Despite the pervasiveness of social media and patient interest in using it to communicate with their healthcare providers, doctors are lagging in its use and trying to come to grips with the most appropriate use of social media sites.
There are many reasons why doctors don't use LinkedIn and many why they should. Many professionals who do use LinkedIn seem to suffer from the 10 sins of posting and commenting:
1. They assume that no one outside of their area of expertise knows anything about the subject being discussed. The more subspecialized the subject, the more "domain expertise" is required to be credible.
2. They use the post to offer their opinions whether they have anything to do with the question up for discussion or not.
3. They have an arrogant, haughty, know-it-all tone.
4. When they don't agree, they launch ad hominem attacks.
5. They like to play the "you have no idea what's it's like to do what I do" card.
6. They don't complete their profiles, have a professional picture, or even post their name, rather using their business name. Consequently, you have no clue who is in fact the poster behind the curtain.
7. They don't know how to send messages, invitations, or requests to connect to other members.
8. They ask for endorsements or recommendations from people they have never met or know nothing about them.
9. They don't review the profiles of others with whom they are commenting.
10. They quit the LinkedIn group site because they don't agree or like what the other person has to say or the topic being discussed.
LinkedIn is not Facebook. Some users have a higher expectation of professionalism from doctors and interpret hostile, dogmatic or inappropriate posts to reinforce their anger at representatives of a sick care system that seems to have let them down.
Learning when and how to use LinkedIn and other social media sites has become an important part of practicing Othercare. For doctors, the sooner they learn how, the better.