Will we see more doctors on TikTok this year?

That’s where younger health consumers seek out health info

The data: Most (51%) US adults say they’re most likely to seek health advice online (including social media), while only 31% say they’re most likely to contact their primary care provider to do the same, per a survey of 1,004 US-based people ages 18-75 from clinical trial platform Power.

Why are health consumers opting for online > health professional advice? Convenience and trust in consumer testimonials.

Many people (45%) said the main reason they do not seek medical advice from a healthcare professional was because it took too much time, according to Power.

Many are instead going online thanks to the speed and convenience of turning up results.

  • Nearly 70% of millennials use Google for health advice while 71% use WebMD, per a 2021 Harmony Healthcare IT survey of 2,040 millennials.
  • And 9 out of 10 Gen Zers say they often turn to social media to seek medical advice, according to the Power survey.

About 62% of people say they trust health advice they find online due to testimonials (e.g. a testimonial about why a certain treatment worked).

  • But: Consumers don’t completely disregard physicians’ opinions when searching online for health advice. About 71% of consumers say they're likely to trust health advice online if it’s written by a medical professional, per Power.

The bigger picture: We expect to see physicians build their personal brand on social platforms to reel in new patients (particulalry Gen Zers) where they’re already spending the most time.

TikTok reigns king over any other social media app in terms of consumer downloads, but is an area where healthcare providers don’t have a large presence:

  • In 2021, TikTok comprised 94% of all social media app downloads, surpassing Instagram by 30%, which consisted of only 64% of all downloads, per a 2021 Apptopia report.
  • To add, 44% of TikTok users are Gen Zers, per Insider Intelligence estimates.This presents a major opportunity for physicians seeking to build connection and trust among consumers seeking a new physician.

We’re seeing some physicians build an audience on TikTok, a move we think more clinicians will continue to make throughout this year to foster engagement with Gen Z patients:

  • For example, Brown University physician and director of medical oncology, Don Dizon, MD, shares videos about cancer treatment. Dr. Dizon was rated the most popular physician among Tiktok users last year, per MM+M.