How to manage your online reputation as a physician in 5 steps

1. Google yourself - repeat on a regular basis, at least once a month, and set up Google alerts to catch new mentions.

2. Correct mistakes and false information about you that is published online. Contact the site authors.

3. Create your own content - start a blog, Twitter account and Facebook page, use Google+ for draft posts. Send selected news to Twitter, try Facebook for updates from you practice. Link you own blog posts from Twitrter and Facebook.

Setup professional profiles on Google+ and LinkedIn.

Push irrelevant or non-reliable content down in the search results. The farther down the better, as 90% of people won't go past the first page of search results and 99% won't go past page 2.

4. Embrace constructive online criticism. Consider it a 360-degree evaluation.

5. Address actionable items such as "hot button issues" among patients - long waits, lack of response or slow responses.

Cycle of Online Information and Physician Education (click here to enlarge the image). An editable copy for your presentation is available at Google Docs.

I developed the concept of Two Interlocking Cycles:

- Cycle of Patient Education
- Cycle of Online Information and Physician Education

The two cycles work together as two interlocking cogwheels (TIC):


5 ways to manage your online reputation. American Medical News, 2011.

Social media in medicine: How to be a Twitter superstar and help your patients and your practice

Patients directed to online tools don't necessarily use them: 25% checked website vs. 42% read same material on paper. Am Medical News, 2012.

Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

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