Should Medical Professionals Use LinkedIn?

March 7th, 2014

Social media connects people from all walks of life and professions with a simple invite from one profile to another. It has brought together long-lost family members, rekindled friendships, and even helped network for professionals to find better jobs. The variety of social media outlets continues to increase but the one that stands out for professional use is LinkedIn. With over 1.5 million identified healthcare professionals, it is a site geared for use by those who want to increase their career network, find a new job, or those who want to find new candidates for their open positions. LinkedIn has a distinct emphasis on professional connections and updates, in contrast to other social media sites that promote random thought and personal information sharing. Medical professionals can benefit greatly from using LinkedIn to connect professionally with others for a variety of reasons:

  1. The busy schedules of medical professionals can make it difficult to meet others in the same field and even those in the same facility. While you may prefer to keep the relationship professional, you can still have a connection with them. Many times doctors and nurses will not fraternize but there is a benefit to connecting outside of the workplace, in a professional way.
  2. Information sharing is invaluable in healthcare. LinkedIn allows users to hone in on updates that are important to them and then have the opportunity to share what they’ve learned. For example, a healthcare professional learning about a new facility or treatment can share it with their network and not only provide that valuable information but become a resource for those in similar fields.
  3. It’s fast and easy to connect. Some social media sites are complicated and full of spam but LinkedIn strives to be a site where users will connect with those they actually know or have a common connection. Rather than signing in to a mailbox full of spam, healthcare professionals can connect with people they actually know and a network that will be beneficial to them.
  4. Legitimate opportunities can be shared and found by medical professionals. As in any job field, there are those who offer non-existent jobs or ones that may not pay market standard and it is a waste of time for professionals. When a job is offered on LinkedIn, it is not free for the job poster so the scammers are properly vetted through the LinkedIn channels.
  5. A high number of medical groups are on LinkedIn and your network can grow by leaps and bounds. The next time you need to find a registered nurse or bio/pharm professional, it will take a minute to search through your chosen groups and find real people with the right credentials.

As a professional in any field, it is wise to have a network of others you can turn to but this is especially the case in the world of healthcare professionals. Trust and privacy are the cornerstone for those working within the medical field so proceed with caution when  finding new staff or suppliers.

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