Why Medical Students Absolutely Need To Be On Social Media.
I focus on medical students here but honestly there isn't a field anymore where this information doesn't apply. This topic is definitely something I wanted to touch on especially since now I have almost a year under my belt teaching medical students as an attending. In case you might not know I started this blog when I was in medical school after being inspired by another medical student's blog about the trials of medical school & how she was dealing with it all at the time. Now I will tell you that writing was never my favorite subject and one of the reasons why I went into medicine was because I wanted to avoid fields that would have me do a lot of it.
After getting over that hurdle the next was actually my school administrators. I initially got push back from because they were deathly afraid of me saying something that might get the school in trouble. I remember having to read up on all these articles & policies on social media at the time which were fairly new. Fast-forward today and it was easily one of the best decisions I made so I make it a point to try to encourage my students to blog or at least get on some form of social media because in this day and age and physician who isn't is behind the rest and it doesn't matter how smart they are. Now I am not naive to think that medical students aren't on social media, they are but they are using it for personal reasons only. You guys need to get in formation and turn them personal pages to bmoney makers. The transformation occurs when all of your social media pages are used for business.
I have quite a few reasons why social media is essential but one of the biggest ones is brand building. As a physician we get pigeoned holed into this almost worker bee like existence and outside of a few of your colleagues no one seems to know who you are or what they do. I tell my students that they have to start thinking themselves of as a brand that you want future residences/fellowships/employers to need to be apart of not the other way around. As doctors you spend way too much time studying to become one only to be a blip in the system.
Another reason why being on social media is a must is that you have to establish your authority. With the emergence of the “online doctor websites” patients want to know just what makes you any more informative than the webmd blogger. Last but certaintly not least how on earth can you monetize the brand you are building, if no one knows you are an authority in that specific field. I tell them that once you establish authority then you can charge for your authority. If you have been following me in the past recent weeks then you may have noticed my new mantra of becoming a medical mogul and it entails taking back whats rightfully yours, Your Authoritative Power. Let's say you want to go and do speaking professionally, do you know there are people with no where need the education level doing it full time so imagine if you can branded yourself like you're supposed to, that could be an amazing side income
My most common question after I convince my medical students to join in on social media for business aspirations is which one and honestly the answer is as many as you can manage consistently. Just like a new car ad you have to be seen “everywhere” multiple times and for a long stretches of time. You want to be always in the back of your mind because that is how brand and influence is established. Now my personally I am almost signed up for all of them because I didn't want to limit myself but my favorites are twitter/facebook/snapchat which Pinterest and Linkedin slowly creeping upwards. As a physician you have to remember that your clientele(patients) are using these mediums so you want to be on there as well.
“Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto”. – Tim Ferriss
So I leave you with this that thought if I googled you right now, would I choose you for my residency or fellowship or even hire you based on what I found? If the answer is no then you know that you have some work to do but the great thing is that you have time.
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