Physicians are connecting with their patients in more ways than ever. With Twitter, these medical professionals have found an outlet that channels their expertise while supporting followers.
Social media has emerged as a key nexus for doctors to engage with patients, participate in meaningful discourse, and promote thought leadership in their respective areas of expertise. Whether they’re connecting with professionals on LinkedIn or developing digital marketing strategies on Facebook, physicians now have access to every tool imaginable to craft the online presence that best suits their needs.
On Twitter especially, doctors can meet patients on a level playing field to discuss treatment or address wider developments throughout the healthcare industry. For physicians and medical practices looking to boost their digital profile, these 15 doctors and their Twitter accounts serve as successful examples of leveraging social media to serve patients — and their professional profiles.
1. Jay Parkinson, MD
Why Follow Him? A jack of all trades, Dr. Parkinson tweets often and blogs regularly from blog.JayParkinsonMD.com. He’s also the CEO and founder of Sherpaa, a virtual health service that allows physicians and patients to connect easily online. Parkinson is a great follow for anyone interested in the intersection of tech and medicine.
2. Eric Topol, MD
Why Follow Him? This cardiologist, geneticist, and professor of Innovative Medicine at Scripps regularly shares interesting papers and articles from his fields of expertise. He’s also an outspoken advocate for patient centricity and participant-led research.
3. Bob Wachter, MD
Why Follow Him? As the Chair of the UCSF Department of Medicine, Dr. Wachter has his finger on the pulse of healthcare. He was recently named the “most influential physician-executive” in the United States by Modern Healthcare. His content is largely future-facing, featuring medical technology like AI, electronic health records, and mobile health.
4. Shelley Binkley, MD
Why Follow Her? As the founder of HealthEwoman.org, Dr. Binkley tweets regularly on a wide array of medical issues, but with a specific focus on women’s health. An OBGYN by training, this Twitter-savvy physician often links to articles from her personal blog, where she writes on topics that will serve patients making key medical decisions.
5. Linda Girgis, MD
Why Follow Her? A family medicine doctor based in New Jersey, Dr. Girgis openly tweets about gender disparities in healthcare. Her straightforward responses to regular Q&As shed valuable light on the state of gender equality in medicine. Dr. Girgis is also a novelist; her first book, The Scent of Jasmine, can be found on Amazon.
6. Katherine Chretien, MD
Why Follow Her? Dr. Chretien is the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, as well as the author of blog and book Mothers in Medicine. As you could guess from her Twitter handle, Dr. Chretien’s feed is full of thoughtful comments on gender issues in medicine, as well as balancing practicing with parenting.
7. Terry Kind, MD
Why Follow Her? Dr. Kind is a staple of Twitter medical education (#meded) discussions, led by @MedEdChat. This pediatrician at the Children’s Health Center in Washington, DC balances her medically oriented social advocacy with hard-and-fast healthcare updates for other pediatricians and family doctors.
8. Gia Sison, MD
Why Follow Her? Dr. Sison, a breast cancer survivor and frequent blogger, takes to her popular Twitter account to offer a mix of professional discourse as well as affirmation for her peers and followers. Featured on CNN Philippines, Dr. Sison often comments on how her journey with cancer has made her a stronger woman and a better physician.
9. Wendy Sue Swanson, MD
Why Follow Her? A pediatrician as well as the Chief of Digital Innovation at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Dr. Swanson engages regularly with topics ranging from healthcare for children to the role of tech in our overall well being. She’s also not afraid to share her thoughts on her own parenting journey.
10. Vivian Lee, MD, PhD, MBA
Why Follow Her? As Dean of the University of Utah School of Medicine, Dr. Lee has garnered national attention for implementing accountability measures that have saved her hospital costs while nearby institutions faced rising expenses. A prolific contributor to the University of Utah School of Medicine blog, Dr. Lee’s account features administrative content as well as discussions of wider developments in the healthcare space.
11. Sherry Wren, MD, FACS, FCS (ECSA)
Why Follow Her? A general surgeon at Stanford University, Dr. Wren is a great follow for anyone interested in the emerging use of robotics in surgical procedures. She also tweets often on social advocacy issues within healthcare, such as reducing health disparities and inequalities.
12. Karen Sibert, MD, FASA
Why Follow Her: Dr. Sibert, a Los Angeles-based physician specializing in general and thoracic anesthesiology, uses her account to address much-discussed topics in public health such as California’s recent addition of cancer warnings to coffee and the government response to the opioid epidemic. She also maintains a blog of her own where she pens more long-form observations.
13. Ian Weissman, DO
Why Follow Him? A radiologist based in Milwaukee, Dr. Weissman is a thought leader at the forefront of innovation in his field. With radiology undergoing so many rapid developments, this Twitter-friendly doctor has words of wisdom on how everything from machine learning to 3D printing affects his speciality.
14. John P. Erwin III, MD
Why Follow Him? A Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist, Dr. Erwin tailors his Twitter account to professionals and patients alike. Whether he’s discussing developments in heart health research or commenting on news throughout the healthcare field, you can count on Dr. Erwin to tackle issues with perspective — and a sense of humor.
15. Atul Gawande, MD, MPH
Why Follow Him? With an impressive online following, Dr. Gawande is a medical renaissance man. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, serves as a professor at Harvard, works as the Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, and acts as the Chairman of Lifebox. Not to mention, he’s been a staff writer for The New Yorker and is the author of four books. If you’re looking for some well-informed healthcare commentary, look no further.