Why Doctors Are 'LinkedOut' and Why That's Unlikely to Change

Getting doctors engaged on LinkedIn is as difficult as it is at the hospital. While it can be a useful tool, most clinicians will be LinkedOut and not engaged.

I think doctors have “LinkedOut.” Others have offered reasons why.

Some disagree, claiming that 1 million doctors and nurses are on Linkedin. While that may be true, as the owner of a group that is approaching 20,000 members, I've observed:

1. Linkedin is mostly about finding a job. It does not fit the needs of doctors.

2. Social media sites are a useful way to educate, inform, market, build networks and communities of interest, and build a business or start one. Most doctors are not interested in those things.

3. Doctors don't have the time to actively engage to the extent they need to to be effective.

4. There are many competitive physician networks that offer more a value proposition.

5. Doctors like to hang out with other doctors and feel uncomfortable expanding their networks outside of medicine.

6. They are afraid of liability risks and are just learning about how to use social media correctly.

7. Using LnkedIn is a great way to build international networks. However, 10% will be talkers and the other 90% will be gawkers.

8. LinkedIn can be used as a “feemium” business model. However there are risks and unless you offer a lot to premium members, it will fail.

9. Doctors use professional and specialty associations as advocates, even though many think them ineffective. Not much gets done on LinkedIn.

10. The opportunity costs of doctors’ time is high. They don't want to waste what little time they have left each day surfing on LinkedIn.

Getting doctors engaged on LinkedIn is as difficult as it is at the hospital. While it can be a useful tool, most clinicians will be LinkedOut and not engaged.