Saudi doctors are increasingly using their Twitter accounts to share with the public medical information, in a bid to publicize their services and help raise awareness about health issues.
“I have noticed that many people Google symptoms of a certain illness and what they find on the Web is usually not 100 percent accurate, which bothers us as doctors because it misleads patients,” said Dr. Nawal Andijani, a pediatrician.
“I have parents crying in my clinic thinking their children have a disease because the Internet told them so. This has prompted me to share information on my social media pages about different illnesses children might experience during each season just to relieve mothers,” she added.
Sharing tips on how to protect your skin or your hair on social media sites is a great way to highlight her experience and establish a name for herself in the field said Dr. Maha Bukhari.
“Beauty seekers follow me on Twitter and Facebook searching for new ideas and home remedies to have great skin. I always try to tweet new ways to help them protect their skin from the sun, cold weather and more,” she said. “Many of the people who follow me on my social media accounts actually come and visit me at the clinic for treatment, which is how I have come to realize the importance of this platform for my business and reputation as a doctor,” she added.
Social media is a powerful tool; doctors who use it are very smart as they are helping other people as well as themselves, according to Dr. Usama Darweesh, a cardiac surgeon.
“I share light tweets about various health issues such as obesity and smoking but not surgeries because I try to tweet beneficial information for the average individual, without going into great detail about complex medical procedures,” he said, adding, “I have people asking me for online consultations and I give them the right answer, which has helped me gain more followers and more patients in my clinic.”
Fitness instructors have also followed suit in subscribing to social media to share their experience and advice.
“I’m constantly trying to find ways to spread awareness against obesity and the benefit of sports and daily exercise. In my social media accounts, I share photos and studies about the harm of laziness,” said coach Mohammad Hasan. “You will be surprised how many people are waiting for someone to push them to go to the gym. I sometimes meet with my Twitter followers for free sessions just to help them get over their fear of sports,” he added.
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