02 May 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: A survey conducted by Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, which is the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), has revealed that half of US plastic surgeons are using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms in their professional practice. The anonymous survey saw participation from more than 5,000 ASPS member surgeons.
A little more than 50 percent of plastic surgeons said that they regularly used social media for their professional practice. Facebook was by far the most popular platform, followed by LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. About half the respondents said that social media was an effective marketing tool and a useful forum for patient education.
About one-third of plastic surgeons saw positive effects of using social media. They felt it provided an effective, low-cost means of advertising and increased exposure of their practice. About half believed that engaging in social media led to increased patient referrals and positive feedback.
However, around 1.5 percent of the respondents reported negative effects of social media on their practice. Plastic surgeons, who weren't using social media were asked why, and they cited reasons including maintaining a sense of professionalism, protecting patient confidentiality and concerns about becoming too accessible.
Dr Reza Jarrahy, member, ASPS, said that, "Social media platforms represent a dynamic and powerful tool to educate, engage, market to and directly communicate with patients and professional colleagues. The potential benefits associated with using this tool must be balanced against its potential pitfalls."