How to Spot Trusted Doctors on Social Media

by | Apr 3, 2024 | Uncategorized

8 minutes


In the 30s and 40s, Lucky Strike, Camel, and Phillip Morris cigarette companies all used doctor recommendations in their advertisements (History). As for this century, we’ve all seen “#1 Doctor Recommendation” in an advertisement before, for products from toothpaste to face wash.

Doctor recommendations have always been sought after in the ad world. Whether it’s dermatologists, pediatricians, or cardiologists, healthcare products benefit from a medical endorsement — one which, to many consumers, seems irrefutable.

Doctors on social media are only the newest iteration of this influence doctors have on consumers. Some medical professionals online or “Medfluencers” are making a huge difference in educating the masses and fighting misinformation.

But when can we trust doctor endorsements, and how do doctors play into the creator economy in 2024? (See: What is The Creator Economy? 4 Things Health Brands Should Know)

Countering Misinformation

Cardiologist Hofstra and Intensive Care Physician Gommers argue that  doctors’ intervention to combat misinformation on social media can make a difference, noting that:

“Researchers have estimated that vaccine hesitancy may have resulted in more than 300,000 unnecessary covid-19 deaths in the United States alone, and that misinformation on social media could be a substantial contributor to reluctance to take up vaccination.” (BMJ)

Media literacy is declining, and deciphering the truth is even more difficult in the health sector — as people outside the medical field don’t have the background to grasp what makes a good study, how to understand scientific consensus, and which specialties have authority on certain health spaces.

In a similar vein, people have strong opinions about health tied to culture, tradition, or even groupthink — so much so they often go too far refuting those of professionals. The LA Times reveals a survey of physicians, biomedical researchers, and trainees which found:

In almost every demographic, more than half of the respondents reported online harassment of some kind. The exceptions were people 65 and older (44% of them experienced online harassment) and people who didn’t discuss public health issues on their social media accounts (39% were harassed anyway).

Desperately wanting health advice that can make a difference (or that confirms our biases) also makes us vulnerable. And many prey on that vulnerability — like an unqualified wellness influencer selling their healing course or a mental health influencer offering couples counseling with no therapy credentials.

Many doctors are simply fighting misinformation, and bravely so since we know harassment is likely to follow. However, fake doctors online do exist, with AI doctors on social media recently revealed to be spouting false claims, for instance (DW). It’s important to do your due diligence and ensure the doctor is board-certified, and advising in their appropriate area of expertise.

Basic Standards

Doctors online should never diagnose someone they haven’t examined themselves or share specifics when telling a patient story. They most definitely shouldn’t post pictures or videos of their patients without written consent.

Doctors should also stick to their area of expertise as best they can. A plastic surgeon may have some overlap with a dermatologist, but they simply cannot speak to skin conditions with the same level of training and experience.

Of course, the bare minimum is that they are doctors when they say so. YouTube has a handy feature that notifies you this person’s credentials have been confirmed. Under the video, it displays a small banner that looks like this:

Remember, doctors are also people with their own biases despite their training. When seeking advice from doctors on social media, make sure you seek out various opinions (from professionals with the proper training/credentials, of course) to ensure your information is coming from the scientific consensus on the subject.

The Special skills of doctors on social media

Like your run-of-the-mill influencer, medical influencers online are often charming, personable, and easy to understand.

Many doctors online are also great educators, passionately posting content about their specialty — often successful online for their ability to explain complex topics to the layperson without speaking down to them. They can make us feel comfortable in a way not even our physician does.

4 Stand-out Social Media Doctors To Check Out

Like other influencers, each has their own style — and the most trusted ones speak from expertise.

1. Dr.K, Psychiatrist on TikTok

Dr. K, also known as @psyfiguy on TikTok, is a psychiatrist or “brain doctor” as he likes to say. His videos are quite relaxed, showing off his personality. In one video, he explains to his followers if you should be splitting your psychopharmaceutical medicine.


Should you cut your pills in half? Always consult your prescriber about usage! #psychin60 #mentalhealth #adhd #medicine

♬ Monsters, Inc – Gustav Lundgren & Unit

In the following video, he fights misinformation about ADHD online that came from a professional speaking out of his realm of expertise.


#stitch with @Doctor Racso question for you all at the end. FWIT, people with #adhd CAN focus — the “deficiency” refers to their inability to SELECTIVELY focus.

♬ original sound – The Geek Doctor

Dr. K also answers medical questions from his followers in both a delicate and entertaining way, never speaking down to them, straying from absolutes, and generally focused on educating.

