If you’re not using Instagram to promote your practice, then you’re missing out on a huge audience of prospective patients.
According to Statista, more than 1 billion people use the visual platform every month, with more than 500 million of them logging on every day. Many Instagram users are younger — more than half are between 18 and 34 — making Instagram especially relevant for doctors hoping to appeal to Millennial and Gen Z patients.
Patients are on Instagram, so doctors should be on Instagram, too. If you’re wary about dipping your toe into the Instagram waters, worry not: We’ve rounded up 10 doctor Instagram accounts worth emulating. Read on to see what Doctor Mike, Dr. Pimple Popper, and other influential doctors are doing right on Instagram.
Also see: 5 doctors killing it on social media
Mike Varshavski, DO — widely known as Doctor Mike — is an Instagram sensation. A board-certified family medicine physician in New York City, Doctor Mike has more than 4.1 million* Instagram followers.
Doctor Mike uses Instagram to give prospective patients the opportunity to connect with him on a personal level. He shares clear and professional photos of him wearing scrubs and other aspects of his daily life (including his dogs, Roxy and Bear). He also makes use of Instagram’s many features, including highlights, which allows him to archive “stories” by topic, IGTV, which allows him to share videos more than one minute long, and reels, Instagram’s newest feature for viral, short-form video content.
Hazel Wallace, BSc, MBBCh, uses her Instagram account, @thefoodmedic, to promote healthy eating and nutrition. She shares recipes and meal prep inspiration with her 527,000 followers.
Dr. Wallace’s Instagram excels at branding: All of the content has a clear and consistent aesthetic. Like Doctor Mike, Dr. Wallace uses the Instagram highlights feature to organize her stories by topic, but she goes a step further by using custom-made graphics. She also uses both IGTV and reels to share video recipes or wellness tips with her followers. Additionally, she uses Instagram’s carousel format, which allows users to scroll through up to 10 photos, to explain medical conditions, as pictured above.
As part of her strategy, Dr. Wallace uses her Instagram to drive traffic to her website. She does this by teasing content in Instagram photo captions and directing her audience to click the link in her bio for more information. This is an effective use of social media for doctors, especially if you’re trying to increase website traffic.
Lara Devgan, MD, MPH, FACS, is a plastic surgeon based in New York. She is a practicing physician, an industry consultant, and the founder and CEO of her very own luxury skincare line. She was also formerly chief medical officer of RealSelf, a review and directory website for cosmetic and aesthetic medicine.
Her account, @laradevganmd, boasts 523,000 followers. Instagram lends itself well to Dr. Devgan’s specialty, as plastic surgery is visual in nature. She uses her Instagram to position herself as a thought leader in her field, sharing media articles that she’s been mentioned in as well as before-and-after photos of treatments she has performed.
Kambiz Silani, OD, is a Beverly Hills-based optometrist. He uses his Instagram, @beverlyhillsoptometrydryeye, to promote his private practice.
Dr. Silani shares a balance of educational information on eye diseases and eye care, photos of him and his wife, patient testimonials, conferences he’s attended and positive reviews. As a dry eye expert, he makes sure this eye condition is prominently displayed in his username. This helps him target his ideal patient and will also help him get discovered in searches on Instagram. On his account, his 11,200 followers get a look at his personality as well as his expertise.
Dr. Sandra Lee — better known as Dr. Pimple Popper — may be Instagram’s most famous doctor. Her account, @drpimplepopper, features pimple popping videos and videos of cyst extractions. Although not for the easily nauseated, her content has gathered 4.2 million followers. Her expert use of social media also led to her own television series.
A board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Pimple Popper uses her Instagram to showcase her expertise and her satisfied patients (with their permission, of course). Her bio also includes a link to her website, where she sells her own skincare line.
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Andrea Tooley, MD, shares her life as an oculoplastic and orbital surgeon with her 48,600 followers. A surgeon at the reputable Mayo Clinic, she uses her Instagram, @dr.andreatooley, to showcase her passion for medicine and research.
As an eye surgeon, Dr. Tooley often features photos of her in the operating room, testing out new surgical equipment, and learning from her mentors. She often shares posts showcasing her life as a surgeon, attending conferences and networking with other eye professionals.
Dr. David Stoker is a Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon. With 29,400 followers, he uses his account, @stokerplasticsurgery, to differentiate his practice in the competitive LA market.
Dr. Stoker’s content is primarily focused on before-and-after photos of cosmetic procedures. He also has videos where he explains procedures in depth, from the type of equipment he uses to the types of incisions he’s performed. In doing so, he helps position himself as a thought leader in the plastic surgery field.
It’s important to note that he includes a link to his practice website and his phone number in his Instagram bio, which makes it easy for followers to learn more about the practice or schedule a consultation.
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Heather Irobunda, MD, FACOG, is a New York-based board-certified OB/GYN. Her account, @drheatherirobundamd, has amassed 35,600 followers in a little over one year.
Her quick rise in popularity is due to the educational nature of her Instagram posts. Dr. Irobunda uses Instagram’s features to talk about things related to her specialty that people tend to avoid talking about or may not know much about. She also focuses on health equity in the healthcare system.
Like Dr. Wallace, Dr. Irobunda uses the carousel feature on Instagram to explain medical topics, such as why it’s important to track one’s menstrual cycle. She also uses the reels feature to create easy to understand videos on topics including cryopreservation or other aspects of reproductive health.
Suchismita (Tia) Paul, MD, FAAD is a dermatologist in Orange County, California. She uses her Instagram, @drspaulderm, to connect with her followers by balancing photos of her home life as well as educational dermatology content.
With 11,200 Instagram followers, her content includes skin care tips for people of color and educational videos on common skin care conditions. Dr. Paul uses her Instagram account to cross post videos from her Tiktok account (@derm4brownskin) where she has almost 69,700 followers. This is a great example of how to expand your audience by sharing similar content on multiple social media platforms.
Michelle Henry, MD, is a dermatologic surgeon with almost 81,400 followers. She uses her Instagram, @drmichellehenry, to promote herself as a thought leader in dermatologic surgery.
On her Instagram, Dr. Henry showcases procedures, conferences and speaking engagements, and media articles she’s been featured in. Dr. Henry often appears on news shows or reputable online news sites and uses her Instagram account to feature her media appearances.
Like the Dr. pimple popper Instagram, she also shares pimple popping videos that exhibit her expertise in cyst removal as well as before-and-after photos of other cosmetic procedures.
Though social media for doctors can be time-consuming, these doctors would surely argue the rewards are worth the effort. If you need help, turn to PatientPop. Learn about our social media, blog, and advertising services.
*Follower counts are accurate as of May 26, 2021.
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