Steps to Control Social Media

This week’s guest blog on steps to control social media is from Jonathan Cabin, MD, a practicing plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. Social Media, with great advances and substantial pitfalls, is here to stay. Navigating this can seem like an overwhelming challenge. Jonathan lays out simple, actionable steps we can take to manage our participation in social media platforms to avoid the overwhelm and minimize the pitfalls! - Jeff Smith

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In a recent Doximity Op-(M)ed blogpost, I discussed the intentional and dangerously addictive properties of social media, and the potential pitfalls for, and responsibilities of, the physician who chooses to engage with these platforms. I alluded to a set of positive constraints that could be employed to leverage the positive benefits of social media, while minimizing detriment. Below are some accessible, low-effort and highly actionable ways to positively transform social media use:


One of the most powerful ways to control social media – or the addictive nature of smartphones in general - is to selectively opt-out of those non-stop pop-up notifications. Notifications are purposefully designed to create a sense of false urgency, leading to a feedback loop of addiction. But there is rarely, if ever, urgency in social media (or nearly all of the other apps that constantly ping us). Even with the best intentions to contain use, the list of notifications on your locked screen creates a sometimes-irresistible urge to peek at the action. 


By selectively deleting social media apps from your phone, use is inherently restricted to an actual computer. This relegates engagement to specific, limited settings and eliminates the temptation to mindlessly scroll during opportunities for reflective moments. For certain services, like Instagram or Snapchat, phone use is unfortunately the only straight-forward option. But in the case of Facebook, removal of the app is an excellent way to create a powerful boundary.


Yes, you can forgo one or more of the social media networks. This allows you to reallocate your time to specific networks (or other activities) that are personally or professional higher yield. Of course, depending on your marketing goals, this may not be feasible. But it is worth considering, especially if you are deriving most your professional and personal value from a select few services.


If you are trying to positively leverage social media for marketing - like any marketing effort - it’s best to have a plan. Instead of deciding day-to-day what, where and how to post, sharing can be pre-determined on a weekly or monthly basis. This not only leads to more thoughtfulness about overall messaging, but reduces the inefficiency of posting randomly and on-the-fly. If you're looking for organization ideas, a quick online search will lead to various templates and data-driven recommendations for maximizing your social media ROI.


In conjunction planning, social media use can be made intentional and meaningful by batching and scheduling. There are several online services that allow you to centralize all your accounts and schedule posts in creative and practical ways. And most of these programs allow you to post without actually logging into the service, which is an added bonus – especially if you tend to get sucked into content consumption when just intending to share your own.


If you find social media to be a necessary evil, it may be worth the added expense to dedicate staff to it. This could be as little as physically posting photos and captions you generate, and as hands-off as putting someone in charge of all content, posting and responses. Although potentially expensive, consider the time-intensiveness of social media management. What additional value could you generate by outsourcing in order to focus on more high-yield professional (or personal) activities?


There is pressure on social media to reciprocally follow, and there can be strong FOMO (fear of missing out) at the idea of no longer getting someone’s content updates. But if you truly find joy in consuming social media content, but notice little value or even negative emotion related to the posts of certain individuals, it is a wise choice to eliminate their content from your feed. In some networks, like Facebook, this can be achieved without actually “de-friending” but by merely “unfollowing”. With so little time in the day, why waste a moment interacting with something that hold little or no personal value.   

The objective is not necessarily to eliminate social media use (although for some this may be a reasonable conclusion). Instead, pick and choose from the above tools to establish systems and boundaries with the goal of an intentional practice. This will help to maximize personal and professional value, while minimizing unintentional distraction and negativity: for yourself and for your patients.

Author Bio:

Dr. Jonathan Cabin is a board-certified facial plastic & reconstructive surgeon with a private practice in Beverly Hills, California. His areas of expertise include surgical and non-surgical facial rejuvenation, primary and revision rhinoplasty, facial reconstruction, and migraine surgery. In addition to caring for his patients, Dr. Cabin writes on the topics of performance-enhancement for physicians, surgical coaching, and bringing joy and meaning back into the practice of medicine.


