Otololaryngologists recognize the need for more social media content.

Patient Safety

How Can Social Media Benefit Otolaryngologists and Their Patients?

“We have a lot to offer, especially to patients, and we need to be more accessible."

An ENT physician created a TikTok video on why throat clearing isn’t good for you — and when it went viral, with more than 5 million views, she saw it as a starting point for teaching good laryngeal health and a chance to highlight the specialty.

“We have a lot to offer, especially to patients, and we need to be more accessible,” Dr. Inna Husain said in an interview with ENTToday. “My content has allowed a lot of patients to get the help they need.”

She isn’t the only ENT to recognize a need for more social media content related to otolaryngologists.

Dr. Hayley Born, a laryngology fellow at the Sean Parker Institute for the Voice at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City, told ENTToday that she was surprised that none of the women in a recent meeting she attended knew how to log on to TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter.

Since then, she has held multiple panels to educate ENTs about the use of social media platforms.

Although dermatologists and plastic surgeons have long made use of social media, there is growing interest in making it more mainstream in the field. ENTs say the platforms have boosted collaboration, enhanced job offerings and research opportunities, and brought in new patients.

Dr. Steven Gold, an otolaryngology–head and neck surgeon with ENT and Allergy Associates in Hackensack, N.J., has created ear wax removal videos on Tik Tok, under the name “Dr. Booger,” that have attracted more than 1 million followers and 12 million likes, and he has an Instagram account with more than 71,000 followers.

Proceed, however, with care.

“Before jumping in or reassessing your use, it’s a good idea to define your goals, listen to the conversation, develop an audience, and think about how to present an authentic online persona,” say Dr. Bich-May Nguyen and others in a post written by a group of family physicians.

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