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Doctor are you using social media ?

Make a New Year's resolution to start using social media:

Dr Sampurna Roy MD


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Few days ago I got a call from a pathologist who was preparing for her post graduate exam. She got my contact number from my registered websites in India. She thanked me for updating my old sites after such a long time.

She wanted to know more about various social media platforms like Twitter, Google+, Pinterest.

Almost 90% of my real life medical friends in India and abroad don't use social media. Some have signed up for facebook and Linkedin. Clearly they have not updated their accounts for years.

Almost all doctors think it is a complete waste of time.

I have a completely different view about social media and have enjoyed the experience for many years.

Social media is a great platform for all professionals and if you use it the right way you will also enjoy the experience.

Here are some of my guidelines for doctors:

1) According to the Medical council of India there are specific instructions about the size of your profile picture.

Use a recent passport size photograph as your profile picture.  You can always use different profile pictures for various social media platforms. 

It is a good idea to take a photograph in your working place.

In case of a pathologist ask your technician or junior colleague to take a snap while you are reporting slides.

Always keep in mind you are known face to your patients and medical colleagues. Trying to look different like half face, shady black and white or a cartoon profile picture will have a negative impact in your professional life.

Change your profile picture as often as you want.  Everyday we are aging. The world should accept you exactly the way you are.   Interesting post: Workplace Doctor: Go with your instinct for a social media profile of self-confidence

Keep a copy of the latest cyber rules and regulations in India.

2) Make a short video and say a quick hello to your friends and post it in some of your favourite social media network.

3) Always write the name of your country and city in your profile.Please don't write Moon, Mars, Earth, Heaven, Hell, Garden, Global citizen etc for obvious reasons.

As a practising doctor you should always reveal your identity clearly in any public platform.

4) Never automate your social media accounts. You are a human being not a machine, so behave like one.

5) Avoid social media gurus, SEO specialists and "chronic bloggers" writing on subjects you are not interested. Social media is a great platform for selling products, books including "blog posts". Avoid bloggers if you are not interested in their blog posts.

Don't use social media as a broadcasting platform. Nobody is interested in the meetings you attended or the number of patients you have examined.

Be helpful and provide information that will be useful to all your followers.

Remember, following and unfollowing can cause problems so be careful from the beginning when you select your online friends. 

6) Trolls-  This is a term for bullies which you meet both in real life and virtual world. They are just shadows and bots.

Many of these online bots actively interact and participate in virtual chats. Some of them are hackers and spammers.

It is easy to spot them. Avoid them like the plague.

7) Use location map for specific platforms like instagram and 500 px if you are only interested in photography. 500px is a great place to learn about photography from some of the best photographers.

8) Finally, social media is an enjoyable experience and you can easily have a good time with like-minded friends.

I've taken a long break from social media as I am using the spare time to update my old websites and spending more time on photography.

Hope you will have a wonderful time in whatever social media platform you are using.   

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Dr  Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)








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