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Become connected: 3 networking sites for dentists

Sept. 18, 2017
Dentists should take the time to be active on professional networking sites in order to further their careers, make connections, and gain knowledge, and this often leads to new patients. Here are three the author recommends.
Dentists should take the time to be active on professional networking sites in order to further their careers, make connections, and gain knowledge, and this often leads to new patients. Here are three the author recommends.

Some dentists might shy away from using professional networking sites because they aren’t direct drivers of patient traffic. While this may be true, it doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable tools to promote your thought leadership and influence, make contacts, and network with other dentists. Savvy patients will find you on these sites and learn more about you and your practice.

There are plenty of benefits to expanding your network within your local and professional community, even if you aren’t necessarily connecting with people you’ll later see in your waiting room. Connecting with other dentists and joining groups can help you stay up to date on medical issues, find advice for difficult cases or answers to questions about your practice, as well as get on the receiving end of patient referrals.

Where do you start? Here are three of the most popular general and medical networking sites that I recommend.

Google loves LinkedIn. As with any other social media platform, LinkedIn is a place to attach your face, logo, and contact information to your dental specialty, medical philosophy, and knowledge base. Make sure that your personal and professional profiles are up-to-date and complete. You can also use LinkedIn to share content and drive traffic to your website and increase your chances of prospective patients finding you.

Because LinkedIn isn’t built specifically around the medical community, it’s the networking site most likely to put you in contact with non-dentists. But in general, LinkedIn is better used as a resource to connect you with fellow professionals.

It’s estimated that more than two million medical professionals currently use LinkedIn to share news and information, interact in hundreds of groups, endorse each other, and establish medical and scientific collaborations. It’s also, as you can imagine, a useful tool for recruiting staff for your practice, so don’t forget to post job openings when they occur in your practice.

Doctors and dentists in search of staff can look to DoctorCPR, a health-care-focused source for jobs and resources. Technically, DoctorCPR might be more Monster than it is LinkedIn—it isn’t as much a networking site as it is a job board, where practices post openings for any number of specialties. Job listings are screened and reviewed by a panel of practicing medical professionals, so applicants can be confident that they’re applying for real, professionally beneficial positions.

But even if you aren’t focused on staffing, you can find valuable resources at DoctorCPR. It offers postings for practice resources ranging from answering services to medical forms to office furniture. The blog covers a wide variety of topics, so if you’re a dentist looking for the most up-to-date malpractice news or a dental student looking for interview tips, DoctorCPR has advice for you.

You may already be on Doximity. According to the company, more than half of doctors and dentists in the US use the networking site. It claims more than half a million users, who are making more than 21 million connections, and sharing more than 20,000 messages a day.

Doximity is for networking the way doctors and dentists do it. Members use it to meet and interact with other medical professionals, share coursework and news from medical journals (while often earning CME credits), and even receive advice on difficult cases. It’s designed specifically for those uses. Doximity offers an online CV, a HIPAA-secure digital fax service, and a Residency Navigator, in addition to features such as a personalized newsfeed and career opportunities similar to those found on LinkedIn.

One major use of Doximity is as a back channel for communication and patient care coordination. In a modern, tech-heavy time when many doctors still use pagers, and email is off the table because of data security risks, a secure channel like Doximity is a valuable alternative to the fax machine and belt-holstered Motorola. Doximity’s CEO, Jeff Tangney, reports that dentists are using it to the full extent of its capabilities.

So I recommend that you take the time to become connected. It's time well spent, and you'll be surprised at the results!

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Caperton Gillett is an advertising and marketing copywriter with PatientPop, an all-in-one practice growth platform for health-care providers, which numbers many dentists among its customer base. In addition to extensive freelance and agency experience, she worked as a senior copywriter in the creative and marketing department at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she contributed to UAB Medicine, UAB Nursing, and UAB Dentistry magazines, and was project manager of UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center magazine. She received her ABJ in advertising from the University of Georgia. She