The Importance of Online Reputation Management for Surgeons


What many physicians don’t realize is that they have an online presence already – even if they haven’t set up a website, or a social media account. I’m talking about third-party listings like,, and These third-party listing sites have a lot of ranking authority and will almost always appear on the first page of Google when a potential patient searches a physician’s name. If you aren’t actively monitoring these listings and proactively reaching out to patients to leave positive reviews, you are endangering your online reputation.

A HealthGrades Nightmare

Here’s a recent example we had to deal with. One of my clients (an orthopedic surgeon with his own private practice) noticed a decrease in new patients coming in. This particular client gets about 75% of his patients through his website – as well as the online ad campaigns we run for him. What made this drop in patients particularly baffling is that we’d been having a fantastic quarter in terms of web traffic and conversions via the website and Google ad campaigns. So why were new patients dropping?

After a bit of investigating, we pinpointed the culprit – Healthgrades. If you’re unfamiliar, Healthgrades is a third-party doctor listings website where patients can leave reviews of their physicians. Though my client had an overall rating of 4.3 / 5 stars (with 82 total ratings), the most recent three reviews were very negative – and from patients who were only mad because they couldn’t get all of the prescription pain medications they wanted.

Three negative ratings on a third party site were killing new patient referrals for my client. Potential patients were finding my client via Google search, and since Healthgrades lists reviews with the most recent first, their first impression was these 1 star reviews.

Solving the Problem

Once we figured this out, we went to work right away to resolve the issue. Working with my client’s clinical staff, we reached out to previous patients to see if they would be willing to write positive reviews on Healthgrades. Most were more than happy to, and within a week we had populated the listing with seven new 5-star reviews from happy patients – burying the negative reviews in the process.


Author Bio:

Ryan McGinty is the founder and CEO of Oil Can Marketing – a Twin Cities based web design and digital marketing company. For the past five years, he has been helping physicians and surgeons build their online reputations and grow their practices.


Tips for Becoming a More Resilient Surgeon


Resiliency is one of the best ways to combat burnout in surgeons (and other professionals, for that matter). Many surgeons could improve their resiliency, which would insulate them from the symptoms of burnout. We need to encourage surgeons to build their resiliency and help them do it.

Before we get any further, let’s first define what we mean by “resilience.”  

At SurgeonMasters, we believe resilience can be defined in several ways. Resilience offers the ability to meet challenges and adverse outcomes as opportunities rather than barriers. It is fostered by self-awareness, confidence, preparation, a commitment to core beliefs, values and purpose. This article offers a few tips for becoming a more resilient surgeon.

Be Prepared for the Worst

Take steps to proactively prepare yourself for worst-case scenarios. Of course, it’s impossible to prepare for every possible situation that may occur, but laying the groundwork for recovery can go a long way. Being mentally prepared for change, and realizing that you can choose how to react can help you deal with bad situations when they arise.

Develop Emotional Self-Awareness

Having a good grasp on your emotional self-awareness is difficult for a lot of people, but it can help you understand yourself and others – especially in times of crisis. Take a good look at yourself and examine how you respond to stress, and what causes your stress levels to spike. This emotional  self-awareness can help you learn how to better react to and cope with difficult situations.

Understand Your Purpose

Understanding your purpose is an essential factor in boosting your resiliency. For many surgeons, their purpose takes the form of helping people and saving lives. For others, purpose can take the form of building and caring for a family. Finding your purpose is often easier said than done. But once you’ve found it, your purpose is a great foundation upon which you can build your resiliency. Having a good grasp on your purpose can give you perspective when things go awry.

Build a Resiliency Community

Building strong and healthy relationships with those around you (your family, friends, and colleagues) can help you in times of crisis. Having someone you can talk to, confide in, or commiserate with is much healthier than keeping things bottled up.

