For Northern Virginia otolaryngologist Christopher Chang, MD, it was YouTube videos and a website showcasing procedural skills that helped.
Explore This IssueApril 2020
For facial feminization surgery specialist Laura Garcia-Rodriguez, MD, at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, it was community outreach events, Facebook groups, and following the right people on Instagram that gave her a boost.
And for University of Colorado generalist Andrew Johnson, MD, making the rounds of local primary care providers still tops the list.
Three approaches, three different ways to launch an otolaryngology practice. There is no one way to navigate that process in 2020. But to do it well in the millennial age, otolaryngologists interviewed by ENTtoday said physicians are best served by a healthy mix of old-school techniques like local networking events and newer-school social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
“It’s definitely a combination, but you can’t do without the technology component,” said Nikita Gupta, MD, assistant professor in the department of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky.
Establish an Online Presence
Dr. Chang, owner of Fauquier ENT in Warrenton, Va., joined the practice in 2005. Things started slow, he said.
“When you first come out of residency, you’re a nobody,” he said. “Nobody knows you and … in order to create your name as someone, you have to self-advocate and self-market. And the cheapest and easiest way to do that is through social media.”
For Dr. Chang, that meant filming procedures and building a practice website. His YouTube channel now has 116,000 subscribers, some 40,000 daily views, and 334 million lifetime views. He also has 2,400 Twitter followers, 3,100 Facebook friends, and a blog with more than 1,700 articles.
“If someone is searching for information, especially limited to a geographic area, and if you put the appropriate keywords and information in, your video will pop up,” Dr. Chang said. “You put yourself out there, you show expertise, and you start getting some name recognition, which is really important. Because if someone is sick, or if it’s a parent with a sick kid, they want a certain level of trust that they’re going to see someone who knows what they’re doing.”
Dr. Chang related the importance of a physician’s website or social medial platforms to a homeowner seeking an electrician and sifting through results on Google.
“I go to each and look at the website and I’ll probably call the one that has a nice website, that seems to have a nice presence,” Dr. Chang said. “I will probably call that electrician as opposed to another electrician who doesn’t even have a website, or they have a website, but it’s like looking at a MySpace page from the late 1990s.”