Quick Poll on Physician Online Communication Trends and Social Networking

Atlanta, GA, August 2011–Pinnacle Health Group’s 2011 Social Networking Survey has shown trends in the way that physicians are utilizing social networking. The survey, which was given to 5,000 doctors (with a minimum of 5% response rate), explored physician social networking and online job searching habits. The survey was deployed over three months and sent to doctors in various specialties. The data showed that 67% of surveyed physicians use one or more forms of social networking, while 33% claim to use none at all. The physicians reported a variety of reasons that they use social media platforms, the main reason being communication with friends and family. (58%)

Social networking trends. As communication continues to grow across a multitude of platforms, social networking websites have become prevalent and sometimes crucial in communication. Whether it is keeping in touch with family and friends, keeping up with breaking news, or searching for job opportunities, social networking is a mainstay in both social and professional circles. With the ever-increasing functionality of social networking websites such as Facebook, LinkdIn and Twitter, the possibilities continue to grow. They are becoming more than just a place to keep up with friends.

Social networking uses. Among the doctors surveyed that use social media, their uses varied. The doctors were asked to mark any of the uses that applied to them, with the most popular use(58%) being communicating with friends and family, followed by communicating with colleagues (27%), searching for new job opportunities(10%), other(6%), and communicating with patients.(3%) Other uses that were given were up-to-the-minute news and monitoring their children’s activities.

Online job board uses. The physicians who were surveyed were asked how often, if at all, they utilize online job boards. The majority of the surveyed physicians (57%) reported that they used online job boards. The frequency in which they visit these sites varies between daily (10%), a few times per week (17%), once per week (6%), a few times per month (13%), and once per month (11%).

New social networking uses. Physicians have yet to fully take on the opportunities of social media. When asked about whether or not social networking sites provide a viable outlet for new job opportunities, almost 80% of the physicians surveyed said no. A number of physicians that commented claimed that they never thought of social networking in this capacity. One physician responded: “It’s a good place for you to post jobs or ads, but I am not sure how effective this would be. I have never thought of these places as places you would go to look for jobs.”

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