Social Networking to Recruit Tomorrow's Physicians

Julie McCoy, October 5, 2010

Recruiting physicians-in-training is just as important as recruiting physicians as residents are on the front lines of patient care interfacing with more patients than any other provider in the hospital. It’s worth your time to make sure you’re recruiting the highest quality candidates.

Residency programs are beginning to use social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to reach tech-savvy, generation Y, recruits.

There’s no well-defined recipe for social networking success. “[Social networking] is unorganized and you don’t know what you’re going to get,” says Kathy Corey, former administrative director for the internal medicine residency program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Make the most out of your resident recruitment efforts with the following tips.

Professionalism first 

Draw a sharp line between your personal profiles and the ones you manage for the program. The best way to do this is by creating program-specific accounts.

On Facebook, a company or organization doesn’t use a personal profile. Instead, it can have a public page that allows the organization to engage with customers, employees, or other interested parties on the site. These types of pages are sometimes referred to as fan pages.

Rather than adding friends like on a personal page, people become fans of the site. Residents, potential candidates, alumni, or faculty can become “fans” of the page and will receive your updates whenever something new is posted. 

On sites like Twitter or YouTube, you do not need to set up a special type of account. The username for the program’s account should relate to your hospital, area, or training program. Twitter status updates or YouTube video posts should also be solely program or training related. 

Margaret Dick Tocknell Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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