The MDigitalLife Top 5: Who doctors ACTUALLY follow – the Reporters Edition

Posted by: in Digital Health, Healthcare Insights, MDigitalLife, Medical Communications, Social Media Insights & Trends on May 2, 2014

This is the 2nd of a 5-part series; Part 1, The MDigitalLife Top 5: Who Doctors ACTUALLY follow – Media Edition, ran on May 1.

What doctors do and say online has become increasingly important to the whole health ecosystem – especially to patients and to healthcare companies. So knowing who doctors are connected with online is pretty important. In this series, we’re looking at the “most-followed” handles by US physicians.

The MDigitalLife database is the first and only database in the world to link physicians’ “digital footprints” to their national physician registry, and as of today has mapped the digital footprints for over 220,000 US physicians (and is preparing to launch in Europe). Using that database, I’ll  be sharing 5 lists – all based on who those real doctors ACTUALLY FOLLOW on twitter. No editorializing, no guesswork. So without further ado, let me introduce you to the Top 5  Reporters followed by US physicians:

Most Followed Blog Posts_Reporters_Large

  1. Anderson Cooper – CNN – @AndersonCooper (Also the #47 most followed handle in any category)
  2. Liz Szabo – USA Today – @LizSzabo (The #83 most followed overall)
  3. Rachel Maddow – MSNBC – @Maddow (The #86 most followed overall)
  4. Ezra Klein – Vox.com – @EzraKlein (The #134 most followed overall)
  5. Nick Kristof – New York Times – @NickKristof (The #141 most followed overall)

This category got a little more interesting. While docs love their media outlets (almost 30% of the top 250 most-followed handles belong to media outlets), they’re not so crazy about the individual reporters. Only 3 reporters cracked the top 100 most-followed – Cooper, Szabo and Maddow. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman would have been next on this list, but the next reporter with NYT ties isn’t a health journalist at all – it’s Techie David Pogue (now with Yahoo). But perhaps most surprising of all is the absence of a mighty health-industry triumvirate: Scott Hensley (NPR; the 10th-most-followed reporter), Matt Herper (Forbes, the 11th-most-followed reporter) and Tara Parker Pope (NYT Well Blog, 13th-most-followed reporter and 245th most followed overall).

Make sure to read the other posts in this series:

Methodology Notes:

  • Any individual who is a Medical Doctor is being classified AS a physician for this analysis – even if they are also a reporter, celebrity or media figure. Therefore, no physicians appear in this list of reporters.
  • “Media outlets” for the purpose of this analysis includes all handles belonging to organizations whose primary function is to report the news. It includes newspapers, magazines, blogs (except those published by physicians), TV networks/stations/shows and Radio stations. It does NOT contain the journals of medical societies.
  • “Reporters,” for the purpose of this analysis, includes individuals who research and deliver news and opinion through mainstream media channels and their online partners. For the most part, individual bloggers are not considered in this category.
  • Follower lists were generated on January 13, 2014

By: Greg Matthews

Greg Matthews is the the creator and Managing Director of the W2O Group's MDigitalLife - Understanding, Engaging and Activating Physicians in the Digital Age

Find me on: Twitter
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