Some may not be actively practicing, some might not give the best advice, and some may not even have their MDs. But we bet you recognize more than a few names on this fun list of "Doctors" with a big number of Twitter followers.
Social media—simultaneously the bane of our existence and the greatest thing ever created. Breaking news and cat videos, stimulating discourse and celebrity gossip. There’s something for everyone.
While many physicians have enough on their hands without Tweeting or Facebooking, not to mention patient privacy concerns, there are doctors out there who have mastered the art of 140 characters. Some may not be actively practicing, and some might not give the best advice, and some may not even have their MDs. But we bet you recognize more than a few names on this fun list of “Doctors” with a big number of Twitter followers.
Number of Followers: 37,500
Perhaps Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, has some catching up to do with his social media presence. It would make sense given that he was just confirmed as Surgeon General this past December after waiting more than a year after being nominated. Murthy’s tweets share scientific information and update his travels around the nation working with communities to become healthier.
Number of Followers: 36,500
Ok, he’s not a real doctor. But basketball star Julius Erving earned the nickname “Dr. J” for his artistic shots and fabulous ‘fro, gliding through the ABA and the NBA. Considered one of the catalysts for the merger between the 2 leagues, Erving was and remains an ambassador for the game. His feed features a lot of long-time hoops stars, golfing buddies and various appearances for the Doctor. Seems like Erving is enjoying the life of a retired doctor, like he should.
Number of Followers: 84,600
Dr. Ruth Westheimer has been answering our intimate questions for decades, whether on television or online. Her Twitter feed continues to provide her humorous and practical advice to lovers, but you’ll have to go to her You Tube page to hear her instantly-recognizable accent. The famous psychosexual therapist offers practical tips on her feed, as well as interesting insights into herself.
Number of Followers: 331,000
The Talk, The View, The Chew and all other iterations of daytime talk roundtables have interesting things to say about pop culture and national news, but The Doctors focus on topics involving health, wellness, and relationships. With 3 male physicians serving as permanent hosts, and a rotation of 3 blond, female co-hosts, their expertise ranges from ER surgeon to family doctor to reconstructive surgeon. From botched plastic surgeries to evaluating new weight loss “solutions,” the syndicated show is definitely targeted at stay-at-home moms, not busy physicians. But, with more than 331,000 followers on Twitter, there must be something worth noting. Hey, they’re recently had a “My Cat Looks Like a Celebrity” contest on their feed!
Number of Followers: 354,000
Twenty-three flavors, 354,000 followers—Dr. Pepper has all its bases followed. The soda company’s Twitter feed is largely made up of responses to customers who Tweet photos, compliments and complaints. While they rarely discuss some marketing flops from the past–hot Dr. Pepper, anyone?—there is plenty of fun for fans of the beverage.
Number of Followers: 592,000
Dr. Weil has built himself a holistic health empire, and social media is just one part of that conglomerate. Name a social media tool, and Weil is represented on it. In addition to being integral to the founding of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, the good doc promotes a balance lifestyle based on good diet, exercise and emotional well-being. Dr. Weil also uses his various social outlets to promote his line of supplements, skin care treatments, seafood products, kitchen electronics, and orthotic footwear.
Number of Followers: 1.18 million
Whovians are known to congregate often and in large numbers, particularly on the internet. No surprise, then, that the official Doctor Who Twitter handle has more than a million followers. The series that has been running for more than 50 years has offered us time traveling and all sorts of British hijinks. The Twitter feed offers those who watch the show regularly a chance to find out historical facts and behind the scenes fun behind their favorite fictional doctor.
Number of Followers: 1.36 million
We now enter into the world of Oprah. The TV giant has helped her friends and associates become nearly as famous as her, the first being Dr. Phil McGraw. McGraw’s television show has been a daytime hit since it launched in 2002. His “tough love” and “boot camp” programs have inspired many knockoffs, as well as earned Dr. Phil some controversy. McGraw’s Twitter feed is part show promotion, part inspirational sayings. Also, a few plugs for his books and his wife’s skin care line.
Number of Followers: 2.39
Proof that you don’t actually have to tweet to get followers, the rap icon’s Twitter bio says up front “Dr. Dre does not tweet,” and yet nearly a quarter of a billion people follow the account. With only 111 updates, and many of the recent ones being retweets of @BeatsByDre, the rap mogul doesn’t need to stay on top of his social media to stay on top of his game. From NWA to Beats by Dre, Andre Young continues to evolve with the changing landscape of music, bringing along talented artists like Eminem, 50 Cent, and Lamar Kendrick. But you’ll have to find a different way to tag along with Dre, because he’s not going to keep you updated via Twitter.
Number of Followers: 3.15 million
The king of guilty pleasures: “Love Line,” “Teen Mom,” “Celebrity Rehab” … the list of television shows Dr. Drew Pinsky has been a part of goes on and on. Despite some of the tawdry content, Pinsky’s shows have for the most part tried to help people deal with addiction, relationships, and sexual health issues. Kids who grew up in the 90’s watching “Loveline” after their parents went to sleep probably learned more from those frank discussions than their high school health classes. That kind of trust built up with a television presenter is probably part of what fuels the loyalty of more than 3 million Twitter followers.
Number of Followers: 3.69 million
Another one of Oprah’s buddies, Mehmet Oz, MD, MBA, started out as just a cardiothoracic surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, but now he’s
. Oz has been hosting his show since 2004, and just like on television, Oz is handing out his advice to the Twitterverse as well. Recently, Oz has come under fire for hyping products that do not have scientific backing of what they are purported to do, including
. Despite his pedigree and successful career, it is still wise to take any advice from Dr. Oz without a hefty grain of salt.