I once had an appointment with a doctor who was, I thought, a jerk. I sat in his office answering questions as he took notes, hardly looking up at me. Half an hour later, I left feeling hopeless and frustrated because he didn’t take my concerns seriously and simply prescribed several (expensive) medications for me to take.
So what did I do? I went home, sat down on the computer and wrote an honest review of this doctor on a physician rating web site. Afterward, I felt better. I had voiced my opinion, even if he would never see it.
Now, before I make an appointment to see a new doctor, I look him or her up online. I want to see what other people think of this doctor before I tell him sensitive information and put my trust in him to help me.
Physicians should encourage this type of feedback. And while the review I wrote about the doctor above wasn’t a positive one, it was useful information for him to have. I hope that if he read what I had to say, that he might have thought twice about how he treated his patients.
That’s one reason why social media is important. Anyone can participate in it and share experiences, good or bad. And rather than shy away from it and dismiss the negative comments, physicians will benefit if they embrace them. Because by doing so, they create dialogue and trust, and they learn what their community thinks and needs.
As you are starting your social media strategy, encourage your physicians to engage in what’s being said about them, good or bad. Even if they can’t make everyone happy, at least they have shown a genuine interest in doing so. And that interest goes a long way.