Latino community and often Tweets in Spanish; however, her Twitter feed is accessible and of interest to everyone.
18. Dr. Mark Ryan
A family medicine doctor from Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Ryan devotes his Twitter feed to the concerns of doctors and patients in underserved areas.
Why Follow Him? He uses his Twitter feed to promote his blog as well as discuss issues that are uniquely important to physicians working in areas facing shortages.
19. Dr. Pat Jonas
He’s a family physician from Dayton, Ohio, and a crusader for patients everywhere.
Why Follow Him? His dedication to patient-centric care is reflected in his Twitter presence. The news he shares and the activities he reports show his genuine desire to provide patient-centered care.
20. Peter Beck Kim
Dr. Kim is a California physician who intersperses humor with a desire to spread the word about the latest in healthcare news.
Why Follow Him? Another example of using curated content to beef up your social media presence, he promotes his newsletter, but also mixes in other Tweets about news of interest to patients and healthcare professionals.