Hashtags (i.e. words with a # symbol in front of them) are searchable and trackable links, allowing any Twitter user to follow along and join in with any conversation. Healthcare professionals, and those in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are using relevant medical hashtags to not only share information but also engage in conversations with as many people as possible.

What is #MedTwitter?

#MedTwitter is an online community of doctors, healthcare professionals (HCPs), researchers, and medical students who have created an open source environment on Twitter dedicated to sharing information and connecting with their peers. Apart from the obvious social functions, first and foremost #MedTwitter is a forum for the medical community to learn about the latest clinical discoveries, ask questions about patient cases, share clinical experiences, and highlight new published treatments

The true power of the #MedTwitter community was fully illuminated during the COVID-19 pandemic when doctors and HCPs were able to easily share and access a vast amount of information in a single place – which not only helped them keep up with the fast pace of research, but gave them a place to voice their issues and concerns with the world. But this online community extends well beyond the pandemic, to all other conditions, acute and chronic alike.

DOL Mapping #2

Keep up to date with what HCPs are saying with CREATION.co

Tracking the conversations of HCPs online brings you the latest insights from across the globe where they discuss various topics such as pharmaceutical products and their manufacturers, the latest product launches, and different diseases. CREATION.co’s real time tracking updates allow you to discover what HCPs think and need and what online sources they are using to inform their opinions, as it happens.


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Other medical hashtags favoured by HCPs

In addition to #MedTwitter, there are a number of medical hashtags used on Twitter to help follow conversations on certain topics, to learn about other disease areas and/or keep up to date on what’s happening in the community (e.g. conferences). Some of the more popular ones are:

  • #MedEd 
  • #HCSM (i.e. healthcare and social media)
  • #medicine

Understand why HCPs are using Twitter

The number of HCPs using social media platforms is ever-growing because of the many benefits they can offer, including the global exposure and unprecedented spread of medical information, not only to their peers but to the general public. Discover more about why HCPs are jumping onto social media and how you can leverage these online conversations. 

Twitter’s big appeal is how scan-friendly it is, allowing HCPs to track hundreds of engaging users, and read their content with a simple glance. Notably, forums like #MedTwitter allows HCPs to ask questions regarding patient care directly to their peers around the world, promoting international collaboration. 

One of the more valuable aspects of Twitter for HCPs is the medical education content. The journal clubs, threads, Tweetorials, and most importantly, the resultant Twitter chats with experts within the field is the true value of this online platform.

Moreover, on Twitter, the leaders of medicine are just 280 or fewer characters away. This expands the reach of HCPs, of all levels, to Twitter’s superstar ‘medical influencers’ and ‘digital opinion leaders’ (DOLs); peers they wouldn’t normally have access to. Check out one such #MedTwitter conversation captured by CREATION.co here.

Additionally, patients are more commonly using social media to educate themselves on medical issues and developments, which is ultimately helping them take control over their own healthcare. Twitter is a unique platform, in that it creates a communicative and collaborative atmosphere for not only doctors and researchers, but also patients, which gives HCPs direct access to hearing about the patient experience.

What HCPs should be careful of when using Twitter

For the same reasons that Twitter is a valuable resource for HCPs, it can also be a potential danger, with high rates of misinformation, difficulties in verifying the credibility of sources, and an overwhelmingly high volume of information to sift through. Notably, #MedTwitter is an unregulated, unfiltered, and unreviewed body of information, with no post standards, validation processes, or promises of accuracy for any information posted to the feed.

Therefore, caution should always be taken when reading through conversations on #MedTwitter. Additionally, for HCPs, they have the same ethical and legal responsibilities they have towards their patient in any other situation, including upholding patient confidentiality, and the maintenance of boundaries between them and their patients.

Related FAQs

#MedTwitter is great tool to keep up to date with latest developments in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, to pose questions to fellow HCPs regarding patient cases, to raise an influential voice in the fight against medical misinformation being shared with the public, and to start conversations on various opinions and views of the newest product launches.

Social media gives you a good overview of a wider audience than maybe a focused group of say 25 HCPs. It also shows you their unprompted conversations which is something that you do not get from traditional market research. Though the average age of active HCPs on social media may be in the younger bracket since these guys are “digital natives”, we are seeing pharma help their KOLs get online by partnering them with DOLs, and more of the older HCPs are begin to see the benefits of connecting to their peers online.