Would you friend your doctor?

Social media is everywhere. And many people use Twitter or Facebook or Instagram to navigate entire portions of their lives.

But what about health care? Would you accept (or prompt) a friend request from your doctor, dentist or medical center? If you’re a health professional: How do you navigate social media?

Liz Baier’s dentist, in Rochester, operates much of his business through social media. Liz reports:

“To be honest, there’s a set of patients that prefer to contact you about appointments and things just through Facebook, rather than call, rather than e-mail,” [dentist Kevin] Kopper said.

The couple’s practice has a business page, kind of like an ad, with office hours, and general business information. But most of the real interaction — the private messages, the liking, the scheduling — all that happens from their personal accounts.

Kopper says because they’re a private practice, those online conversations are extensions of the small talk that happens inside the office. He emphasizes that it’s all small talk — and nothing that reveals private patient information.

“I think people like the personal contact. And we’re a small practice. It’s just my wife and I, and one employee. And you could say there’s private things you should keep private,” Kopper said. “But honestly, here, when we’re working, we generally talk about our lives anyway, so we don’t really have anything to hide that way. So I guess it’s okay.”

Today’s question: Is there a place for social media in health care?

  • Max


  • PaulJ

    Social [disease] media?

  • Pearly

    Nope. You want to “friend” your doctor, go for it. Who care’s?

  • Lisa J

    Really? THere is nothing more interesting locally or internationally to discuss than this? Who is in charge of picking these lame a.. questions anyway?

    • Gary F

      and they used come once a day

  • JQP

    this is one of those things, like “store charge cards” in the (1960-70’s) … everyone whose used cash/checks thought scc’s were silly , useless and a fools dream – but the SCC’s became general credit cards that later completely changed the way everyone thought about daily purchases and money. and has led to a massive flush of wealth through credit-debt from the middle-class.

    So NOW
    your social media ( branding tool ) is now ALSO your primary contact medium for very private (medical) data.

    “Send me my results, make my next appointment… now …to my FaceBook account” so Facebook isn’t “Big-data” processing to infer what is wrong with you… they are actually reading threads between you and … dentist… then doctor, then attorney, then accountant, then – your life is will be a live mirror of every flaw that insurance, employers, banks, ID-thieves need to know….

  • Max

    I think MPR is determined to keep this question up until it gets more than 6 comments.