2. Dr. Rohin Francis, Medlife Crisis on Youtube

Embracing a different style of content than our previous stand-out doc, Dr Francis makes long-from YouTube videos that are scripted, sectioned, and include a list of sources underneath.

In the video above, he illustrates what pseudoscience is and how we can spot it. He defines it as “fields which use scientific language, may perform ‘experiments’ using apparently scientific equipment… dressed up like science in order to borrow its respectability and cache,” listing homeopathy and chiropractic as initial examples.

Dividing deeper, he focuses “on pseudoscience that has so successfully adopted the patina of science that no one even thinks that they are anything but science.” (14:18, Youtube)

He speaks on bioplausibility as the first step, asserting that people mistake the first step for the end of the journey, naming this trust in bioplausibility “mechanistic bias.” He reminds us that evidence from randomized controlled trials is “medicine’s secret sauce” — but he explains it far better than we can!

A video like this one not only focuses on cardiology (like some of his others) but rather science literacy overall — explaining to the watcher how to wade through scientific information and identify the ineffective from the proven.

Dr. Francis never talks down to the viewer and displays facts in an organized, professional way (with a few jokes thrown in here and there).

3. Mama Doctor Jones, Gynecologist on Facebook

As a Health & Wellness agency made up of mostly women, content creators like Mama Doctor Jones are close to our hearts.

Mostly active on Facebook, she provides clear and concise explanations with helpful diagrams, often showing herself drawing them like in the video below.

With women’s health being severely understudied and under-taught, professionals who take the time to disseminate their expertise and therefore help women understand their own bodies better make a massive impact.

Aside from explanatory videos like the one above, she teaches by reacting to media like TLC’s “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant,” providing educational commentary along the way.

A few other doctors and dietitians on social media take this approach, using familiar media as a starting point is a great way to get people interested and absorbing the information!

4. Dr. Dray, Dermatologist on Youtube and Instagram

Dr. Andrea Suarez, known as Dr. Dray on social media, thoroughly explains dermatological concepts on YouTube, whether it’s recent studies on newer therapies or the body of evidence on what is tried and true.

In this video, for instance, Dr. Dray provides tips on preventative measures you can apply to stop skin tags from growing.

Her whole body of content has helped her followers greatly, many of which have skin issues that weren’t quite bad enough to justify the price of a dermatologist.

One commenter writes:

Hello Dr. Dray I hope all is well. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for saving my skin. In 2020 I was 21 and my face was full of acne and super red and inflamed all the time. I had gone through a huge weight loss journey where I lost 100lb, and I remember telling myself that although I knew everything about losing weight, I knew nothing about skincare. I then looked up skincare for red skin on YouTube and found you! In only a few months my skin cleared up after I began double cleansing at night with Albolene and Vanicream cleansers and using an anti-redness nighttime moisturizer and SPF during the day. I have been following this routine ever since! I am 25 now and my coworkers cant believe I’m 25! I cannot thank you enough for the impact you’ve had on my life by sharing your knowledge.

Dr. Dray works to fight misinformation, reminding viewers to parse through the science before blindly believing fear-mongering from a 20-something wellness TikToker.

In this Instagram reel, for instance, she explains the EU’s restriction of retinol in a stitch responding to a creator claiming the ingredient has been banned.

She also reviews skincare brands (rarely sponsored), and goes into detail, separating her personal opinions from expertise-based ones. Dr. Dray provides practical advice that the average consumer can actually follow, without touting cure-all products or giving false expectations.

Here, for example, she informs users of drugstore skincare that is not worth the price, offering affordable drugstore alternatives that work (letting the watcher know about Target Up & Up alternatives to Walgreens products, for instance, that work better for less.)


Online doctors, or “Medfluencers,” are changing the way we get health advice by fighting false information and making hard topics easy to understand. But, it’s important for us to check if these doctors are qualified and to listen to different experts to make sure we’re getting the right information.

For brands, these passionate medical content creators offer a vehicle through which we can disseminate complicated health information to a large audience. Medical influencers are more choosy with their sponsorships, so finding one who aligns with your brand specialty and is willing to work with you can make a world of difference.

Educating our audience is the route to building trust. In health & wellness, an educated consumer is a confident consumer.

*Disclaimer: The use of brand names and/or any mention or listing of specific person herein is solely for educational purposes and does not imply endorsement by THE 3RD EYE or our partners, nor discrimination against similar brands, products or services not mentioned



Elizabeth Williams

Content Writer

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