Thought leadership through social media — it’s an old concept with a new delivery. Those who can master it will have the opportunity to emerge head and shoulders above their peers.
Doctors employed by a hospital will have access to a more ready stream of new patients, of course, than an independent, private practitioner, but even hospital-affiliated physicians still need to “market” themselves to new and prospective patients to grow their reputation and foster a value proposition for their knowledge and services.
Thanks in large part to the Internet and the plethora of resources now readily available to consumers, patients are becoming increasingly educated about their health care options and are far savvier about how they research and find a doctor for themselves and their family. Patients are seeking a medical professional whom they deem to be a true expert in their area of specialty — in essence, a doctor who is also a “thought leader.” Within the context of the medical field, a thought leader is someone who not only runs a successful, solvent medical practice, but who also serves as a beacon of leadership for other health care practitioners to follow and emulate. Physician who are thought leaders may be academics; may serve on the advisory boards of hospitals, research institutions, or foundations; may be frequently quoted in the health care, general, or business press; and above all, are respected by patients and their peers.
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