Medinfluencer (derived from the union of the terms “Medical” and “Influencer“) is a word that is increasingly being heard among those in the health professions.
It is therefore a group of physicians, small at the moment, who have begun to do digital outreach related to their specialty.
Predominantly they are cosmetic surgeons, dieticians, dermatologists, and dentists to whom experienced professionals from other areas of medicine (mental health, cardiology, pulmonology, and anesthesiology) are rapidly being added.
These are often medinflulencers promoting their private practice through content marketing, but it must be said that the outreach work is, in most cases, genuinely useful, effective, knowledgeable, and free.
An important warning is about the real competence of the disseminators: in the great ocean of social media and blogs it is quite easy to confuse, for example in the field of nutrition and dietetics, nutritional biologists, naturopaths, personal trainers or “generic experts” with real graduate, registered and specialized physicians; the point is that on the generic use of the word “Doctor” many people are playing with it…..
Certainly we also have very clear, interesting, clean, and high-quality examples such as Dr. Valerio Rosso, a psychiatrist, or Dr. Serena Missori, an endocrinologist physician, still Dr. Maria Luisa Ruberto, an anesthesia resident and YouTuber, or even the young medical student Asja Tilotta, who addresses fellow students and documents her course of study.
In the next future a “medical doctor” could decide to became a “Medinfluencer“.
The Future of Digital Health Communication.
One thing is certain: the future of digital health communication, and thus of primary prevention and secondary prevention, is likely to pass largely through medinfluencers.
The profession of medical disseminator is shaping up as one of the possible professional outlets for young physicians, particularly those most gifted with soft skills in communication and journalism.
This is the role of a Medinfluencer….
In this sense, it would seem desirable to guide this possible future specialization of physicians, which is indispensable for prevention campaigns and health education of the population, by means of additional undergraduate courses both in the context of the undergraduate course and in the specialization paths and by means of specific post-graduate masters.
Similarly, it would be useful to provide some “minimum” behavior guidelines for those who deal with health and wellness on the web, encouraging a rapid recognition of professional figures (e.g., doctor, psychologist, nutritionist, coach, personal trainer or generic “expert”) to protect citizens who seek information or help on the Internet and who are confused by all these “Doctors” who, in most cases, are not doctors but people with degrees who deal with health (biologists, chemists, exercise science, philosophers, educators, nurses and others).
Medinfluencer, popularizing Health Saves Lives
At this point it is only worth mentioning how effective and engaging dissemination in the health field, perhaps combined with elements of motivation and personal growth, can really make a difference in the preventive field.
We have wasted too much money and time on prevention campaigns aimed at the population that are either disastrous in terms of communication or simply useless.
Just think of those on drugs, alcohol, tobacco, cardiovascular prevention, cancer or mental health.
In order to be able to save lives by making sure that diseases do not even occur, we need to work on the lifestyle of the population, both when it comes to general medicine (“Lifestyle Medicine”) and mental health (“Lifestyle Psychiatry”).
I hope that as soon as possible we could see in Italian universities courses on Digital Health Disclosure or even real medical specializations that can generate real Medinfluencers, competent and effective in helping the population to improve their lifestyle.
Please, keep reading the psiq‘s blog to stay informed about the relationships between internet and the human health….
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