If you’re searching for a thriving community of like-minded surgeons, look no further than SurgeonMasters. We are a group of surgeons looking to build sustainable and lifestyle-friendly practices through resilience and wellness.

Contact us today to learn more about SurgeonMasters!

3 Tips for Surgeons to Promote Well-Being & Decrease Burnout


In a March 2017 Forbes article, Paula Davis-Laack (Founder of the David Laack Stress and Resilience Institute) offers a few tips for promoting well-being and decreasing burnout in the workplace. I’d like to examine these tips and see how they relate specifically to doctors and surgeons.

Don’t Ignore the Problem – Acknowledge & Track

All too often, doctors who exhibit the classic signs and symptoms of burnout simply ignore the issue and keep pressing on with their work. But ignoring these symptoms does nothing other than delay the inevitable. Left unchecked, the stressors that lead to burnout will build and get worse. It’s a much better practice to acknowledge these symptoms when they arise and begin to track them. Do these symptoms crop up at a certain time of day, or when engaging in a certain activity? Measuring symptoms will help you identify the root causes of your burnout and help you achieve greater well-being.

Seeking Out Resilience Resources

Resilience is a learned skill that can be incredibly effective at keeping burnout at bay. Using various tactics, resilient people can develop an increased mental strength and toughness that can significantly help reduce burnout. Surgeons with high resiliency are much more likely to keep going when less-resilient people have already given up.

Finding Your Work / Life Integration (Rhythm)

Paula calls this “work / life integration” but I like to use the phrase “work / life rhythm.” Paula’s point is that efforts to integrate them will create more successful careers and relationships. My point is that our career demands are more successfully integrated when our other life responsibilities are addressed with quality and focus. I consider myself in my rhythm when I move from one role or relationship to the next with focus and quality in that role or relationship. This requires ongoing efforts, and the ability to say no when necessary.

Putting These Tips into Practice

Now it’s time to put these tips into practice! If you have questions about how to do that, or want to connect with like-minded surgeons about their well-being tips and tricks, subscribe to SurgeonMasters! With webinars, podcasts, and local meetups, SurgeonMasters aims to connect like-minded surgeons with one another and share tips to develop thriving and sustainable lifestyle-friendly practices.


Doctors and Data


No one will argue the need for precise and accurate medical records. Doctors, surgeons, clinics, and hospitals need to be able to access patient data quickly and easily in order to effectively treat patients. However, the EHR process in many hospitals and clinics could use improvement. A recent article in Modern Medicine outlined four steps to improving EHR protocols. In this article, I’d like to go through each and offer my own insight as a practicing surgeon.

Cut Down on Doctors’ Administrative Tasks

Let doctors do what they do best – diagnose and treat patients. Most doctors and surgeons work crazy hours to meet patient needs. Adding hours upon hours of administrative tasks like data entry not only takes away from their time with patients – it can also lead to burnout. Rather than having physicians manually do data entry themselves, they should focus on dictation, which can then be vetted for accuracy. This can speed up the process and improve the overall experience for doctors and patients alike.

Structured vs. Unstructured Data

It’s essential to find a balance between structured data and unstructured data. Structured data is required for certain entries like demographics, vital signs, and medication lists. But many EHRs also require structured formatting far beyond what is required. Having a mix of structured and unstructured data will make work flows more efficient.

Get Rid of Interface Barriers

Interfaces allow EHRs to communicate and work with other systems. However, EHRs often charge hefty fees for these interfaces that then discourage doctors and clinics from utilizing these services. These interfaces should be cost effective and readily available to any system.

Editing & Transcription

Having physicians dictate patient notes is great, but that audio needs to be transcribed and edited to ensure full accuracy. It’s important to have an expert handle these services – whether you outsource them to a third-party transcription company, or handle them in-house.

If you’re looking for practical ways to put these tips into practice, checkout SurgeonMasters for educational tools, webinars, and meetups that offer excellent strategies for burnout prevention and surgeon wellness.