When I was in residency, I thought the hardest thing to do was learn how to do a facelift. Once I got into practice, the hardest thing to do was learn how to run a business, since ultimately, a medical practice is a business that cares for patients. Now I realize, the hardest thing to do is marketing and keeping up with the changing roles of social media…social media within my practice and social media in the operating room.
Some background. I met Dr. Miami this past weekend at a cosmetic surgery conference in Las Vegas. He actually knew me already because he was impressed with my price transparency initiative, BuildMyBod. I knew him too of course. Check him out on Snapchat if you aren’t familiar with him: @therealdrmiami
Anyway, he has taken social media, and specifically Snapchat to a whole new level. He chronicles his day through a compilation of back-to-back 10-second videos. Each segment is 10 seconds because that’s the limitation set by Snapchat. But with one 10 second video after another, he tells the story of his day, his office staff’s day and his patient’s day (and their surgery).
Chronicling something so private like a medical practice in such a public, HIPAA-compliant way has certainly ruffled some feathers. Old doctors complain that you shouldn’t make something like surgery so public. Or don’t bring a joking atmosphere to a serious locale like an operating room. Don’t violate the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship. Whatever.
Sure, those are the knee-jerk cons negative reactions for social media in the operating room. But think about the positives. Oh, and before I get into the positives, let’s safely assume that any patient that is part of these Snap stories has signed a waiver because they have. No brainer. Anyway, a doctor chronicling their day in the office and operating room, makes the doctor more approachable. It gives the consumer a better understanding of the surgical experience. During the operation, the doctor typically teaches their audience. That alone – teaching, approachability, understanding – are positives that didn’t exist before social media in the operating room.
For these reasons, social medial in the operating room is here to stay. No matter how much older doctors stomp their canes.
Social Medial in the Operating Room
Follow Dr. Jonathan Kaplan, plastic surgeon at Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery on Snapchat @realdrbae