This week has been crazy, so a link I wanted to post last week has been delayed until this week. 


Anyway, according to the Social Doctor, Doctor’s Facebook Profiles Now Rank At Top of Search Results. So you don’t have to click, it just says (in more professional language) that HCP profiles on places like their practice web sites and insurance provider finder sites aren’t getting much google-juice (shocked! Who doesn’t link to their insurance company? It’s hotter than Twitter!). But what does have a lot of google-juice is Facebook! Ergo, when you go looking for an HCP on the internet, you get Facebook first.

Add this to the fact that we know that 20% of people look up their HCP on line to see reviews, this means they are also seeing their Facebook pages.

Yes, we are entering the world where even your HCP is not private. I’ve always been used to thinking about my doctor as not really being a person, but as a big brain who lives at the hospital or clinic. I don’t want to think that they might have just had a fight with their spouse ten seconds before they walked into the exam room. Or that they might be a little tired or (gasp) hung over. I trust my health to them, so its easier to not think of them as imperfect people.

Of course, I know they are imperfect people, but HCPs like to put on the air of people who are… above it all. The white coat, the legion of nurses and assistants who do the supporting work so that the HCP can swoop in, look at a chart, ask two questions, prescribe something, tell me to lose some weight, and swoop out again.

You know, like Batman. Or something.

But Facebook (and Yelp and Google and and and) are changing that. What if before the doc comes in, I look at her Facebook page and see she’s friends with someone I know? Or that she forgot to hide her wall? Or her pics? Suddenly, no more Batman.

All the factors are pushing us all in the same direction: Docs can’t stay behind the curtain of authority any more than cops, teachers, bosses, celebrities or sports figures could. It’s not my fault, but there’s no denying that it is happening. 

You’ve heard the stories about HCPs who claim that diagnosises are copyright protected and that you can’t repeat them on Yelp, right?

These are two opposing forces (internet’s destruction of the wall between us and authority versus the desire of HCPs and others in a position of authority to demand specialness) that won’t just lay down. I wonder who blinks first?

Comments are open, or just @ Reply me in Twitter (@digital_pharma).