LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site online today. It has well over 200 million members in 200 countries and territories. Initially, it has been the domain for networking in the information technology sector; however, now practically all industries are represented in terms of membership. Profiles created on LinkedIn are similar to online curriculum vitae, providing information on work experience, education, credentials, and skills. It principally has been a great forum for recruiters to find new talent in their search, and likewise, job seekers can find jobs posted directly on LinkedIn or through their network of contacts.
While maintaining a professional focus, LinkedIn has added a more Facebook-like feel with news posts from your connections with topics such as new connections for your contacts, their updated job profiles, endorsements of people, and topics of interest. Despite the professional nature of the site, it is not truly set up for attracting patients to your psychiatric practice. Instead, LinkedIn is one way to connect to other providers, such as therapists and physicians in other fields for potential referrals. One caveat with LinkedIn is that many of your patients are probably already on LinkedIn, and they might invite you to be a “connection.” Most psychiatrists find this request to be a potential boundary crossing and politely decline in person, citing privacy reasons. ■