In this increasingly fast-paced world of virtual connections and instantaneous information and “friending” people you’ve never met, professionals in virtually every industry—including aesthetic medicine—have discovered the benefits of online communities.
But we’re not just talking about Facebook and Twitter. Yes, these and other ubiquitous public social networks do have something to offer medical practitioners who participate, but the most useful social media sites for physicians are online communities: spaces that include forums where they can share questions and experiences, information on the latest research and techniques, and virtual meeting places where they can network with colleagues.
Here are four important ways in which you, as an aesthetic medical practitioner, can benefit from participation in an online professional community.
- Professional networking
Professional online communities can be invaluable destinations where aesthetics practitioners can connect and communicate with each other without all the extraneous “noise” that can get in the way on more traditional public social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
Social networks can be valuable for reaching, communicating with, and marketing to the patient community. However, if your goal is to meet and interact with other practitioners and to foster relationships that are mutually beneficial to the careers of all involved, you’ll want to focus on a specialty-specific online community instead.
If public social networks are the neighborhood bar, professional online communities are happy hour at a medical convention fully stocked with top industry specialists.
2. Forums/information exchange
Professional online communities provide a more concentrated, dedicated forum in which to share insights on clinical topics as well as on such diverse subjects as ethics, biostatistics, practice management, and career strategies. They can even be an enlightening and safe place in which to discuss more personal topics like balancing family life with a medical practice.
Other features like blogs, news updates, email newsletters, and staff or member-written articles can also allow for the exchange of important medical aesthetics information.
3. Professional education
Education is embracing more virtual options every day—just consider our Virtual Aesthetics 101 course, which offers both didactic and hands-on sessions entirely virtually.
Online communities are also useful when it comes to improving clinical and continuing education.
The high usage rate of social media, in general, has motivated the adaptation of clinical curricula to reflect the changing habits and culture of both students and current practitioners looking to continue their education or branch out into new territory.
Many studies have described the use of social media tools to enhance clinical students’ understanding of communication, ethics, and professionalism. Online communities are also useful for recruiting students, increasing access to academic materials and resources, and creating virtual classrooms, as well as other unique learning experiences.
4. Risk management
Another important benefit of online physician communities is the sharing of information and expertise toward the goal of ensuring better, safer outcomes for patients. Facilitating early detection of noteworthy events is one of the most important ways in which these communities can help enhance patient care.
Giving doctors a forum to share their personal experiences with complications or other adverse events makes for earlier identification of potential pitfalls in medical techniques or devices. This aggregation of smaller observations can help inform the community as a whole in a much more timely fashion, potentially resulting in a reduction of negative outcomes for patients.
Collaboration on challenging cases is another hallmark benefit of professional networking sites. When complex issues arise in the scope of practice, the ability to connect with another doctor or a key opinion leader who has had a similar experience can be very valuable.
In many online physician communities, subject matter experts often compare notes in cases submitted by peers. The social media tools offered by these communities can also serve to connect private practices with academic institutions, alumni networks, and a variety of centers of excellence, so that more experienced physicians can share insights, and less experienced physicians are not forced to reinvent the wheel.
The AAAMS Social Network
Starting in 2021, AAAMS will offer an online community of its own that offers all of these benefits and more. It’s the AAAMS Social Network, and it’s designed for aesthetics practitioners and researchers who are committed to learning, networking, participating in discussion forums, and advancing the field of aesthetics.
The AAAMS Social Network will offer you exactly what you need to continue growing as a practitioner. This is the first community of its kind for aesthetic medical professionals in North America.
With the AAAMS Social Network, you’ll find inspiration, thought-provoking conversations, expert perspectives, and job opportunities each and every day. You’ll discover exclusive content and discussions you can’t find anywhere else. You’ll meet professionals who share your interests, who live near you, or who practice the same specialties, and you’ll build a network with whom you can collaborate and share stories, challenges, and ideas around our shared mission of providing excellent aesthetic care to our patients.
Sign up here to be the first to get updates on the AAAMS Social Network!