The role of the chief medical social media officer

An emergence of fake medical news and untrustworthy medical advice on social media has led to the creation of a new type of role at Jefferson Health, a health system in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Austin Chiang, MD, a Harvard-trained gastroenterologist, is leading the charge at the health institute to counter fake news through his role as chief medical social media officer, CNBC reported. His social media presence on Instagram, as GI Doctor, has accumulated 20,000 followers, where he shares images of himself with captions about the latest insights or research and advice to patients to sort through the high amount of medical advice across the internet.

This presence by doctors on social media meets patients and consumers where they are––on Facebook and Instagram. Both these platforms have seen a surge in bad medical advice that has become “the biggest crisis we have right now in healthcare,” Chiang told CNBC.

His social media passion aims to recruit an “army” of physicians, nurses, patient advocates and other healthcare professionals to get online and get good information out there for patients. He has been serving in the role at Jefferson Health since 2018.

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