A recent Tweet of the Week from MedPage Today featured a plastic surgeon (@TheRealDrMiami) who posts before & after photos of his work on Instagram and Snapchat. He even posts real-time videos of his surgeries.
To some of us, it might seem inconceivable that anyone would consent to this kind of exposure, but when you think of all the mundane intel that gets posted on social media, the attention grabbing value of not just news but actual images of something as momentous as any kind of surgery—let alone the glorious pain of beautification—could hardly be passed over. The question is, in terms of medical marketing, has this surgeon gone too far?
The medical community tends to be conservative… slow adopters. With reason. No one wants to do harm by using some newfangled drug or gadget, only to find out that it causes serious, untoward consequences. But is this ultra-cautious attitude appropriate for healthcare PR and advertising? When is being super-conservative smart and reputation-building, and when is it nearsighted?
The answer to this question is complex and depends on a myriad of factors, and an approach as extreme as posting graphic surgical images is probably outside most practitioners’ comfort zones. It’s well to be aware, though, that as an individual or an institution, your competition might be doing something like this—it’s worth finding out. While Dr. Miami is at the far end of the healthcare promotional spectrum, it is a spectrum—and you probably don’t want to be on the near end. Dr. Miami has cultivated an extremely successful practice.