Social media is ingrained in our daily life. Rarely does a day go by when millions of people don't visit social networks like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others (Tik Tok anyone?) 

 While mainstream social networks can be useful as a marketing tool for private practitioners, they may not be ideally suited to a physician's work and life. However, there are several social networks designed explicitly with doctors in mind. 

 Dedicated to Doctors

Doctor life is busy, particularly right now, as the health care industry is facing physician shortages. There isn't always time to sift through people to find connections, but it's easier to stay connected with colleagues and classmates with smaller, more focused networks.

 Social media sites like those in the list below help you keep up with the latest medical news, serve as trusted resources for new research and peer-reviewed articles, and further your education with access to webinars and CME hours. There is also the significant benefit of real-time knowledge sharing through clinical image sharing to help you stay up to date. 

 Top 8 Sites

Although lots of doctor-focused social networks have come and gone, these eight have stood the test of time—and may be worth your time.

 1.    Sermo

Think of Sermo as the "Facebook" of doctor social networks. The reason: At 1.3 million healthcare professionals across 150 countries, it is the largest by far. Sermo's objective is medical crowdsourcing, where "verified and credentialed" physicians can share research, ask and answer patient care-related questions anonymously, and participate in a "virtual doctors lounge." 

 2.    Doximity

Doximity is the largest community of healthcare professionals in America, claiming over 80 percent of U.S. doctors and 50 percent of all NPs and PAs as verified members. It has a larger membership than the AMA, according to the website. 

The site allows doctors to communicate with patients via secure HIPAA-compliant phone, text, and fax. Physicians can even call or fax patients from their private cellphones, and patients see the doctor's office number on their caller ID. Doximity also includes a clinician directory, job offers, residency navigator, and annual salary survey. 

 3.    DailyRounds

Based in India, DailyRounds is a community of international physicians over a million strong in more than 16 countries. It is a collaborative knowledge-sharing network that is constantly updated with practice-relevant journal articles, ECGs and treatment recommendations, as well as CME courses.

According to TechCrunch, DailyRounds is "a service for doctors that combines elements of a social network and a medical journal." Physicians may communicate, exchange medical expertise, upload case files, and access an "exhaustive" medication database.

 4.    Figure1

This website enables healthcare practitioners from across the world to anonymously submit photos of an ailment, such as x-rays, and compare them to other images on the site.

 The technology is especially beneficial for physicians practicing in remote areas who may be treating a patient with a rare condition. With millions of healthcare practitioners on board, it's grown to be one of the largest digital networks for medical professionals and a life-saving instrument.

 5.    Student Doctor Network

The Student Doctor Network (SDN) focuses on medical students in underserved communities. Its goal is to increase their chances for admission to health professional schools. It comes complete with study schedules, guides, and resources broken into interest specialties for more individualized information.

According to the website, SDN was developed in "1999 as a grassroots donor-supported service providing free advising resources, tools, and peer-support forums to those who would not have access to such services otherwise." 

6.    Among Doctors

Among Doctors is similar to Sermo and Doximity but has a smaller membership. Verified physicians can create private groups to collaborate, share ideas, and learn from each other.

7.    The Rounds

The Rounds is a secure collaboration network where physicians of all specialties can learn, share, and discuss needs. The site is reserved for Canadian or American licensed physicians and medical students.

 (Speaking of "rounds," check out Rounds Network, a collection of social networks for radiologists and dermatologists. It also includes a career development social network, careerRounds.)

 8.    LinkedIn Groups

Of all the mainstream social networks, LinkedIn is the most relevant for medical professionals, thanks to Groups, several of which are healthcare-related. These include Physicians Practice, Medical Group Management Association (MAGA), American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), and Hospitalists' Network. 

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