Where is Marcus Welby, M.D.?

With 2009 planning in full swing, one area of recruitment marketing that continues to demand special attention is how to reach the elusive physician.

Focusing on the power of information sharing, a recent article in OMMA explores how doctors are slowly adopting social media tools to discuss cases, watch videos, and even chat about their favorite tv show (and no, it’s not ER).

In the article “What’s Up Doc?”, author Liz Tascio provides several examples of growing online communities for both general medicine and specialty providers.

Given their propensity to “test drive” new electronic health record systems, Tascio purpotes that social networking is a natural extension of physicians’ adoption of emerging digital technologies. In her article, she points out several sites that are growing in popularity with physicians, such as SERMO, “the fastest – growing community created by physicians, for physicians”.

Boasting 90,000+ members, SERMO provides a virtual space where doctors may “… exchange observations and knowledge in real-time”. Self-moderated by its members, the social networking site (SNS) was launched with the intention of being “ad-free” providing an interesting contrast to iMedExchange, which allows advertisers to build branded micro-communities.

Taking a more direct approach to reaching its market, some organizations are creating their own SNS’s, such as DePuy (a Johnson & Johnson company). Launched in July 2008, doSurgery.com targets orthopedic surgeons and is only open to those professionals who have taken DePuy classes.

Sites offering more traditional advertising options (Google Pay-Per-Click text ads & display banners) include:

* Journal Watch – featuring newly published research
* KevinMD.com – voted the best medical blog of 2008
* MedGadget – internet journal of emerging medical technologies
* Medscape – a division of WebMD Health Professional Network
* LinkedIn – the fastest growing SNS with over 93 physician-related groups

So, will social networking solve all of your physician needs? Of course not, but given its increased usage among these highly skilled, and extremely busy professionals, it definitely deserves a place in an integrated and digitally-focused recruitment marketing plan.

Related Articles

TMP Worldwide
Written by TMP Worldwide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *