Social Media for Doctors


As global digital growth shows no sign of slowing the evidence base for the use of social media in healthcare is rising. Social media brings a new dimension to medicine with applications in medical education, patient education, health services research, clinical trials, and public health campaigns as well as fostering collegiality, professional development, and enhancing institutional branding and promotion.

However, with new opportunities come new challenges and risks, such as the potential for the spread of misinformation and violations of patient privacy, and confidentiality. Therefore, it will be critical to consider how to develop best practices in using social media compliantly.

This course for anyone who would like to explore the opportunities and challenges of using social media in healthcare, including as a mass communication tool during infectious disease epidemics.

Learning outcomes

  • Understanding of the current social media landscape and its application to healthcare.
  • Awareness of how to use social media for professional networking and to build personal or business reputation.
  • Comprehension of e-professionalism, including the changing parameters of professional conduct in digital environments, maintaining privacy and protecting patient confidentiality.
  • Knowledge of which social media channels are best for communication and how to create and share engaging educational content on those channels.
  • Insight into how to use social media for health behaviour change, including developing social media campaigns for public education.
  • Appreciation of the role of social media in health crisis communications during epidemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic

Suitable for: SHOs and registrars in all surgical specialties; emergency medicine doctors